How to get your kids to do their homework without begging or bribing
Use a homework chart to keep track of your child’s homework. This chart will enable both children and parents to keep track of what needs to be done. You can then check that your child has done his homework without having to constantly nag him. Use the homework chart to list homework, assignments, tests and any other obligations. Nothing will be forgotten about and your children will be able to easily prioritize their homework.
Praise your children for doing their homework on time and for taking school seriously. Praise is one of the best motivators. Using a homework chart often reminds you to praise your child.
Let your children know how much importance you place on homework. They should understand that homework is something that they have to do and it is not negotiable.
Don’t try to force your children to want to do homework or understand the importance of it. Most kids don’t like homework and don’t want to do it. No matter how much you try to persuade them how important it is the chances are they will not suddenly see the light. Instead, let them know how you feel about homework, make sure that they have everything they need to do their homework and then praise them whenever you see how much effort they are putting into their homework and school work. When they do well at school praise them for all the work they did at school and at home. The goal is to eventually get your child to understand the importance of homework by himself. Forcing your child to see the importance of homework might have the exact opposite effect.
Set rules that determine when homework should be done and stick to them. Some children have to do their homework as soon as they get home and others have to do it by a certain time. Some parents insist that their child’s homework is done the day that they receive it while others let their child complete it anytime until the day before it needs to be submitted. Teaching your child to leave things for the last minute might not be something you want to encourage. Find a system that works for you and your children and be consistent.
Use homework time as an opportunity to teach your child how to manage his time. Later on in life, we are always expected to get a certain number of things done and prioritize them in order to make sure that we get everything done on time. Homework is only one of the tasks that your child has to do. Help him prioritize homework and other tasks to enable him to acquire this important tool which will be essential later on in life.
Check your child’s homework either occasionally or regularly. Once you have checked it a few times you will be able to determine how often you need to do it. Explain to him what is incorrect, why it is wrong, and get him to correct it. Many parents rely on teachers to check the homework. If your child is doing a mathematical calculation and you find a mistake. It is much easier to understand where and why he made a mistake when it is still fresh in his mind. If his homework is corrected by his teacher a few days later then chances are he won’t even bother to go back and understand why he made a mistake. Once an educational gap is formed it often becomes greater and greater. If you realize that your child has not managed to grasp a particular topic you can help him before he falls behind.
Tie homework to an allowance. In order to get an allowance you need to do your homework. If you only do half of your homework then you only get half an allowance. Make sure that this is not presented as a bribe. You are not paying your child to do his homework but in order to get his allowance there are certain things that he needs to do. Homework is one of them.
Find fun activities related to homework that the family can do together. For example, if your child is learning about dinosaurs you could go on a family outing to the science museum. If your child is learning about dairy products you can make dinner together using various dairy products. Homework can’t always be fun but take advantage of the opportunities when it can be. If your child reads a chapter about dinosaurs or goes to the science museum and learns about them hands-on which method will be more effective? If you want your children to understand how important learning is you could show them as well as tell them. Taking the time to go to a museum is a great fun way to do this. There are many different ways to achieve this. Find one that works for your family.
Don’t bribe kids to do their homework. Sometimes it is just a matter of how you phrase your request. For example, you could say, “if you finish your homework then you can get extra screen time” (which sounds a bit like a bribe) or “once you finish your homework you can get your daily screen time” (this sounds more like a condition to get a privilege that you are entitled to once your homework is complete).
Think about what motivates your child to get his homework done and use this to motivate him. Every child is unique and is motivated in a different way. If you understand what motivates your child then that is half the battle. For example, for one child, getting good grades might be a great motivator. For another child, this might not work. He might want to hear how proud you are of him that he does his homework as soon as he gets home in order for him to be motivated. Some kids just want a sticker on their homework chart and others won’t do their homework unless screen time is only allowed to start after homework is complete. Every child is motivated in a different way. If you try motivate a child using a method that is not suitable then chances are you will not be as successful as you could be. Whenever you find something that motivates him make a mental note (or if your memory is as bad as mine then write it down) and use this in the future.
Set up a comfortable place to do homework with no distractions. It could be in your child’s bedroom, the dining room or the kitchen. Whatever works for your child. One child might only be able to do homework alone in his room while another cannot sit on his own and will not get it done. Siblings might even need to do homework in different areas. Find whatever works best for each child and be consistent. Make sure that you have the necessary equipment and suitable lighting. Sometimes, setting up a special homework place can be all that your child needs to be motivated to sit there and do homework.
Don’t do your child’s homework or give answers to questions that she was supposed to answer. You can explain how to solve it, give clues, show her similar questions and examples or tell her how to find the answer but don’t just answer the question for her.