By Emily Graham, Mighty Moms guest blogger ~ Originally Published August 1st 2018.
Homework isn’t fun, but it teaches children healthy study habits that will support their educational careers through college. If you want your kids to do their homework, it’s important to be supportive and not force them into it. The more you try and control kids and their behavior, the more resistance you will get. Instead, focus on the things that bring out the best in your child and put your effort into bringing that out. It’s also important to be open and available to provide the support and help your child needs when struggling with their work.
Use the following tactics as ways to encourage your kids to do their homework.
Fit Study Time Into Their Schedule
Kids tend to thrive when they have a set routine. Getting up at the same time, going to school, going home and getting ready for bed… the regimen helps to ease anxiety as it eliminates the scariness of the unknown. Working study time into that schedule will make doing homework a natural part of their day. Try scheduling it after a healthy after-school snack when their minds are still sharp from their day in class. This also gets homework done right away so they can spend the rest of their evening relaxing so they can get a good night’s rest to prepare for the next day.
Create a Study Space
If your child doesn’t already have a desk, start looking at thrift stores or garage sales to find one. You can then help your child refurbish it with a fresh coat of paint and set it up in a quiet place in the house where they can study. Having a designated study space helps put your child in the right frame of mind to complete homework. Let your child personalize what they can, but keep the area as simple as possible. Too many knickknacks, books and other items can just distract a child’s focus.
Lead By Example
If you want your children to do something, you have to show them that you are willing to do it as well. When you block out study time in your child’s schedule, take that time to do your own homework. You may not be in school, but we all have our interests and passions. Pick up a book on a new subject and spend your study time expanding your mind while setting a positive example for your child.
Reward with Experiences
When all else fails, you can always bribe your kid to do his homework. However, you don’t want your kid to grow up associating material possessions with success. A better option is to reward your child with fun activities that pique their curiosity and expand their worldview. You can use fun outdoor activities as simple as bird watching, camping, and going on a “treasure hunt” where you use your sleuthing skills to find everyday objects. You can even facilitate more learning by sneaking education in outdoor playtime.
Get Help When Needed
If you aren’t a trained teacher yourself, you aren’t going to be the best homework help available for your child, no matter how well you know the subject. Tutors are patient and educated in the best ways to communicate information to children. Getting this help when your child needs it teaches them that it is OK not to know something as long as you are willing to work toward learning.
When kids grow up doing homework as a natural part of their schedule, they develop a healthy work ethic that supports them throughout their life. Set a time for studying and participate as well to set a good example. Curate a special space for studying to help get your child in the right mindset. If you want to reward them for a good job, use experiences instead of objects. Finally, be willing to get help and hire a tutor to help your child with homework. They are trained to teach and can help your child truly grasp difficult concepts.