How to Tame Distractions and Motivate Kids to do Homework

DKT Blogs/Knows How Apr 14,2016 Comments(0) Likes(3) Tips

How to Tame Distractions and Motivate Kids to do Homework

The 21st Century student is a lot different than we were when growing up. Imagine when you were a child - there were likely very few distractions to keep you from coming straight home from school (where typically two parents lived and, at least, one parent was home) and knocked out the school assignments before dinner. Today's parents can probably recall not enjoying homework but making sure to complete it, to grab an "A" or perhaps to avoid the ‘stink eye' or the infamous "wait until your father gets home" threat.


Nowadays, kids go to daycare or come home to a babysitter. Also, today's students are incredibly distracted by technological advances such as televisions, gaming and smartphones. As a single parent doing your best to provide, you may wonder what you can do with a child who is struggling to do homework. First, it's important to consider why a child isn't doing their homework. Although there could be any number of items, such as apathy towards the subject matter, lack of motivation or not understanding the work, there are ways to motivate them. Also, some children use homework as a sense of control over their parents, without even realizing they’re doing it.


1. Establish a Routine. If the after school or evening routine includes homework, there will be less argument. Kids work well with structure so much like setting a bedtime or nap routine; homework should be something that should be incorporated into the routine. Once they have completed the homework, they know they can play.


2. Make Kids Accountable. Homework is an excellent lesson for children to learn responsibility for a task that isn’t related to their parents or their home. It is important to allow them to have ownership of the responsibility of doing their homework. If they can’t complete the homework due to needing help, provide assistance. But if they just won’t do the work, they will face the consequences at school.


3. Provide the Tools. Our job as parents is to provide the space and materials for kids to do their homework, not do it for them. Provide a quiet workspace and the materials they will need for the assignment (pencils, calculators, artwork, etc.).


4. Set a Timer. Use a standard digital timer and set the allotted homework time that fits into your routine. Be sure to schedule in breaks so they have a few minutes to rest their minds, grab a drink or use the restroom, and then pick back up soon after break time. Continue until the homework is completed.


5. Pay it Forward. While some folks aren't keen on the idea of bribery, offering a monetary or activity reward for each good grade is an incredible motivator to help kids finish their homework. You can keep a chart where everyone can view it to score the progress.


The key to motivating your children to do homework starts with being consistent. You can listen to their homework woes (such as "it's boring" or "no one else has to do it") but remain firm with the boundaries. As you work to keep the distractions to a minimum, provide a quite workspace and give them tools to succeed, you're teaching them accountability and motivating them simultaneously.



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