Homework Habits: Motivating Kids
November 26, 2019 | by amanda ryan
We all know that starting a new school year can make re-adjusting to school and homework difficult. But did you know that holiday breaks create the same struggle?
Just think about it, after a couple weeks’ worth of family time, relaxation, and holiday magic, it’s no wonder that kids need some time to adjust to their school routine again!
So, what do you do when you have to re-learn this routine?
Well, it’s actually easier than you think! With just a couple tips and tricks, you will have your kiddo back on track with their school work in no time!
Here are our tips and tricks for motivating those homework habits...
1. Try to Work Around Their Schedule
Trying to get your kiddo to do their homework can be a struggle because there are so many other things they would rather be doing. One way to alleviate this stress is to plan around their schedule so they aren’t missing out on the things that are most important to them.
For example, if your child has a TV show on a certain night at a certain time, it would be wise to plan around that. Or, if they want to play with their friends before it gets dark out, try to let them do their homework before bed.
Giving a child a say in when they get to do their homework motivates them because they are getting to control something. Kids love to be given tasks or responsibilities that make them feel independent, so why not practice that with homework time?
2. Offer an Incentive
I know, I know. There are a lot of mixed feelings about rewarding kids for things they need to do. Some parents feel like giving a reward will make the child expect something in return every time they accomplish something.
While this can be true for some kids, for many kids an incentive helps to create a pattern!
Plus, most kids aren’t just jumping for joy at the thought of homework. It’s boring, taking up their free time, and their brain is tired from learning all day. Can you blame them for resisting a bit?
This is why offering a reward for completing homework is so helpful. It motivates children to complete a task they don’t want to do so that they can earn something they want.
Many of us instantly think of rewards like junk food, toys, or money, but your reward doesn’t have to be material if you don’t want it to be. You can offer a trip to the trampoline park, a trip to the zoo, an extra hour of screen time, or any other privilege you deem appropriate.
- All homework for the week being completed means a trip to the children's museum
- All homework receiving above a B means a souvenir from the souvenir shop
- An early start on next week’s homework plus a high grade on this week’s homework means a trip to the children's museum, a gift from the souvenir shop, and lunch at their favorite restaurant on the way there/home.
This reward system can be done any way you want, and your rewards can be as big or small as you like. However, you will find their motivation will skyrocket if something they want is at stake.
3. Give Kids a Break After School
This is one of the most important tips for homework motivation. The reason being, kids use their brains all day at school, so the last thing they want to do when they get home is start using it again.
Kids often need a brain break when they get home, or just some way to mindlessly do something they enjoy.
Let your kiddo take that hour after school to have a snack, watch their favorite show, or go play outside for a little while. Once they have had time to unwind, getting back into their work will be a little bit easier.
While getting back into the school routine can take a bit of time and patience, with the right tricks your kiddo will be rocking out their homework like a champ!
Amanda Ryan is a freelance writer specializing in child and family content. Within this content area she has about 5 years of experience. Her love for learning about family life led to earning a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from Western Michigan University. She loves to research and write about the things that can help make parenting a little easier!