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Common Causes of School Stress For Students


High school girl looking stressed at desk with her laptop

We already know many students—from elementary school to high school—experience stress at school.

The question parents should be asking themselves is “why?”. Knowing what is causing your child stress at school is the first step toward helping him or her overcome it.

Knowing how to better manage school stressors helps students experience less stress, allowing them to perform to their fullest potential.

Keep reading to find out the biggest cases of school stress for students.

11 Things That Could Be Causing Your Child Stress At School

  1. Upcoming tests
  2. Many students worry about getting a good grade or simply making time to study if there is more than one upcoming test. Test stress doesn’t just affect struggling students, either—high-achievers usually experience a lot of stress about doing well on tests.

  3. Too much homework
  4. When your child is overwhelmed or frustrated by homework, it makes it harder for him or her to complete assignments. This can cause a stressful cycle where homework piles up and your child doesn’t have the time or energy to complete it all—leading to even more stress.

  5. A heavy workload
  6. Whether it’s advanced-level classes or the amount of studying required, a heavy workload can be a major source of stress for students. This is especially common for older high school students as they start making their post-secondary plans.

  7. Lack of organization
  8. Students with poor organizational skills tend to experience more stress in school. This is usually because they aren’t properly prepared with the tools or the understanding needed to learn. If those organization skills don’t improve they may continue to fall behind, leading to more stress and frustration about school.

  9. Too little “down time”
  10. Students with busy schedules can quickly become overwhelmed because they are left with no free time to relax. As your child progresses from elementary school to high school, the amount and difficulty level of schoolwork increases—and students without good time management skills can experience even more stress.

  11. Poor sleep schedule
  12. Not getting enough sleep makes it difficult for students to concentrate and learn effectively. This can lead to feelings of stress for your child when he or she isn’t able to perform well in class or on assignments. In fact, studies have shown that students who don’t get the required 8-10 hours of sleep each night are more likely to feel stressed than students who do.

  13. Participating in class
  14. For many children, the thought of getting called on in class and speaking in front of their classmates can be terrifying. This can be particularly true if your child struggles to keep up in a subject or area (common examples are math and reading).

  15. Lack of support
  16. A lack of support from parents or teachers, even if it’s only perceived, can add a lot of stress to students. They may feel that a lot is expected of them, but that they don’t have a strong enough support system (whether emotional or practical) to achieve their goals. This is another cause of stress can affect high-achieving students in particular.

  17. Transitioning to a new environment
  18. Making a major move can be a stressful time for many students, whether it’s starting at a new school or making the transition from elementary school to high school. New classes, new teachers, and new routines can all be stressful for students, and take time to adjust to.

  19. Classes that are too hard
  20. As they progress through school and start taking more advanced classes, the increased difficulty can cause stress for students. This is very common for teens entering their high school years. As classes get harder, it’s important to address challenges early so your child can catch up before he or she falls too far behind.

  21. Changes to routine
  22. A routine including dedicated homework time and a consistent sleep schedule helps guide students through their day. When changes to the usual routine start to happen, your child may find it more difficult to manage his or her time, leading to more stress.

Is Your Child Struggling With School Stress?

Find out how you can help your child deal with stress at school or contact an Oxford Learning Centre near you to learn how our tutors can help.






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