Strategies and Tips to Motivate Your Child With Their Homework
Homework. It’s a word that incites fear in the minds of students and, often, of parents! If you want to make it a woe of the past once and for all, then you’ll want to learn about how you can really help students feel more motivated to work on homework. As much as students may not like homework, they can be more energized and motivated to do it.
Top tips for homework-related motivation
If you’re looking for some tips and tricks to help students stay on task when they start homework, here are some surprisingly creative and simple suggestions to work from.
- Have a self-designed homework area: This should ideally be somewhere where there are no distractions from TV, conversations, etc. As far as what the space looks like, let the student create it with a bit of help from you. If they want to study homework on bean bag chairs, let them do it — but have a flat surface nearby that they can place over their laps, just in case. If they want to have a bright pink wall with blue decorations, so what? The idea of letting them create a space that is going to feel exciting to their tastes works well. As they grow up and want to change it, allow them to do it! If it keeps them on task, it’s worth the makeover, after all.
- Put a timer on it: Homework is often intimidating to students because they feel like it’s going to take over everything. Which sometimes does happen, because it’s not scheduled! So, if you put a timer on display for your student to see and set it so that it’s going for one hour, they’ll know that all they have to do is focus for one hour, and then they can do something fun. Do that once a day, and allow them to do more on Fridays if they want to enjoy a weekend that is homework-free. Or not. Whatever they choose is great.
- Make sure that they see the value of homework: This is silly, perhaps, but important! When students see why homework is important for their education, they’ll often feel much more motivated to keep on working and trying, even during those times where math or science is getting the best of them. On those especially challenging subjects, make sure you give them extra motivation.
- Stay involved in their homework plan: This means helping them see that it’s not going to overwhelm them. For example, if your student has homework in science, social studies, math, language arts, and music, get them to rank them in order from hardest (or least-liked) to easiest (or most-liked). Show them how and why to start with the hardest first and work through to the easiest. It’ll often incentivize them to keep going, and it’ll also make a huge difference having you on hand to help out!
Both teachers and tutors agree that homework is an important part of being a good student. Since homework is often the worst thing in the world for students who have “more important things to do,” the goal is to make it as incentivizing as possible. These tips will help make it simply another thing to do, rather than the evilest thing in the world. While it may not be the best endpoint you had in mind, it’s a great start!
The bottom line is that homework is never going to be something that most students enjoy, even if they love the subject. By making it something that they immediately have support with, such as a parent or an experienced tutor, it becomes less scary and more productive. This can help encourage them to keep trying even on those really hard days.