School is underway once again, which means the kids will be coming home with homework that needs to get done by the next day, or the end of the week. And for them, it’s a chore that they want to avoid at any cost.
But like any chore, it needs to be done. And despite debates over whether homework is even good for kids or not, the reality is that they get it. And sometimes, kids need some motivation to get going. As parents, you can play a big role in providing that motivation.
So how can you help get your kids to do their homework? Here are 10 tips.
10 Time It Properly
Set up a regular schedule so homework becomes part of the child’s routine. Perhaps they get it done as soon as they get home from school, or they take some time to relax, have a snack and unwind, then do it before dinner. If the kids go to after-school care, maybe they can use that time to get their homework done before they even come home so their evening can be all to themselves, and to spend with family.
For older kids, maybe after dinner is the time to get their mindset back into math, science, and reading and finish up homework before going to bed. Figure out what works best for your family, schedule, and child and make it work.
9 Set Aside a Time Every Night To Help Them
Kids might need your help with their homework, so set aside some time to assist, perhaps right before or after dinner. Maybe they do what they can on their own, then as one parent washes the dishes and cleans up, the other can sit with the child to answer any questions or provide any insight or feedback that might help them finish up.
If you participate with the child, and they feel like they have support, they might be more inclined to get their homework done.
8 Make It A Rule That It Has To Be Done Before Dinner
Sometimes, kids respond best to rules. So telling them that homework must be done before dinnertime or they don’t get dessert, for example, might entice them to avoid procrastinating and buck up and finish before they relax for the evening.
Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule, but setting such a structure up for kids who find it difficult to manage their time on their own might be the right way to go. And hopefully as kids get older, they begin to structure their own time better, too.
7 Offer Incentives
Incentives could work for kids who are unmotivated to do homework, such as dessert after dinner whenever it’s completed on time, extra screen time, the ability to hang out with friends, or a weekend luxury, like video games or sleepovers.
The child can think of it as a goal: if they achieve this goal of finishing their homework dutifully every night, they will be rewarded, whether it’s by being able to watch an episode of their favorite TV program, play on their tablets for half an hour, or go to the mall with friends on the weekend.
6 Get Them A Desk
Kids require the right atmosphere to complete their homework and sitting on their bed or at the dining room table might be too distracting. Consider getting a desk for them to place in their room where they can keep their school supplies and sit comfortably to focus on homework whenever they have it.
If you have a family computer room, consider setting up an area for them there where they can work on written assignments, workbooks, or just have quiet reading time as well. A change of scenery and comfortable work space can make all the difference in terms of how productive the child is.
5 Let Them Invite A Friend To Work In Pairs
Some kids work better with others, and if you find this is the case, let them combine time with friends with homework. Let them invite a friend and classmate over so they can work on projects together, collaborate on ideas, and help one another through assignments.
Check in every now and then, of course, to make sure they aren’t goofing off taking selfies, surfing the web, and watching videos. And the child will love that, once the homework is complete, they can enjoy downtime with their friend, too.
4 Break It Up By Subject
If the child has a hard time focusing for long periods of time, especially with the tempting distractions of home, let them break up homework time into chunks. Maybe they do science homework as soon as they get home, save math homework for when parents can help, and dedicate before bedtime to reading.
Doing homework in bits, especially if there’s a lot for kids in higher grades, might help them more easily digest the information, and feel like they can have some fun time in between and get much-needed breaks.
3 Make It A Fun Competition
Create fun family competitions that will motivate everyone. While the child is doing their homework, you can do housework and chores. And you won’t stop doing chores, whether it’s washing and putting away dishes, folding laundry, taking out garbage, walking the dog, or vacuuming the floors and dusting the furniture, until they are done. Fair is fair, right? If they have to work after school, you do, too!
This has the added bonus of helping you get chores done during the week so you have less to do on the weekends, even if it means you can’t sit down and relax after a long workday until later at night.
2 Motivate Them
Sometimes some cheery motivation is all a child needs to get their homework done, include some “you can do it” and “I’m so proud of you” comments. Remind them of how well they did on the last test, or how great you thought their last report was. Tell them you can’t wait to read this new one or hear what the teacher has to say about it once it’s graded and back in their hands.
Motivate them while also encouraging them to learn new things, and praising them when they grasp a new concept. Kids might not immediately show their gratitude for you doing this, but it sinks in whether they realize it or not.
1 Hire A Tutor
If the child is having trouble in school, and thus trouble with homework, hiring a tutor might be worth it. Especially for working parents who aren’t home until late and don’t have as much time to dedicate to helping the child with his assignments.
Someone solely focused on working one-on-one with your child to help him understand assignments and concepts can make a world of difference. And gradually, homework time may become easier and less stressful for everyone, especially the child.