The homework struggle: strategies to encourage kids to do their homework

How to encourage your child to do their homework

We all know the scenario, come homework time and all of a sudden your child finds all sorts of excuses not to do their homework. They’re either distracted or just feel lack-lustre about their pile of homework books.

It can be a real struggle to get your kids to sit down and concentrate after a long day at school, but it’s important not to give up and to find a way for them to complete their homework, if not enjoy it.

Pre-teens and teenagers often say that they don’t have homework, even when they do or they tell parents that they completed it at school even though they didn’t. We all know the common fibs.

That is why you need to try these handy strategies to get school work done, fuss free.

Create a homework space and routine

Choose a quiet place for your children to do their school work. Keep distractions, like television and music, away from this area. Try to reduce the amount of people coming and going in this area, and keep younger children away from older ones who are trying to study.

Put away technology

Create a rule that states homework time will be technology-free to keep your kids from texting or tweeting when they should be studying. Make an exception when your child needs to use a computer for research or to type an assignment.

Allow your children to have a break

Rather than forcing them to complete an assignment when they’re already frustrated with it, let your kid take a ten-minute break. That way, they can come back to the assignment refreshed and ready to find a new perspective on the problem.

Use the word ‘Study’ instead of ‘Homework’

Replace the word ‘homework’ with the word ‘study’. Have ‘study’ time instead of ‘homework’ time. Have a ‘study’ table instead of a ‘homework’ table.

The word study has more positive connotations and refers to a child gaining knowledge, rather than working.

Use positive praise to motivate your child

Praising work that’s done well is a great way to get your child to be motivated. Motivation is about doing things because they make you feel proud, rather than doing them because you get an external reward.

Try to avoid using bribes, as this will just teach your child bad habits, rather encourage them to complete their homework because it’s a good achievement rather than just doing it for sweets or treats.

Explain the benefits of education

Talk to your kids about the importance of studying, and how a good education can benefit them throughout their lives. Explain to them that as an adult, you make more money if you have more education. Ask them what careers they’d be interested in, and explain the type of education necessary for each.

Do your own ‘homework’ at the same time your kids do theirs

To help inspire your children to complete their homework, do some chores of your own. Show your child that you’re being responsible and completing essential chores too.

You’ll serve as a great example to your child, showing them that the same things they’re learning are directly related to what you do as an adult. If your child is reading, grab a book or the newspaper and read next to them. If they’re working on math, sit down with a calculator and balance your checkbook or work out your budget.

Keep the TV off, if you engage in fun or noisy activities during study time, your child will naturally be distracted. Study time is a family commitment. If you won’t commit to it, don’t expect that your child will.

Need assistance with home work? Contact Kip McGrath

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Kids Connection was successfully launched in March 2006 by Wendy Beaufort for distribution to parents and teachers in the local Port Elizabeth market. The comprehensive directory for young families from newborn to 12 years, was born because, Wendy, a mom of three, understood the importance of having detailed information related to children that is aimed at assisting young families spend less time PLANNING and more time PLAYING….READ MORE