Most parents would love to know the secret to getting their children to do their homework without having to listen to their excuses and procrastinations.
Unfortunately there is no easy fix but these tips will hopefully help to make a bit of a difference in your home.
1. Accept that most children do not like doing homework.
Starting from this viewpoint will help you to have realistic expectations. It is unlikely that your child will enjoy doing their homework; the best you can probably hope for is acceptance that it needs to be done.
2. Allow your child time to play and relax when they get home from school
Your child has just spent many hours at school so allow them some time to play and have something to eat before expecting them to sit back down again and do more work. A break will help them to focus again.
3. Negotiate a time for homework
Set up a routine with your child so that they know when they are expected to complete their homework every day. Stick to the routine so there are no excuses. Routines make it easier for homework to become a habit.
4. A quiet space to do their homework
Make sure that your child has a dedicated space to complete their homework. Set up an area for them that has adequate lighting and space for their work. By giving them a dedicated study space you are demonstrating that there is value to their homework. If your child has siblings, set up a separate space for them – and even if they are too little to do homework, assign them some drawing or craft to do so that your studying child can concentrate on the work at hand.
5. Talk about the value of homework
If your child understands the purpose and value of why they are doing it, then hopefully they will find it a bit easier to do. Keep in contact with your child’s teacher as to how they are going at school so you know what areas your child may need help with. If the area of expertise is outside your domain, consider looking into getting a tutor so your child doesn’t fall behind (more for highschool students).
6. Take an interest
By taking an interest in your child’s homework it shows that you value it. Ask how they are finding it and only help if they ask you to. Give encouragement and positive reinforcement. Try and use what they have learned in the class room in real life to ‘cement’ their learning.
7. Let your child take ownership of their homework
Ultimately it is your child’s homework and not yours. It is their responsibility to complete it and if they don’t, then let them experience the consequences of that choice.
8. Use study time to do your own ‘homework’
Why not use this time to complete some of your work – whether it be housework, reading a book or other tasks. This sets a good example for them to follow. After all if you have your feet up in front of the tv (not matter how deserved it is) – they might feel they are missing out! TV and music – OFF. Homework is quiet time.
9. Remember to keep a realistic outlook
It is unlikely your kids will ever love doing their homework, but with the tips above, hopefully it will stop being an ongoing battle in your household.
Here’s an infographic to help you remember all of those tips more easily: