Motivating a child to complete their homework is a concern for every parent. Getting your kid to sit and start the homework is not always easy. Every parent tries to make this mandatory requirement a fun activity for their kids but struggles to do so. However, homework is not all that bad and can even be fun for the kids. Some of the best primary schools in Singapore advocate that parents take an active interest in their kids’ homework to make the process successful.
It is quite possible to get your kids to love doing school work without the crying, threats, yelling, and screaming. When we say take an active interest, it does not translate into you doing it for them or sitting hunched over a desk for hours. Your participation is more supportive, and you need to focus on demonstrating organization and study skills, breaking down a tricky problem for them,
and just encouraging them to take a break.
Parents often wonder why their kids hate homework – the answer is that studying means less time to play. You may have picked the Singapore school for foreigners for your child to attend, but for them, it is their first encounter with a formal school experience. They go from playing all day to behaving a certain way and even coming home and doing some school work. This transition is challenging and reduces playtime for the child – from a very young age, kids tend to detest homework.
Intrinsic motivation is the ideal way to motivate your children to do their homework. It is all about being involved in an activity for satisfaction. Rather than an external award that awaits them, they enjoy the pleasure they get from performing the task.
How To Motivate your Child To complete their homework
Get to know their teachers
The first step is to know the teachers and get the hang of what they want. You can do this by attending parent-teacher conferences, sports-day, volunteering at school, and being part of various school events. You can meet the teachers and get guidance about how to be involved with your child’s homework.
Designate a homework-friendly area in your home
Ensure that your kids have a dedicated area to finish their homework. You can put up some motivational quotes and posters and keep their supplies, such as pencils, paper, scissors, glue, etc., within reach.
Make a schedule and help them plan
Set a study time and playtime based on your child’s preference. Some kids work better post-dinner, while some are more productive in the afternoon. On nights or days when a big assignment is due, help your child plan – one hour of homework, 15 minutes of break time, and then back to studying. This schedule makes them power through the time assigned for work while looking forward to the short break time to recuperate.
Limit any activities that may distract them
While working, no TV, phone calls, or loud music must be around. It would be helpful if you didn’t indulge in distracting activities during that time. (Sporadically, a phone call to a classmate to enquire about the assignment or clarify doubts can be allowed)
Ensure that your child actually does their work
Children learn best when they do things themselves. Often, we as parents feel it would be better if we do the easy homework for them – but we don’t do that. They won’t learn anything if they don’t think for themselves and make mistakes. You, as a parent, can make suggestions and answer doubts, but the doing and learning need to be done by the kids.
Be a monitor and a motivator
Ask your child about quizzes, tests, and assignments. Encourage them and appreciate their work. Check on their homework and be available to address their concerns. Praise their efforts and good results. If they got an A on their test, put the paper up on the refrigerator and flaunt their academic achievements to people they meet so they remain motivated to continue that streak.
Practice what you preach
You must set an example and be a good role model for your kids. Kids are more likely to follow your actions over your advice as they see you balance your life and make time for work and play. They can then aim to be like you.
Change your mindset to a learning mindset
Instead of having a working mindset, i.e., putting an end goal to school, focus on the learning aspect. Sure after school, getting into the best college, finding a great job, earning a handsome income, etc., is fantastic, but that is a working mindset. It makes homework and school all about end goals rather than enjoying them. It would be best if you focus on going to school for the right reason, such as learning, exploring new subjects, acquiring knowledge, and growing as a person.
Don’t Refer to Homework as a “Job” or don’t use ‘No homework’ as a reward
When you tell your kid that it is their job to do the homework, it becomes all about work and no fun. The child automatically will begin to resent it. When you say, ‘ No playing till you are done with your homework, ‘ you are essentially saying that homework is not fun and only the playtime is fun. You must tell them both are necessary, and they can decide their schedule as long as both activities are happening. It will give your child the freedom to pick their time to do homework, showing the child that you trust them. Giving your child autonomy over their homework schedule is probably one of the biggest motivators.
These motivational tips encourage your child to improve their school work. However, there may be a chance that your child continues to face troubles with their homework – don’t shy away from getting help. Please discuss the situation with your child’s teacher and understand their behavior in class. For all you know, your child may be facing trouble seeing the board and may require glasses. They could also have a learning problem or an attention disorder for which they may need to be evaluated. Discuss your child’s homework concerns with their teacher and find a solution.
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