After a long school day, the last thing children sometimes want to do is their homework. So how can we do homework while also making it fun? There are times when children come home from school with bursts of energy without that motivation to sit down and complete their homework. Have you ever heard of intrinsic motivation? Intrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity that provides enjoyment/rewards. For a child to enjoy homework, a child must also enjoy learning; I will be giving you some strategies for doing that!
The first step to motivate children is to change their mindset. How can we get children into this “working/learning” mindset? First and foremost, it may be ideal not to refer to homework as a job. The word “job” often implies that homework will be all work and no fun. Sometimes we might find ourselves as parents saying, “you cannot play until you finish your homework.” However, we also imply that homework cannot be enjoyable by saying this.
Depending on children’s age and developmental level, creating a homework routine and a visual schedule could be beneficial. According to an article written by Peg Dawson on “How to make homework go more smoothly,” the establishment of daily routines helps make homework go more smoothly. This “sense of order” can be applied to children later in life.
Creating a Homework Zone
Going back to getting children into that learning mindset, let’s create a homework zone with limited distractions. Preferably let children choose where they want to do their homework or give them two or three options to choose. We can also give children the power to choose what they would like to use in their homework zone—for example, certain supplies, pencils, pens, colored markers, etc.
After establishing a homework routine and homework zone, you may wonder, how can parents become involved and interested in their homework? As parents, we want to be involved in helping our children, but we also want children to take and feel responsible for their own learning. Research suggests that parents should help their children see homework as an opportunity to learn rather than perform. Parents can help children complete their homework by incorporating praise and encouragement to their children. Praising and encouragement also help create a positive learning environment for children at home
Creating a Strategy
Creating strategies for homework sessions is also essential with the routine, homework zone, and involvement. Some days, children may have lengthier assignments than others. With considering that information, which assignment do they want to complete first? Strategizing, in this case, also instills the development of organizational skills. Parents should also keep in touch with children’s teachers throughout the school year to be aware of progress or areas where they may be struggling. While keeping in touch with teachers, we also want to encourage children to reach out to teachers if they need extra help or other resources.
Overall, the strategies and opportunities we discussed ensure that homework time is productive yet successful. Here is a brochure with homework tips for parents. It includes different types of homework, how parents can help with homework, and general tips for parents, as mentioned before. I hope these strategies are helpful and guide your children to make homework time more enjoyable for both you and your children.