Seven Strategies To Combat Academic Burnout In Children

Academic burnout can happen to any child, from the most self-directed and engaged to the discouraged and unmotivated child.

With large class sizes, fast-paced teaching, and high expectations in the academic setting, it can cause children to experience academic burnout. As parents, there are some things that you can do to help keep your child from experiencing the feeling of being overwhelmed and over-worked at school.

1. Engage

Almost every time you ask your child, “How was school today?”, you may get a grunt or perhaps are lucky enough to get a mumbled “good” or “fine”.

It is important to try to dig deeper into their day.

What was one thing they learned about that was interesting? Did they have a substitute for any subjects? Did the fire alarm go off during math class? Trying to get your child to respond with a little more of a detailed response gets them thinking about their day and maybe even remembering that homework assignment they didn’t write down!

If you can remind your child every morning, that you will be expecting to hear at least one detail of the day, it will help them to be more present and engaged during their school day.

When a child is more present and engaged in their school day, it helps them to remember new and interesting things that happened during the day, which helps to prevent academic burnout.

When a child knows an expectation, even something as small as giving a detail of their day to their parents when they return home, they are often able to be more successful with fulfilling that expectation than when they are surprised with an expectation or task.

2. Motivation & Recognition

Think about your job, and ask yourself, what keeps you motivated? A paycheck? Recognition?

For many children, recognition is enough to motivate them to keep completing assignments or trying new skills within the classroom.

Sometimes, children may not get enough recognition within the classroom even if they are starting to feel burn out by the demands placed on them.

Many times, classrooms are filled to capacity and the teacher just does not have enough time to celebrate the small or even the large victories with the class.

As a parent, you can celebrate every little victory with you child with something as small as a high-five! When a child feels recognized for their hard work, and celebrated, they are often encouraged to work harder.

Letting your child know that you are proud of them can motivate them to keep working hard!

3. Reward

Rewards are always something anyone can appreciate! Children love small prizes and treats within the classroom for completing assignments or good behavior! This is something that you can do within your own home, too.

Did your child get a good report card? What about taking them out for ice cream? Rewards do not always have to cost money either! If your child completed all of their homework assignments for the week, what about giving them an extra ten minutes to play outside or to do another activity that they enjoy?

Just be sure to praise your child for the behavior you are proud of them for and relate that to the reward they are receiving! Rewards of the smallest kind can help prevent academic burnout in children.

4. Ownership

Another important strategy to prevent academic burnout is ownership.

Remind your child that this is their school work and their academic success.

Remind them to take control of their grades and level of understanding. Even if your child is struggling in certain subjects, if they are able to take ownership and say to themselves “I am trying my hardest but I am still a little bit confused, so I will ask my teacher, parents, or tutor for extra help in this subject”, it will help them feel as if they are in control of their learning and their academic success.

5. Confidence

Confidence is important in so many different aspects of life.

For children, they can quickly lose their confidence in school just by getting one wrong answer in the classroom in front of their peers, which quickly leads to academic burnout.

It is important to remind your child, that it is okay to make mistakes.

It is okay to not quite understand something and need some extra help! Providing your child with an opportunity to feel successful, whether it is answering a riddle correctly, or reading a story aloud to you, or even being successful with a homework assignment, is vital to helping with their self-confidence.

When a child is provided with the opportunity to feel success, rather than just continuously being challenged by academics, it will build their confidence tremendously.

6. Setting Goals

As adults, we often work harder and are more dedicated to something when we have a goal to work towards.

This is also true for children! Help your child set a goal for the day, week, or month.

It could be something as simple as remembering to write down all homework assignments, or keep their locker/cubby clean for the week, or perhaps a time management or organizational goal.

If you can help your child think about one goal they want to focus on that could help them academically, it can help them feel in control and successful during the school day, and prevent academic burnout.

7. Play

That’s right, play! It is i`mportant for anyone, child or adult, to experience some physical activity!

Physical activity, or for a child, playing, gives the mind a much-needed break.

Children need time to play, move, and engage their imagination to help them relieve stress and anxiety.

When a child is stressed or anxious, they may cope with those feelings by mentally shutting down.

This means that a child may become so over-whelmed, anxious, and stressed that they mentally cannot handle sorting through an issue.

It takes time for a person to be able to develop the problem-solving skills needed to sort their way through stress, and as children, playing and moving can help prevent feelings of anxiety and improve their problem-solving skills to aid with stress and anxiety.


Academic burnout can happen to any child, just as adults can experience burnout in the workplace.
There are many small, but effective strategies to combat academic burnout from happening to your child.
If you see this happening to your child, try some of these strategies or even contact their teacher or tutor for help!

Think Differently About Education.

We Believe…

All children are born with the innate ability to reach their OWN excellence.

That a growing group of children don’t fully prosper in overpopulated classrooms.

Through technology and one on one learning, their future path to success can be made clear again.