Lillypeters asks:

how do you get kids to do there homework?

In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago



May 18, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

Homework to me is like having extra duties after a long and tiring day. In order to be motivated to do homework I always suggest the following:

1- Allow some down time after school. We all need to decompress after a busy day.
2- Set realistic goals as to how much can be done at a single time.  
3- Be sure that your child has been given a snack that is nutritious and won't lead to the sugar "crash".  
4- If the homework is overwhelming let the teachers know! Feedback that is constructive is often welcomed by teachers.

Good luck!

Louise Sattler, NCSP

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Additional Answers (1)

UrsulaRagazi writes:
While homework is viewed as a chore by many children, it is nonetheless a valuable tool for reinforcing important information from school in the minds of young ones. If you're having trouble convincing your school-age child of this fact, here's some ideas:

It is important that a child knows that their parents view homework as important. The knowledge that their parents care gives a child the impetus to complete homework assignments. As parents, there is much that can be done to demonstrate the value you place on homework and education.

It is often said that humans are "creatures of habit". Help your child to develop a routine by setting a regular time and place in the house to do their homework. This will be different for each family and your child's specific needs. One child may be more focused and productive right after school, while another may need an hour or two to burn off excess energy before they can sit down again to concentrate. If extra-curricular activities make it difficult to use the same time every single day, use your discretion to find the balance between flexibility and routine. Perhaps put the homework schedule in writing, placing it somewhere that is frequently visible.

When selecting a place to do homework, try to provide adequate lighting for your child. A quiet place that is free of distractions will also go a long ways towards productivity. Do your best to enforce the fact that this place is for doing homework and concentrating, not for talking on the phone and listening to music. Try to make things comfortable for your child, but not so comfortable that the temptation for napping is present. Keep all the supplies your child will need for doing homework nearby: paper, extra pens and pencils, a dictionary, encyclopedias, and a pencil sharpener.

In this burgeoning technology age it is common practice for students to use computers to type out their assignments. Speak with your child's teacher to find out what their policy is on the use of computers to complete assignments. If your child is permitted computer usage during homework time, some occasional parental monitoring may be needed to ensure they aren't quietly talking, or "IM-ing" their friends or playing games rather than doing their studies.

Be a role model for your child by setting a good example. If your child sees you reading or doing work that requires writing it will help them appreciate the importance of these skills. Explain to them the importance that reading and writing plays in your job and encourage them to participate in activities that exercise their minds. A weekend trip to an aquarium or zoo can be both fun and educational. Show an interest in your child's work and be ready to lend them a hand without giving away the answers or doing their work for them. Attend any school events that you are able to keep yourself involved in your child's education.

Your child will be more likely to complete their homework if they know you will be checking up on them. The level of interaction and inspection needed is different for each child, so do your best to get a feel for their work habits. Speaking with your child's teacher to discern how long and what type of homework they have will also clue you in on what to expect from your child when it's homework time. It also may be helpful to provide the teacher with your phone number so that they can contact you in the event your child is missing assignments. If you error-check your child's homework, do your best to handle this responsibility in a loving, caring manner so that they do not come to associate homework time with discipline time.

While it may not always be easy to get your child to do hours of homework, with a little preparation, care, and involvement you can make homework into the productive painless task that is intended to be.
> 60 days ago

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