Homework is often the centre of much nagging, arguments and disruption in any household. Many children dislike or even hate homework! However, while your child may not like the idea of completing homework, studying outside of school hours is required.
The benefits of homework or study time extend beyond the obvious of cementing what has been learned in the classroom. While this is one huge benefit of homework (following the principle that practice makes perfect!), another key benefit of homework is that it provides children with responsibility and teaches them the foundations for a strong work ethic from a young age. As a parent, you can probably see and understand the various benefits attached to your child completing their homework, but you also might be tired of “forcing” it upon a disgruntled and defiant attitude. Here are our tips for homework motivation!
1. Gain an understanding of how much homework is expected
Speak to your child’s teacher and/or tutor and find out how much homework is expected on a weekly or daily basis. It is important that you first have an understanding of your child’s homework expectations so you help manage these each week.
2. Set up a routine
Children love routines; it gives them confidence and expectation. There are a few keys to developing a good routine:
Keep it simple and predictable. Try to have “study time” at the same time each day.
Ask your child for involvement in creating the weekly schedule. When children feel involved in the process, they are more likely to stick to it.
Always ensure other extra-curricular activities are accounted for, and that your schedule also allows for ample “me time” for your child.
3. Ensure the study area is well-prepared
Make sure you provide your child with a good area to study in. The area should be well-lit, free from distractions (we’ll expand on this later) and have all the stationery and other needs required for your child to complete their work.
4. Don’t Teach, Just Support
Don’t get into the habit of sitting down and teaching each study session. The idea of homework is for your child to cement what they have already learned; the work they are completing should therefore have already been taught. Having to work through homework on their own teaches responsibility and independence. In saying this, don’t ignore them either! Here are some phrases you can use if your child asks for help:
“What do you think the answer is?”
“Talk me through how you got to where you are.”
“Can you give me an example of what that word means?”
“How do you think you could work this out?”
Try to use open-ended questions to ask your child to provide their knowledge and then build from there if they get stuck.
Checking their homework after each session is a great way to review how much they’re getting done (and ensuring they’re doing it!).
5. Keep an open communication with the teacher and/or tutor
Encourage and continue open communications with your child’s teacher and tutor. Make sure you know and understand where your child is at academically, whether they need further assistance in any area, and how they are coping in general with school and their school work.
6. Remove Distractions during study time
Its important that you give your child the best possible study environment – and this means removing distractions. A big one to remember is the TV. During study time, keep the TV off – and this means for you too! During your child’s scheduled “study time”, create time to do your chores – dishes, laundry, work etc. Schedule time to complete tasks that ensure the TV remains off.
7. Avoid Criticism, but praise efforts and independence
Never criticize your child for not understanding or not getting enough done (particularly if they are trying). The best reinforcement is always positive. Learn to recognise and reward effort. If you’ve been having trouble getting your child to study, and they come home and study without being asked, reward their independence. Rewards and recognition don’t have to be financial or presents either. We’ll touch on ways to recognise and reward children in another blog, however think about telling them or showing them you’re proud.
8. Teach time management
Particularly as your child moves into the higher year levels, they will have more homework, more subjects and multiple deadlines to meet. Try to minimise the stress involved at these points by teaching your child how to manage their time. For example, help them prioritize their workload by using a planner or schedule. Teaching this during school years will benefit them in their university, future studies and employment.
We hope these tips assist giving parents with even the most defiant children some ideas to try!
If you would like more information about enrolling your child into additional Maths or English tuition, speak to Lynn’s Learning today. We cater for children from Kinder to Year 10 of all ability levels, and have a tailored approach to ensure each individual’s needs are addressed.