How to Get Children to Do Their Homework
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We all remember what it was like to come home from school and be faced with even more school work. As a child, the last thing on their mind is studying, so how do you ensure that they get it done in time for school the next day?
In this post, we look at how to get children to do their homework without the arguments.
The first thing to remember is that most children don’t enjoy homework. And the second thing to remember is that you can’t make them do it. That’s right, no amount of yelling or bribery will get them to sit down and get it done.
So what do you do?
Help Them Understand the Benefits of Homework
Most children see homework and revising as a chore – something that needs to be done to satisfy you as a parent and their teacher. They very rarely see it as something useful. Whenever your child starts to sulk at homework time, try reminding them of the following points:
- In order to get really good at something, you need to put the time in. By explaining to your child that if they want to be good, they need to practice. Sometimes children won’t enjoy their homework because they find it difficult. And to a child difficult equals boring. Let them know that working on things that are hard is what helps improve their understanding.
- Homework will help them as they get older. Although homework doesn’t get any easier, it does children about self-discipline and time management. Explain to them that the skills they use to do their homework are the same skills they’ll need when they have a job. Most kids want to feel older than they are, so this point can be particularly effective.
- It’ll make classwork easier. Putting in that little bit of extra effort will improve your child’s knowledge in class. Tell them that the next time the teacher asks the class a question, they’ll have a better chance of knowing the answer because they already covered it in their homework.
Provide a Suitable Learning Environment
A quiet room without distractions makes for a good homework space
How encouraged would you feel to study if your space was a cluttered kitchen table? One way to encourage your children to do homework is to make sure that they have an inspiring place to do it. If your home has a study or office, let them use the room for ‘homework time’.
In order to create a stimulating study environment, your child needs a well-lit room that’s quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. Remove any TVs, mobile phones, or other gadgets so that they can fully commit their time to studying.
It’s equally important that your child has all the resources that they’ll need. Make sure they have paper, pens, a calculator and other stationary and have a laptop on hand that they can use for research if needed.
Have a Homework Routine in Place
One of the best ways to encourage children to do their homework is to have a study routine. If your child follows the same routine every night, they’ll be more likely to do their homework without protest.
An effective homework routine could look like this:
- Homework begins at 7 pm, after dinner
- It’s completed in a quiet room with no distractions
- If they get stuck on something, they move on to the next tasks and come back to it at the end.
- Nothing else gets done until the homework is completed
Enquire About Their Progress and Reward Good Work
Evidence suggests that our productivity levels increase when we feel that our efforts are being paid attention to. If your child feels like you’re interested in their school work, they’ll be more likely to want to do well.
After each homework session, take 5 minutes to look over your child’s work. If they’ve done a good job, tell them that they’ve done well. A little praise can go a long way to getting your child to their homework every night.
If it’s obvious that they’ve put in extra effort, consider rewarding them with a treat of some sort. This could be anything from a sweet, to half an hour playing their favourite video game.
Do Your Homework at the Same Time
If your child is struggling to find the motivation to do their homework, then why not teach by example and do yours too? Agree with your child that you will each do one hour’s homework together, uninterrupted and then you will both be free to go (assuming the work is actually completed).
Try do find a space opposite your child, rather than next to them, so they won’t be distracted by what you’re working on. You could spend this time doing any number of things relating to work, or household paperwork.
Turn Homework into a Game
We’ve written a post before about how to turn homework into a game and it really is a great way to encourage your children to get it done. It could be something as simple as getting them ‘in the zone’ with a few brainteasers, or actively participating in a question/answer game.
For more advice on how to help your child complete their homework, check out this video from Hampton Primary School: