Most parents have been through the struggle of getting their kids to do homework at one point or another. No matter how diligent the child is, there will be times when they will simply be unmotivated to do homework. Nagging is the last thing you want to do as a parent.
The good news is, getting your child to do homework doesn’t have to be a pain. There are ways for parents to encourage their kids to do homework, especially since homework has many learning benefits for the child. For instance, homework allows them to recall and practice the lessons they learned in school. It could also help prepare them for the lessons and activities that lie ahead.
By doing homework, kids learn how to read and follow directions on their own, without their teacher to explain it for them. They will also realize the value of time management—they wouldn’t want to be stuck doing homework all evening! Homework also teaches them to take pride in their work, especially when they know that they’ve completed their work to the best of their ability.
More importantly, homework helps develop a sense of responsibility in children. They begin to realize that learning doesn’t end in the classroom, instead, they still need to learn and prepare even outside of it.
Here are 10 Practical Tips for Parents
- Start with praise and encouragement
Show your kids that you believe in them. What could be hindering them from completing their homework is their own insecurity. Praise them when they show initiative to get their homework done before dinnertime, for example. When they are having difficulty on a maths problem, be understanding and considerate, instead of saying, “That’s so easy!” or “You should have mastered this by now.”
- Show interest and enthusiasm
Parents should also show their kids that homework can be fun, that it’s not all work. It can be an opportunity to practice what they learned in school so they can master it in time for exams. Further, you, as a parent, also have a chance to see what your child is learning in class. If you notice that your kids are feeling lazy to do their homework, ask them what the homework is about or what are they being asked to do. This will help get children to think about their homework and realize that it’s doable after all.
- Don’t be tempted to do their homework for them
You may think that it is easier to do their homework than convincing children to do it on their own. There will be less strain on everyone if you just get it over with, right? Wrong! Don’t be tempted to do your child’s homework for them. Remember that the teacher gave them homework for a reason. Taking over your child’s work will not help anyone. It’s better for a child to not get everything right on his or her own than getting a perfect score on work done by the parent.
- Create a space conducive for learning
Find a space in your home where your child can work on their assignments. Make sure that the desk is free of clutter and has good lighting. Remove all distractions, such as gadgets, toys, and comic books, too!
- Schedule a time to do homework
Introducing structure around doing homework can be a helpful tool in getting your child to include homework in their after school routine. This will also help you minimise distractions at home. You may want to schedule it before or after dinner. Try to accommodate the child’s other activities and interests from time to time, as well. For instance, if your child sees his or her siblings enjoying their favorite show or playing a game, this will cause the child to lose focus and accomplish their homework hurriedly.
- Let your child decide
Give your child a sense of control over doing their homework. You want them to take ownership of their work. After all, they have to find their own internal motivation for them to accomplish the task to the best of their abilities.
- Let your child face the consequences
Tempting as it is to simply do the assignment that your child refuses to do, let him or her face the consequences of not turning in a homework or submitting one haphazardly. This will teach them they are responsible for their own academic achievement.
- Guide, don’t control
Ask your child if they are having difficulty understanding the question or if they would want you to check their answers once they’ve finished. Let the child know that they are still in control of their work. Allow them to plan and strategise how they want to tackle the problems. Be there to make sure that they’ve understood the instructions clearly and that they didn’t miss any item.
- Be there when they need help
There are times when children need help from their parents. It’s important to not lose your cool when helping your child. You want to make them feel safe when asking questions or admitting when they don’t comprehend a problem. They are not expecting you to answer their homework for them, so make sure to guide them in understanding what they need to do.
- Be in touch with teachers
Checking in with their teachers to see how they are doing in their classes will also be useful in guiding them in their homework. There are some tuition centres that also encourage parents to be involved in their children’s learning. Take this as an opportunity to see which classes are enjoyable for your child and which ones are not; this will get you thinking about how to inject fun into their least favorite subjects.
Oftentimes, getting your child to do homework when he or she refuses to do so becomes a battle of control. And it’s a battle where both sides don’t really win. Your child may do the homework, but will do it carelessly. Let your child take responsibility for doing homework because this will also determine how they will treat other school requirements. Parents are there to offer support and guidance, but, ultimately, children have to understand that they have control over their academic success. They must find their own motivation from within.