Getting your child to do their homework can be a struggle, especially in their teenage years. Once they are out of school, they get a sense of freedom. They want to go out with friends, go on their video games or spend time chatting with mates on the phone. However, as a parent, you understand that their homework is essential and know they will get into trouble if they don’t do it. It’s not long before homework starts to feel like a chore for all involved. But it doesn’t have to be. Today, we’re sharing our tips on how to get your child to do their homework in a way that will keep everyone happy.
Help Your Child Enjoy Homework
As a young child, learning through play is encouraged; it helps nurture imagination and gives your child a sense of adventure. Things like problem-solving, working with others and sharing are learned through playtime. Learning through song, rhyme, or using acronyms has been proven as a fantastic way of helping to remember facts. For example, by remembering “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain”, you can recall the colours in the rainbow and their order. These are techniques used for key stage 1 age children frequently but are often forgotten when your children are in secondary school. However, they can still work.
What’s more, they can provide a fun way of learning, so don’t be afraid to encourage your child to come up with songs, rhymes or acronyms to help! Also, if you think it can help, put music on in the background while your child is working. Help them know that it doesn’t have to be a stuffy, silent activity where they are forced to think. As long as their work is being done, they can still enjoy themselves.
Create a Structure Around Homework
Creating a structure early on is a great idea. Make a dedicated “homework time” and ensure that it accounts for regular breaks. You could also reward your child if they finish all the tasks in less time than set aside. Make sure your child knows the time set out, when it happens and what happens if they don’t get all their work done, and make sure they are aware of when breaks will happen and what that break can involve.
For example, it’s probably a bad idea to let them have a ten-minute break in which they go and turn the TV on to watch a thirty-minute TV show. If you haven’t made it clear that they only get a ten-minute break, arguments could arise when they realise they don’t get to finish their TV show.
Electronics are very distracting and aren’t recommended during the break, but grabbing snacks and other screen-free fun will be fine. Having a regular “spot” or room for homework is a good idea too, and make this close by. Sending a child to their room to get their homework done makes it seem like a solitary job that they have to do alone, making them feel like they can’t ask for help and that you won’t join in. If the only space available is in their room, or a public space in the house is too distracting due to siblings, then make sure you check on them regularly and ask that they leave the door open.
Join In and Learn Together
Joining in is a great way to get your child to do their work faster. Knowing that you are encouraging them and wanting to learn about what they are learning will help motivate them so much. Kids often feel pride in teaching adults a thing or two, so let them have that pride. Ask them about what they have learnt in class, get them to explain it to you and then work on their homework for it together. Don’t act dumb. Just be interested, as it can help with their want to get the work done.
Don’t Make Homework Sound like a Job, Nag or Bribe Your Child
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have a job to do when you don’t want to do it. It instantly gets your back up, as does someone nagging at you constantly to do something you don’t want to do. If you are constantly nagging your child about their GCSE coursework or SAT preparation, you are setting them up to fail. Instead, casually remind them that it needs doing and now is the scheduled homework time, or offer them the chance to move the schedule a little if time allows. Remind them that both homework and play are possible, but only if both get done. And remind them that sometimes a task doesn’t take as long as expected. Putting homework off for playtime is fine, but playtime will have to come to a scheduled finish to get the work done, whereas if they get the task done first and fast, they can spend longer on the reward. Bribes are also a terrible idea. You can reward your child once they have completed their homework should you feel the need. But giving them something before it, to make them do it, is a short term strategy and will eventually burn out.
Let Your Child Face the Consequences
So you have sat with your child, asked them to teach you, are rewarding them when they have done an excellent job, set out a regular schedule, and yet there is still a struggle every once in a while to get them to do their homework. That’s ok. It’s going to happen. People have bad days, and there will be some days when, no matter what, your child simply does not want to play ball. Explain to them the consequences of not doing their homework. Let them know what may happen at school, which will be easier if you know their school’s homework policy. Then let them decide for themselves what they are going to do. Letting them face those consequences can help them understand why they need to do their homework. They may be let off on the odd occasion, but it’s more than likely they will have some consequences eventually. Consequences from their school sometimes mean missing break times, staying late, or even being given extra assignments. React accordingly and remind your child of these consequences next time an argument arises. Of course, when it comes to GCSE age, missing coursework deadlines can mean failing, resulting in resits and, in some cases, an additional year spent working on the same assignments again. Make your children aware of that, and if they are struggling with their projects or revision and confide that they need more help, especially for the key curriculum areas, you can look into options like online maths or English tuition to help.
Believe in Your Child and Be a Good Role Model
Our final tip for helping your child with their homework is to believe in them. Your child looks up to you and trusts you to make correct assumptions about things. If you don’t think they can do something or have a negative attitude towards something, they will witness that, reflecting their behaviour to match your opinion. By reminding them that they can do a task or offering support when they are stuck, they are more likely to positively approach their task. Also, make sure they can see you hard at work, not putting off challenging tasks you may have and picking up a book or learning in your spare time, as that can encourage them to do the same.
At Achieving Success, we have years of experience in making learning fun, and we want to show children across the country that it can be too. Our GCSE tuition in Birmingham has helped so many children achieve the grades they want to achieve and believe they can do anything. By believing in your child, you can do the same, and when they need a little extra help, we are just a phone call away. Get in touch with our friendly team today to discover more about how we can help you out.