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How to inspire your kids to do their homework

20 September 2018

Some children are able to do their homework on their own with little guidance from their parents. Others, however, struggle to consistently do their evening assignments without someone looking over their shoulder the entire time. 

Most parents are willing to help their children when they are struggling to understand a particular subject. However, the parent might get frustrated and not know how to best aid their child.

Here are some ideas for helping children with their homework

Offer guidance, but don’t try to control the process

Most kids don’t like homework, so it is a chore to get them to sit down and do it. Instead of creating a dynamic where you are trying to make them do their homework, try a different approach. Tell them that you understand that homework is difficult or not enjoyable, but that it needs to be done. This will show them that you are actually on their side, and you are going to help them do their homework rather than forcing them to do it.

Give them a break when they need it

The ideal timing for breaks will vary from child to child. Some may do their best with homework right after school, while others may need a break to unwind for an hour or two when they get home. The most important thing with scheduling breaks and homework is that the schedule is consistent. Once you find the ideal timing for your afternoon and evening, stick with it. This way, the kids will know exactly when homework time starts and when they are free to have a break.

Give them both big and small rewards

You can provide some motivation consistently by offering rewards and recognition for the children’s efforts with their homework. This could be as simple as telling them “good job” or giving them a high five when they have finished their work on each subject. You could also promise them a certain amount of “screen time” on TV or their devices when they are done with their work.

What about bigger rewards? If a child struggles with consistency (doing their homework day after day), then you could create a checklist for the entire week. They can check off each subject each day after they complete the homework for it. You can even include classes with little or no homework so that they can get an easy check to help them get started each afternoon. At the bottom of the checklist, write a reward that they will get if they complete the entire checklist all week. It could be a trip for ice cream or extra screen time on the weekend or whatever will motivate them for the week. The reward should be something special that they would consider a real treat.