Most parents have been there—the nightly homework struggle. Students rarely look forward to completing their homework assignments after the last school bell has rung for the day. However, homework is part of being a student—and one that has an impact on future academic performance. This makes it important to figure out how to encourage kids to do their homework without a nightly quarrel.
Homework supplements the education that children are getting in the classroom. Its role is to increase comprehension and give students the chance to study, practice, and understand the material. This type of “outside-the-classroom” thinking can help increase the development of positive study habits, improve cognition and memory, and encourage time management.
Students often have trouble seeing the value in homework. After all, they just spent an entire day in school, so why should they sacrifice their valuable free time to do more work? Other factors, from attention and motivation issues to poor time management and organizational skills can also lead to students having trouble completing their homework.
Students who don’t do their homework or continually battle with their parents about it often experience higher levels of stress. This stress can lead to a lack of motivation both inside and outside of the classroom, causing them to fall behind. It’s important for parents to take an active role in making sure students complete their homework so their performance doesn’t suffer.
How can you make homework time a smoother process? Rather than making your child do homework, focus on how you can make homework more a more enjoyable experience for your child. Don’t worry—it’s easier than it sounds!
There are tips on how to encourage good homework habits in your child. Creating a schedule your child can follow makes it easier to get him or her to sit down and complete homework assignments. Set a time and create a special study space for homework to be completed, making it part of the child’s nightly routine. Give kids a break after school. Don’t force your child to do homework as soon as he or she gets home. Let him or her have some time after school to give his or her mind a break before starting homework. This break can help improve motivation and focus when it is time for your child to do his or her homework.
Show encouragement and appreciation of your child’s hard work when he or she has completed his or her homework. Something as small as a high five or words of praise can boost your child’s motivation. You can also offer small rewards, like a trip to the store or a special treat.
While you child does his or her homework, don’t engage in other preferred activities, such as watching TV. Read a book, do some research, or scratch a chore off your to-do list.
Rather than yelling, have a calm discussion with your child about why homework is important. Fighting with your child will increase stress and frustration, leaving him or her unable and unwilling to focus on homework.
By encouraging—rather than forcing—your child to complete his or her homework, you can help your child become a more organized, proactive student. This will save you a lot of arguments down the line, letting your child use his or her energy to reach his or her potential rather than avoiding homework.