Getting the kids to do their homework is often one of the most difficult things parents deal with. It has been shown that kids are more successful in school when their parents take an interest in their homework, but this doesn’t mean you should have to spend hours sitting at a desk in an attempt to convince them to get their work done. Instead, adopt homework can be a fun attitude. Creating a comfortable, individual, and fun environment will not only encourage the kids to dive into their homework as soon as they get home but help them look forward to doing it.
Create A Comfortable Study Area
Although the kitchen table may be more convenient, it can also be an uncomfortable place to sit for long periods while trying to study. Instead, find an area of the house designated just for homework. This can be anywhere that a small desk will fit. Make sure the area is well-lit and keep plenty of supplies on hand, including paper, pencils, scissors, glue, etc. Choose a desk and chair that is a comfortable height for the child.
Schedule Study Time
Schedule a regular study time and feed them a snack beforehand. Keep in mind that some kids work best in the afternoon, while others may work better after dinner. Figure out which time is the best and designate this as study time only, no television or computer (unless it is needed for the homework).
Make sure the kids are doing their work, you can make suggestions or help with distractions, but hovering will only be a distraction. There should be no loud music, television, or phone calls during homework time.
Make A Plan
On days when the homework is heavy or they have a large, difficult assignment, encourage them to break the assignment up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Creating a schedule that includes a short break every hour will also help them focus on the task at hand. A written homework plan that includes goals and timelines will often allow them to visualize what needs to be done and the amount of time in which they have to do it.
Praise And Reward
It is important to praise and reward them for a job well done. For example, display art projects or tests with high scores on the refrigerator and mention their achievements to other family members. Create a reward system that offers them more fun. The system should work for your family and your budget. A great way to build motivation is to use a progressive reward system. For example, each time the homework is done and on time, give your child a “ticket”. The more tickets earned the greater the reward, such as extra television time, a night at the movies with friends, or a special toy they have been hinting for.
If you continue to have problems with them doing their homework, talk about it with their teacher. Many children have trouble seeing the chalkboard and may need glasses or they may need an evaluation to rule out a learning problem. The goal is to get involved, find ways that will encourage them to want to their homework, and recognize when they have done a good job.