Academic and learning demands: How can they affect children in school

Whilst the back to school transition can be an exciting time for some children, it can be stressful for others. This week, we will discuss the academic and learning demands that children are faced with and provide tips to help children deal with these stresses.

Academic and learning demands can be high for children due to:

  • Heavy homework loads
  • Pressures to attain good grades
  • Overscheduled school timetables with many transitions, lessons and varying demands in a day

The classroom environment also plays an important role in fuelling these demands. We expect children to learn best in stimulating learning environments. But in overstimulating learning environments, children can have difficulties with:

  • Concentrating on one task at a time
  • Organising and planning work
  • Paying attention to what the teacher is saying – particularly for children with conditions such as, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Autism

Some tips to help your child with academic and learning demands:

  • Support your child to have breaks and downtime after school or within the school day – 5 mins listening to music, using a fiddle toy or a quick walk around the playground can help calm a child and get them ready for learning
  • Do an activity that your child enjoys and makes them feel competent after school/on the weekend e.g. sports, cooking – something to take their mind off a busy day at school
  • Plan transitions e.g going into school in the morning and changing for PE – plan ahead to keep transitions as smooth, organised and calm as possible
  • Be an advocate for your child – let them know you have their back and will fight their corner no matter what challenges they face
  • Help your child to see there is more to them/their life than school and academic achievements

Take care,

Pocket Family Psychologist

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"Dr Andrea Shortland’s session for MediaCom on a children’s mental health was incredibly informative"

“Dr Andrea Shortland’s session for MediaCom on a children’s mental health was incredibly informative. During the second period of lockdown and home-schooling; parents and children found themselves again in a period of upheaval and transition. Many parents and carers were extremely worried about their children’s mental health and their own ability to be present and engaged whilst also playing the role of teacher and care giver. Dr Shortland gave attendees an insight into how many parents were feeling; tips on supporting children and helping them cope whilst studying from home and also managing their mental health. She also helped us realise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to effectively support our children. It was such a useful session that we realise it was also pertinent for not only children’s mental health but also adults! We will be holding another session with Dr Andrea and MediaCom soon.”

Avelon Thompson, MediaCom (following a parenting workshop)