Motivating Children to do Their Homework

Some children are internally motivated to get their homework done. If you have one of these children, you are lucky! However, if your children would rather do anything but homework, they may need a little external motivation. According to Margit Crane from Gifted with ADD, your attention can provide the extra motivation they need to succeed.

Every kid enjoys a little special attention. You can help motivate your children when they are doing their homework by bringing in something to munch on while they are working like hummus and crackers, a fruit smoothie, carrot sticks or strawberries.

If your children struggle in an area, find a way to be their assistant but not their boss. For example, if your child has difficulty reading and comprehending, you might help by reading one paragraph and then having him read the next paragraph. If you are reviewing something he's written and see spelling errors, you could point out “I found three spelling errors. Can you spot them?”

If your child is struggling to get started or feels overwhelmed, help him break homework up into smaller chunks. Start with a small, easy piece and then build on the success. For example if your child needs to draw a picture and write a short story about it, ask your child what he’d like to start with – the picture or the story.

You want to provide guidance without doing the homework for them. The only way they will learn is when they do the work themselves. Some parents also find it helpful to hire a tutor for either general topics like math or special tests like PSAT tutoring.

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