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6 Musicians With Great Children’s Albums the Whole Family Will Enjoy

how to get your child to enjoy homework

It’s no surprise that when it comes to the world of popular music, the songs made specifically for children aren’t exactly the most…exciting. Well, at least by adults’ standards. After all, kids’ tunes are often repetitive and catchy by design. Thankfully, you can hit pause on the “Baby Shark” sing-alongs. To help you out, we’re taking a look at some incredible artists — Grammy winners, Hall of Famers and Billboard chart-toppers among them — who’re providing some relief from the monotony. Here are six musicians who’ve also made great children’s albums that are actually fun for the whole family.

Jewel burst onto the scene with her 1995 album Pieces of You , quickly becoming a mainstay of ‘90s indie folk rock. The artist’s playful spirit and expressive voice even propelled her to an anonymous victory on the 2021 season of The Masked Singer — and these traits are on full display in her debut children’s album, Lullaby , too. 

how to get your child to enjoy homework

While Jewel elevates classic children’s songs, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” she also offers 10 originals to keep the tracklist fresh. A feel-good album, Lullaby can soothe the little ones to sleep, but it also makes for easy-listening after a long day for the adults. 

Johnny Cash

While he’s hardly synonymous with children’s entertainment, the infamous “Man in Black” actually recorded one of the most highly regarded children’s albums of all time. Let’s just say that you haven’t lived until you hear the man who once sang that he “shot a man in Reno — just to watch him die” play a little tune known as “The Dinosaur Song”. 

how to get your child to enjoy homework

If we had dinosaurs now, would they get along with a horse or a cow? Some questions are better left unanswered. Still, kids and adults will delight in seeing the softer side of Johnny Cash. The tracklist also includes a playful duet with his longtime partner and fellow musician June Carter Cash; the song is about their son, John, and it brings a sense of really heartfelt and tender paternal love to the album. 

Jerry Garcia

The Grateful Dead frontman is certainly an odd choice when it comes to producing a children’s album, but that’s why the title, Not For Kids Only , is so apt. Hearing one of the all-time great rock frontmen sing jaunty tunes about the childhood’s happy times is an irreplaceable experience. 

how to get your child to enjoy homework

Co-created with David Grisman, this album is more down-home bluegrass than rock. For example, “Jenny Jenkins” is the kind of jam you would love to play on a ukulele while hanging by the fire on a camping trip. And, while you’re at it, Garcia’s version of “There Ain’t No Bugs On Me” might just be the hopeful refrain you need to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. 

Linda Ronstadt

In her impressive Dedicated to the One I Love (1996), Linda Ronstadt proves that you can make a song out of just about anything — especially when it comes to children’s albums. Rocking your little one to sleep with Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, for example, is a truly unique, fun and unexpected experience. 

how to get your child to enjoy homework

The children’s album won a Grammy in 1997 thanks to its loving reimaginings of everything from Braham to the Beatles. Plus, the songs all leverage Ronstadt’s throaty whisper, creating an almost ethereal sonic space to relax in. And she does this without sacrificing any of the soulful sass that made her recordings of “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved” such big hits.

Jack Johnson

While he may be best known for mellow rock offerings like “Flake” of “Better Together”, we can all be forgiven if the mention of the name “Jack Johnson” makes Curious George cross our minds. The 2006 film may not have been a box office smash, but Johnson’s easy-listening soundtrack took the top spot on the Billboard charts for a reason. Even among children’s albums, it stands out.

how to get your child to enjoy homework

His rendition of “Upside Down” was an instant classic, but his entire Curious Geroge soundtrack — “Banana Pancakes” included — is a unique offering that both kids and adults can groove to on a warm summer day. Honestly, once the album ends, you won’t want the feeling it conjures to go away.

While parents may know Lisa Loeb best for her sweet-meets-desperate rendition of “Stay (I Miss You)”, she also produced an impressive children’s album shortly after becoming a mother herself. In Lullaby Girl , Loeb brings that earnest quality she possesses to each track. 

how to get your child to enjoy homework

Sprinkled with silly (but fun) offerings — like “The Disappointing Pancake” — the album also manages to cover the hits; classics that Loeb grew up with, like “Be My Little Baby” and “Dream a Little Dream”, also feature on Lullaby Girl . While her goal was to make music that stimulates young minds, the album’s warmth is impossible to resist no matter your age.


how to get your child to enjoy homework

Parenting For Brain

How To Motivate Child To Do Homework (7 Practical Tips)

By: Author Pamela Li Pamela Li is an author, Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Parenting For Brain. Her educational background is in Electrical Engineering (MS, Stanford University) and Business Management (MBA, Harvard University). Learn more

Posted on Last updated: Jan 31, 2023 Evidence Based

“How to motivate a child to do homework” is on almost every parent’s mind right now. Getting kids to do homework is not always painful. In fact, it can be outright fun!

In this article, I will share the secret on motivating your child to not only do homework but also love homework. Yes, you read it right. It is possible to love doing school work. No yelling, screaming, threatening or crying required.

Why Do Kids Hate Homework

Let’s start with kindergarteners.

For many children, kindergarten is their first formal experience in school.

Kindergarten has changed a lot over the last decade.

Once a place for socialization and play, kindergartens now emphasize the importance of learning to read, to count, to sit still and to listen to the teachers.

Going from playing all day at home to behaving or sitting still in a structured environment for hours at a time is a tough transition.

To add to that, many kindergartens also assign homework to these little children, further reducing their available play time.

It’s no wonder that some kindergarteners are not motivated to do homework.

Woman happily watches girl do homework. She gets 4 year old to do kids homework.

Homework Motivation

Remember when your child was still a toddler, he/she would get into anything and everything?

They were curious and they were eager to learn about everything around them.

They were passionate learners .

Toddler crawl on the floor happily. He is curious and explores on his own. toddler homework is not hard to motivate. how to get your child to do homework without a fight

Children naturally love learning, if we provide the right environment and motivate them appropriately.

Here’s the problem…

When you hear the word “motivate”, what do you think of it?

If you’re thinking about toys, money, iPad time, points, stickers, etc., you’re not alone.

Rewards (and sometimes punishments) are many parents’ go-to motivators.

Parents love them because they work almost instantly.

You present the prize and the child complies to get it. Problem solved.

Simple and effective.

But very soon, you will notice some unintended results.

Here is an example.

Some years ago, after a lecture, Professor Mark Lepper was approached by a couple who told him about a system of rewards they had set up for their son, which had produced much improved behavior at the dinner table. “He sits up straight and eats his peas and the Brussels sprouts and he is really very well behaved,” they reported. Until, that is, the first time the family dined at a nice restaurant. The child looked around, picked up a crystal glass from the table and asked, “How many points not to drop this?” A fine example, says Dr. Lepper, of the detrimental effects of over-reliance on rewards to shape children’s behavior. Mark Lepper: Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation and the Process of Learning By Christine VanDeVelde Luskin, Bing Nursery School at Stanford University

This example is far from rare.

In fact, it is very common when a child is motivated purely by an external reward.

Once the reward is removed, the child will no longer be interested in continuing the behavior.

What’s the right way to motivate our children?

The answer is intrinsic motivation .

Intrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for its pure enjoyment.

This enjoyment comes from within an individual and is a psychological satisfaction derived from performing the task, not from an extrinsic outcome.

In other words, to get your kid to do homework, first help them enjoy doing it .

It is not as crazy as it sounds.

It’s unfortunate that homework is called “work”.

We like to separate work from play.

So naturally, we feel that homework is drudgery.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Homework is a tool for children to learn and get familiar with the knowledge taught in class.

To enjoy homework, the child has to enjoy learning .

A group of girls wearing protective gears watch man demonstrate an experiment in the lab. Curiosity motivate kids to do homework by motivating them to learn. 5 year old homework should not be a chore, but a great way to practice.

How To Motivate a Child To Do Homework

To motivate kids , we first change our mindset, from a working mindset to a learning mindset .

The goal of going to school is not about getting into college, finding a good job, earning a stable income, etc.

Of course, all of those are wonderful, but that’s a working mindset – you’re doing all that work for reasons other than enjoying the learning itself.

Going to school is about learning , acquiring knowledge, exploring new subjects and growing as a person.

In the US, the average expected years of schooling is 16.7 years ​1​ .

If a child doesn’t like school, that will be 16.7 years of misery.

You don’t want that for your child.

But here’s the good news.

If you can intervene early, like in kindergarten or even before kindergarten, your child will be getting off to a good start.

So, convince yourself to change from the working mindset to the learning mindset.

It sounds abstract, but here are 7 tangible steps for moving toward that goal.

1. Stop referring to kid doing homework as your child’s “job”

When you call it a “job”, you are implying that it will be all work and no fun.

Doing that is setting up a child to feel bad even when it’s not.

2. Don’t tell your child, “you cannot play until you finish your homework”

Again, by putting homework in a category separate from play, you are saying that it cannot be enjoyable.

The importance of play cannot be overstated. So make it count ​2​ .

Tell your child that they can do both (of course, only healthy physical play like basketball or biking, but not watching iPad).

They can decide the order of doing them as long as they do both by the end of the day.

You’d be surprised – giving a child autonomy over their homework schedule is one of the biggest motivators.

3. Don’t use “no homework” as rewards

I once heard that some teachers would give students with good behavior “no homework tonight” as a reward.

I was horrified.

Homework is for practicing what we’ve learned in school.

It helps us understand and remember better.

It’s not a punishment or torture that you need a “break” to feel better.

Don’t give your child the impression that homework is something you want to get away from.

4. Do not nag, bribe or force

Do not nag and do not force your kid to do homework, whether through rewards or punishment.

“But then, how to make kids do homework?” parents wonder.

Don’t make your child do homework. Period.

Forcing or bribing will only backfire and reduce your child’s intrinsic motivation ​3​ .

The motivation to do homework needs to come from within the child themselves.

5. Let your child face the natural consequences

“But what to do when my child refuses to do homework?” many frustrated parents ask.

When your child refuses to do school work, let them… after you explain why doing homework is important for learning and what may happen in school if they don’t.

Walk them through the natural consequences for not doing homework – they won’t retain the information well and they will need to accept whatever natural consequences in school. They will have to explain to the teacher why the homework was not done and they may lose some recess time, etc (but first confirm that the school doesn’t use corporal or other types of cruel punishment).

Wait… What?!

You think I should let my child fail?

Well, not doing homework in lower grades is not the end of your child’s academic career.

Think about this, you cannot force or bribe your child through college.

Help them understand the purpose of learning and doing homework now .

You’re helping them make the right decision by letting them understand and face the natural consequences sooner rather than later.

6. Do homework with your child

Don’t tell your kid that homework is important, show them through your action.

Do the homework with them.

You are telling your child you value this so much that you are willing to take the time to do it together. Besides, parental involvement is associated with better school performance ​4​ .

Woman watches girl count her fingers. She motivates the girl to do math homework by making it fun. Kinder homework can be fun, too.

7. Make doing homework fun and positive

There are many ways to make homework for kids fun.

Let’s take a look at two methods I’ve used and the results.

You can try them or invent your own.

Method 1: Use doing homework as a “reward” (younger kids like kindergarteners)

Wait, you said that using rewards wasn’t good a moment ago.

Now you say, “use homework as a reward”?

Well, I said rewards were bad because you would be implying the activity you’re trying to motivate your child to do was not as good as the reward.

But here, I am using homework as a reward.

I am signaling to my child that doing homework is so good that she needs to “earn it”.

How to earn it?

You can try different things.

We used “If you behave, you can do homework with me. If you don’t behave, you can’t do homework.”

We started at preschool and it worked very well.

Parents who have tried this report good results in motivating their children to do homework, too.

But some of them have concerns…

Some parents are uncomfortable with this idea because it feels manipulative.

That’s because these parents do not believe in the idea that homework can be fun.

So they feel like they’re lying to the child.

But I genuinely like homework! (Yes, I’m officially a nerd)

So I have no problem helping my child learn to love homework like me.

If you are not convinced yourself, you may not want to try this method. Or if your child is older and already hates homework, it won’t work.

However, although I don’t agree with using manipulative measures in general, I don’t see this particular one harmful to children even if the parents do not like homework themselves.

Method 2: Turn doing homework into a game and a bonding activity

When my daughter was in preschool, I bought colorful homework books and we did them together.

Sometimes we took turns – she did one problem and I did the next and so on.

Sometimes we raced to see who would finish the page faster.

Sometimes I did them wrong intentionally so that my daughter could point out the wrong answers.

It was actually very empowering and satisfying for her to be able to catch Mom’s mistakes!

We celebrated when we both finished or got the right answers.

It was a lot of fun and my kid enjoyed doing that so much.

By the time she started kindergarten, she already loved homework.

In kindergarten, I couldn’t do her homework because, well, that’s her homework.

So I bought homework books that were similar to the ones she brought from school. Then I did problems alongside her as she did hers.

We still raced, celebrated, and had fun doing it.

The result?

At the beginning of her kindergarten year, my daughter was given two homework books to take home. The teacher would assign homework from the books every week. They were supposed to be used for the entire school year. But my kindergartener liked doing homework so much that she finished them all in one month! No yelling, screaming, threatening, or crying is required.

Also See: How to Motivate Older Kids to Do Homework Using Reverse Psychology

Final Word On Motivating Your Kid To Do Homework

Getting your kid to do homework is only the first step in building a good learning habit. Finishing homework or getting good grades is not the purpose of going to school. Instill the love of learning in your child early on and your child will benefit for life.

* All information on parentingforbrain.com is for educational purposes only. Parenting For Brain does not provide medical advice. If you suspect medical problems or need professional advice, please consult a physician. *

Home / Expert Articles / Child Behavior Problems / School & Homework

“My Child Refuses to Do Homework” — How to Stop the Nightly Struggle Over Schoolwork

By janet lehman, msw.

how to get your child to enjoy homework

For many parents, getting their kids to do their homework is a nightly struggle. Some kids refuse to do their homework. Others claim that they don’t have homework, but then the report card comes out, and you realize that their work was not being done.

So why is homework time so difficult? In my opinion, one of the major reasons is that it’s hard for kids to focus at home. Look at it this way: when your child is in school, they’re in a classroom where there aren’t a lot of distractions. The learning is structured and organized, and all the students are focusing on the same thing.

But when your child comes home, their brain clicks over to “free time” mode. In their mind, home is a place to relax, have a snack, listen to music, and play video games. Kids simply don’t view the home as the place to do schoolwork.

If the homework struggles you experience are part of a larger pattern of acting out behavior, then the child is resisting to get power over you. They intend to do what they want to do when they want to do it, and homework just becomes another battlefield. And, as on any other battlefield, parents can use tactics that succeed or tactics that fail.

Regardless of why your child won’t do their homework, know that fighting over it is a losing proposition for both of you. You will end up frustrated, angry, and exhausted, and your child will have found yet another way to push your buttons. And, even worse, they will wind up hating school and hating learning.

A major part of getting your child to do their homework lies in establishing a system so that your child comes to see that homework is just a regular part of home life. Once they accept that, you’ve already won half the battle. Accordingly, my first few tips are around setting up this system. If you get the system right, things tend to fall into place.

Put this system in place with your child at a time when things are calm and going well rather than during the heat of an argument. Tell your child that you’re going to try something different starting next week with homework that will make it go better for everyone. Then explain the system.

You’ll find that this system will make your life easier as a parent, will make you more effective as a parent, and will help your child to get the work done. And when your child gets their work done, they’re more likely to succeed, and nothing drives motivation more than success.

Structure the Evening for Homework

When your kids come home, there should be a structure and a schedule set up each night. I recommend that you write this up and post it on the refrigerator or in some central location in the house. Kids need to know that there is a time to eat, a time to do homework, and also that there is free time. And remember, free time starts after homework is done.

Homework time should be a quiet time in your whole house. Siblings shouldn’t be in the next room watching TV or playing video games. The whole idea is to eliminate distractions. The message to your child is, “You’re not going to do anything anyway, so you might as well do your homework.”

Even if your child doesn’t have homework some nights, homework time should still mean no phone and no electronics. Instead, your child can read a book or a magazine in their room or work on longer-term assignments. Consistently adhering to the homework time structure is important to instill the homework habit.

Start the Evening Homework Habit When Your Kids are Young

If your children are younger and they don’t get homework yet, set aside quiet time each evening where your child can read or do some type of learning. Doing so will help children understand that evening quiet and study time is a part of everyday home life, just like chores. This habit will pay off when the real homework begins.

Use a Public Place for Homework

For a lot of kids, sending them to their rooms to do their homework is a mistake. Many children need your presence to stay focused and disciplined. And they need to be away from the stuff in their rooms that can distract them.

You know your child best. If you think they’re not being productive in their room, then insist they work at the kitchen table or in some other room where you can monitor them and where there will be fewer distractions.

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If they do homework in their room, the door to the room should be open, and you should check in from time to time. No text messaging, no fooling around. Take the phone and laptop away and eliminate electronics from the room during study time. In short, you want to get rid of all the temptations and distractions.

Give Breaks During Homework Time

Many kids get tired halfway through homework time, and that’s when they start acting up. If your child is doing an hour of homework, have them take a 5-minute break every half-hour so that they can get up, have a snack, and stretch their legs. But don’t allow electronics during the break—electronics are just too distracting.

Monitor the break and ensure that your child gets back to work promptly.

Be sure to encourage your child when they’re discouraged. It’s okay to say things like:

“I know it’s a drag, but think of this—when you get your work done, the rest of the night is yours.”

“Look, if you do your work all week, you’ll have the whole weekend to do what you want.”

Show your child empathy—how many of us truly enjoyed homework every night? It’s work, pure and simple. But your child will be encouraged when they begin to have success with their work.

Help Your Child Get Started With Their Homework

Some kids have a hard time getting assignments started. They may be overwhelmed or unsure where to begin. Or the work may seem too difficult.

There’s a concept I explain in The Total Transformation® child behavior program called hurdle help . If you have a child who has a hard time getting started, spend the first five minutes with them to get them over the first couple of hurdles. Perhaps help them with the first math problem or make sure they understand the assignment.

For many kids who are slow starters, hurdle help is very effective. This doesn’t mean you are doing their homework for them—this is simply extra help designed to get them going on their own.

Help Your Child Manage Long-Term Assignments

If your child has a big, long-term project, then you want to work with them to estimate how much time it’s going to take. Then your child has to work within that time frame. So if your child has a science project, help them manage and structure their time. For instance, if the project is due in 30 days, ask them:

“How much time are you going to spend on it each night?”

They might say, “15 minutes a night,” and you hold them to that.

Don’t assume that your child knows how to manage their time effectively. As adults, we sometimes take for granted the habits we have spent a lifetime developing and forget that our kids are not there yet.

Make Sunday Night a School Night

The way that I structure the weekend is that Sunday night is a school night, not Friday. So if your child has homework for the weekend, and as long as they’re done all their work for the past week, they get Friday and Saturday night off and can do their homework on Sunday night.

If there’s a project or something big to do over the weekend, then work with your child to budget their time. They may have to put some time in on Saturday or Sunday during the day. But other than that, your child should have the weekend off too, just like adults do.

The Weekend Doesn’t Begin Until Overdue Work Is Done

If your child has overdue homework, their weekend shouldn’t begin until those assignments are done. In other words, Friday night is a homework night if their week’s work is not complete.

Believe me, this is a highly effective consequence for kids because it creates a great incentive to get their work done. Indeed, each minute they’re doing homework is a minute they could be hanging out with friends or playing video games.

If you can hold to this rule once and deal with the complaining, then next week the homework will be done.

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By the way, if they say they can’t do their homework because they didn’t bring their school books home, they should be grounded for the weekend. You can say:

“I don’t want to hear that you can’t do it because you don’t have your books. You’d better call around and find a friend who you can borrow them from. Otherwise, you’ll be staying in this weekend.”

Make Homework a Higher Priority Than Activities

Kids are involved in a lot of after school activities these days. I understand that. But my priority has always been “homework comes first.”

In my opinion, if the homework isn’t done on Monday, then your child shouldn’t go to football on Tuesday. It’s fine if he misses a practice or two. You can say:

“Here’s the deal. We’re not going to football today. You need to get your work done first.”

If your child says, “Well, if I miss a practice, I’m going to get thrown off the team,” You can say:

“Well, then make sure your work is complete. Otherwise, you’re not going to practice. That’s all there is to it.”

I personally don’t put football, soccer, or any other extracurricular activities above homework and home responsibilities. I don’t believe parents should be going from soccer to karate to basketball with their kids while homework and school responsibilities are being neglected.

Use Rewards for Schoolwork, Not Bribes

Most kids get personal satisfaction out of getting good grades and completing their work, and that’s what we’re aiming for. Nevertheless, it’s important to reinforce positive behavior, and that may mean offering an incentive for getting good grades. For instance, my son knew that he would get a certain reward for his performance if he got all B’s or above. The reward was an incentive to do well.

One of the shortcuts we take as parents is to bribe our kids rather than rewarding them for performance. It can be a subtle difference. A reward is something that is given after an achievement. A bribe is something you give your child after negotiating with them over something that is already a responsibility.

If you bribe your child to do their homework or to do anything else that is an expected responsibility, then your child will come to expect something extra just for behaving appropriately. Bribes undermine your parental authority as kids learn that they can get things from you by threatening bad behavior. Bribes put your child in charge of you.

The appropriate parental response to not meeting a responsibility is a consequence, not a bribe. A bribe says, “If you do your homework, I will extend your curfew by an hour.” In contrast, a consequence says, “If you don’t do your homework, you’re grounded until it’s finished.” Never bribe your kids to do what they’re expected to do.

Use Effective Consequences

When giving consequences, be sure they’re effective consequences. What makes an effective consequence? An effective consequence motivates your child to good behavior. They put you back in control and teach your child how to problem-solve, giving your child the skills needed to be successful.

An effective consequence looks like this:

“If you fall below a B average, then you can no longer study in your room and must study at the kitchen table until you get your average back to a B.”

For the child who prefers to study in their room, this is an effective consequence.

Another effective consequence would be the following:

“If you choose not to study during the scheduled time, you will lose your electronics for the night. Tomorrow, you’ll get another chance to use them.”

And the next day, your child gets to try again to earn the privilege of electronics. Short-term consequences like this are very effective. Just don’t take away this privilege for more than a day as your child will have no incentive to do better the next time.

For more on consequences, read the article on how to give effective consequences to your child .

Be Prepared to Let Your Child Fail

Failure should be an option, and sometimes you just have to let your child fail . Parents often do their kids a disservice when they shield them from the consequences of their actions. If your child chooses not to study enough and they get a failing grade, that’s the natural consequence for their behavior. And they should experience the discomfort that results from their behavior.

Let me be clear. If you interfere and try to get your child’s teacher to change their grade, your child will learn the wrong lesson. Your child will learn that if they screw up enough, Mom and Dad will take care of them. And they don’t learn their math or science or whatever it is they failed.

To be sure, failing is a hard lesson, but it’s the right lesson when your child fails. And it’s not the end of the world. In fact, for many kids, it’s what turns them around.

Don’t Fight with Your Child Over Homework

Don’t get sucked into arguments with your child about homework. Make it very clear that if they don’t do their homework, then the next part of their night does not begin. Keep discussions simple. Say to your child:

“Right now is homework time. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you can have free time.”

Say this in a supportive way with a smile on your face. Again, it’s important not to get sucked into fights with your child. Remember, you don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to. If your child refuses to do his or her work, then calmly give the consequence that you established for not doing homework.

Also, trying to convince your child that grades are important is a losing battle. You can’t make your child take school as seriously as you do. The truth is, they don’t typically think that way. To get your child to do homework, focus on their behavior, not their motivation. Rather than giving a lecture, just maintain the system that enables them to get their work done. Often, the motivation comes after the child has had a taste of success, and this system sets them up for that success.

Stay Calm When Helping Your Child With Their Homework

It’s important to be calm when helping your child with their homework. Don’t argue about the right answer for the math problem or the right way to do the geography quiz. If you get frustrated and start yelling and screaming at your child, this sets a negative tone and won’t help them get the work done. It’s better to walk away than it is to engage in an argument, even when you’re just trying to be helpful.

For couples, it may be that one of you is more patient and acceptable to your child. Let that person take on the homework monitoring responsibilities. And don’t take it personally if it isn’t you.

Remember, if you can’t stay calm when helping your child, or if you find that your help is making the situation worse, then it’s better not to help at all. Find someone else or talk to the teacher about how your child can get the help they need. And try not to blame your child for the frustration that you feel.

It’s Your Child’s Homework, Not Yours

Remember that your child is doing the homework as a school assignment. The teacher will ultimately be the judge of how good or bad, correct or incorrect the work is. You’re not responsible for the work itself; your job is to guide your child. You can always make suggestions, but ultimately it’s your child’s job to do their assignments. And it’s the teacher’s job to grade them.

Know the Teachers and the Assignments

Build good relationships with your child’s teachers. Meet with the teachers at the beginning of the school year and stay in touch as the year progresses. Your relationships with your child’s teachers will pay off if your child begins to have problems.

And if your child does have problems, then communicate with their teachers weekly. If they’re not handing in their work on time, ask the teachers to send you any assignments that they didn’t get done each week. Many schools have assignments available online, which is a big help for parents. Just don’t rely on your child to give you accurate information. Find out for yourself.

The bottom line is that you want to hold your child accountable for doing their work, and you can only do that if you know what the work is. If you keep yourself informed, then you won’t be surprised when report cards come out.

Work with your child on a system to keep track of assignments. I recommend an old-fashioned paper calendar simply because we already have too many distracting electronics in our lives—experiment and use what works best for your child.

Finally, try to see your child’s teachers as your allies. In my experience, most teachers are dedicated and caring, but I realize that this isn’t always the case. So, for your child’s sake, do your best to find a way to work with their teachers.

If You Think Your Child Might Have a Learning Disability

Kids are expected to do some difficult work, and your child may struggle. If your child is having an especially hard time, talk with their teacher. Ask if it’s typical for your child to be struggling in this area.

In some cases, the teacher may recommend testing to see if your child has a learning disability. While this can be hard to hear as a parent, it’s important to find out so that you can make the necessary adjustments.

If it turns out that your child does have a learning disability, then you want to get an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) set up with the school.

Most kids don’t enjoy homework, and for some, it will always be a struggle. Our children all have different strengths and abilities, and while some may never be excellent students, they might be great workers, talented artists, or thoughtful builders.

I have to admit that dealing with my son’s homework was one of my least favorite experiences as a parent. It was overwhelming at times. Often, I just wasn’t equipped to offer the help he needed.

Our son struggled with a learning disability, which made the work feel unending at times. My husband James was much better at helping him, so he took on this responsibility. But even with this division of labor, we had to make adjustments to our schedules, our lives, and our expectations to make sure our son did his homework as expected.

Life would be easier if all children were self-motivated students who came home, sat down, and dug into their homework without being asked. This is hardly the case, though. Therefore, you need to set up a system that is right for your child, and it’s going to be easier for some kids than for others.

We’re trying to raise our kids to be responsible and accountable for their homework. And we’re trying to avoid fighting with them over it every night. When I had parents in my office, I would take these concepts and show them how they could make it work for their families in their own homes. The families I worked with were able to turn the nightly homework struggle around successfully time and time again.

Related content: The Homework Battle: How to Get Children to Do Homework

About Janet Lehman, MSW

Janet Lehman, MSW, has worked with troubled children and teens for over 30 years. A veteran social worker, she specializes in child behavior issues — ranging from anger management and oppositional defiance to more serious criminal behavior in teens. She is co-creator of The Total Transformation® Program , The Complete Guide To Consequences™ , Getting Through To Your Child™ , and Two Parents One Plan™ .

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Hello, my grandson recently moved with me from another state. He is currently in 8th grade (but should be in 9th). He basically failed the last 2 years and was promoted. I would say he is at a 6th grade level. It's a daily fight with him to do his homework. He won't even try. I know a lot of this is because no one has ever made him do his homework before. I thought he would just have to get in a routine of doing it. He's been in school for a month now and its a fight every single day after school. I have lost all the patience I had. I am tired of being a broken record and being the "bad guy". I don't want to give up on him and send him back to his mom, where I know he will never graduate. I have made so many sacrifices to get him here, but I am literally at my wits end with this. I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I didn't think it was going to be this hard.

My rule is homework after school. If he comes home and does his homework after school, it was easier for him to complete. That lasted a week and a half. Now, he just sits there and does nothing. Does anyone have any suggestions? I couldn't live with myself if I sent him back and he became nothing but a drop out. I know I am not one to have patience, and I am trying but at the same time, I am almost over it. I don't like going to bed crying and knowing that he is crying too. I am open to all suggestions. Please and thank you.

how to get your child to enjoy homework

I'm so sorry you are facing these struggles with your grandson. We here from many caregivers in similar situations, so you're not alone in your frustration. We have several articles that offer helpful tips for managing these homework struggles, which can be found here: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/child-behavior-problems/school-homework/

We appreciate you reaching out and wish you all the best moving forward. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going.

Jessicar Thank you for this article and strategies. I echo many of the frustrations expressed by other parents here, including my opinion (as an educator) that homework should not exist. I agree that teachers and parents are in a struggle about which adult is responsible for supporting the child in getting More homework done. The best thing for my son was a free "homework club" in fourth and fifth grade where a teacher monitored completion of homework. He has nothing like this in middle school so far. Where I really disagree with the article is about extracurricular activities. Kids need physical activity through sports! They need enrichment beyond academics through the arts, theater, music. Many families send their children to religious, language, and/or cultural programs after school. If I sat in school all day, I'd want to move my body and interact with others too. The solution is not removing extracurricular activities that are healthy or motivating or valued. The solution is for schools to limit homework. Given that there is still homework as a reality--I'd like advice on when to have child do homework AFTER sports or extracurricular activity. When is the best time for homework if the goal is to go to bed on time (in my house in bed around 9 pm)? Between extracurricular and dinner--when the kid is tired? After dinner? My child is in 7th grade and I still can't figure it out. What do others do/think?

I found school to be extremely boring, as a teen. Looking back I realize that I hadn't found the work challenging enough. Personally, I struggled with this all through high school. I was completely disinterested in school, as a result.

I noticed that there wasn't a section addressing situations where children, who are motivated by challenges, do poorly as a result of boredom.

I enjoy reading many of the articles; even those which don't necessarily apply to my current situations with my child. One never knows what obstacles or challenges one may come across. Thank you

Here's what I know. Correcting our children when their behavior is displeasing is what most parents focus on. Without a lot of explanation I'm going to try to get you to change your focus. All children have 4 emotional needs:

1. A sense of belonging

2. A sense of personal power

3. To be heard and understood

4. Limits and boundaries

Rather than focus on your child's behavior, focus on meeting these needs. Meet the needs, change the behavior. There a 25 ways to meet these needs. One of the most effective is to spend regular one-on-one time with your child doing what your child wants to do. How do you spell love? T-I-M-E. It seems counter-intuitive, but just try it for a week. Do this for 1/2 hour every day for a week. See what happens.

Frustrated Confused Parent, I went through similar challenges with my son when he was in high school. As a grade school student his grades were always B and higher. The changes began when his mother and I separated; my son was 12yo. Prior to our separation I was the one who maintained, and enforced the habit of completing his assignments before extracurricular activities could be enjoyed. His mother never felt she had the patience or intelligence to assist him with his homework assignments and upon our separation she completely ignored his school work. Although he continued to follow the structure I had established through grade school, he soon began to realize that no one was showing interest any longer and, thus, began shirking school related responsibilities. My son and I were, and still are, close. I am certain that the separation likely had some affect on him, but it was more than that. He was reaching his teens and becoming more self-aware. Friends began to play a more integral and influential part in his life. Unfortunately my son's grades began slipping as he reached his early teens. For me, this was extremely frustrating since I was aware of how intelligent he was and of what he was capable. After many aggravating, lengthy, heated, and unyielding conversations with his mother about maintaining the structure established through grade school, it became clear she was incapable or simply unwilling. Essentially, he was on his own. Of course I would do whatever I could to help. For starters, I facilitated a transfer to a Charter School, realizing that he needed more individualized attention than that which a public school could provide. It seemed as though he was getting 'lost in the shuffle'.

Unfortunately the damage had already been done. After two years under his mother's lack of tutelage my son had developed some poor habits.

He struggled with maintaining good grades throughout his high school career. By 'maintaining good grades' I mean that he would take a grading of 45 in math and bring it to a 70 within three weeks of the end of a marking period. He ALWAYS passed, though. He would somehow get his grades to or even above passing by the end of the period. As I began to see this, I began to have more faith knowing that when the going got tough he would step up and take charge. It also indicated that he did well with what might perceive as an impossible goal. So, I started to have faith that he'd find his way.

He has since graduated, he has a good-paying job, and he is beginning school to become an electrician within the next month or so. In two weeks he moves into his own apartment, also. He's never done drugs, never drank alcohol, and never started smoking cigarettes. All of which I have done as a teen and well into my adult years. I am in recovery. My son is aware of my own struggles. Most importantly, I believe, is that he has a complete understanding that we all struggle in our own ways. Working through the difficulties, challenges, and obstacles are what makes us stronger and it's our compassion for others, and ourselves, which help us grow into decent adults.

I came to realize that the 'grades' he received in school had nothing to do with the amazing adult he's become; it was literally everything else.

NanaRound2 My 6 year old grandson has just taken 2 hours to write a list and write 3 sentences. He thinks if the words were shorter it wouldn't take so long. Already went through this with his dad. I celebrated more than he did when he graduated. Can't drag More another kid through school. Losing my mind and like the previous comment have tried EVERYTHING.

Yeah -been there, done that. Doesn't work. At least not for my child. I've read every *actual* parenting book out there ( You know, the books publishes by Harvard & Stanford professors who've been studying parenting and child psychology for the past 30 years?) ... and you're all missing something - because I've tried it all.

My kid DGAF. This was almost painful to read. "oh, yup - tried that one. That one too. Oh, hey - I've tried that as well."

This is so frustrating; tell me something I haven't already tried 50 times.

Psych Fan I'm with you my sophomore son DGAF . I tried so much stuff even set time stuff and he just doesn't go get his work out. He's 5'9 so I am 5'1 and I can't move him to do stuff . All he does is debate with me that More Grades really don't matter that he's like I'm just going to get D's because I'm not going to care to do better because I do not like school. He doesn't understand why I don't approve of D grades because I know he has better potential but he's like D grades I will pass and get my diploma .

The first thing on the list is to try and stay calm. While doing homework with my children I'm usually very calm. When I do get frustrated I'll leave the room for a moment, wash my face, and take a few deep breaths until I calm down. Or I'll make hot chocolate to help calm my nerves. It's not a perfect system, but what is?

Number two is to set clear expectations around homework time and responsibilities. We have a standard homework time at our house, with a timer and everything. If our kids meet the homework time goal they'll be rewarded later in the evening with family time. Each of our kids know their roles and responsibilities in the house whether the work gets done before dinner or not.

Number three is a relationship with the teachers, each of whom e-mail us, some two or three times a day. Contact with them has never been better. They're teachers are all pretty awesome too.

Number Four, play the parental role most useful to your child...I have three kids. One needs no help at all, one needs minor help and advisement, while the third requires constant supervision or their e-mail might 'accidentally' open up. This we've provided through double teaming. One parent works with them until the other gets home, then they switch while the other goes to make dinner.

Five, keep activities similar with all your kids. We all live on the same schedule, if one of them finishes homework early they get the reward of extra quiet reading time-my kids are ALL book worms.

Six, Set up a structured time and place for homework. Done. Homework table with a supplies basket right in the middle of the room. Big enough for all of them to work at and then some, it's an octagonal table which my husband built. I also always have their 'homework snacks' waiting for them when they get home, and I usually try to make it healthy-even if they don't realize it.

Seven, start early. My kids have been doing 'homework' with me since they were babies, and (as I pointed out to them yesterday) they loved it. We'd learn about cooking, dinosaurs, amphibians, insects, math, English, chemistry, even the periodic table came up. We'd do work pages every day and they'd love it.

Eight, hurdle help, works in area's like math, but not so much with history or English when the problems aren't as straight forward. But we do use this method where it applies.

Nine, choose the best person for the job. I'm best at English and my husband at math. When I get stuck on math I know who to go to, and I'll even study in my spare time to get better at it so I can be more useful in case he has to work late. That being said, we both devote a lot of our time to helping our kids with their homework.

Ten, show empathy and support. Done, not only can I relate to my kids, but I've pointed out that not getting their work done will make them feel bad bad enough, and that that's why we should work on getting it done together, so they have something to be proud of.

Use positive reinforcement and incentives. :) There was this one time I sat my son down at a table with a work book about 400 pages long. He was young, not even in school yet. Next to the book I placed a giant bag of M&Ms. I told him for every page he got done, he could have one m&m. About ten minutes later he finished the workbook and grinned up at me. When I found out he'd finished the book, I quickly checked it to see if it was done well, and then pushed the bag of M&M's towards him and told him he could just have it...Now they get rewarded in video games and computer time...

It seems that according to this article I'm doing everything right...So why is my child still struggling with homework/classwork? They've literally just refused to do it. Have seriously just sat in their chair without saying a word and stared at the table, or desk, or screen- as the majority of work is now done on computers...I'll sit with them, ask them if they need help, try to help them with problems. They will tell me the right answer to the questions being asked and then refuse to write it down. I feel like I've done everything I can as a parent to help them, but despite all my efforts, it isn't working. So...when all of these things fail, when a parent has done everything right, and there is nothing more they can do short of taking the pen or pencil into their own hands and doing it themselves, (but that would be cheating their child out of an education) what then should the parents do?

When our kids don't get their homework done before dinner, they're sent down the hall where it's quiet so they can finish it at the desk there, while the other kids have family time. They are told to come and get us if they really need help after that. But at this point it's like ostracizing our child for not doing homework.

I agree with most of what's on this page, and our family lifestyle reflects that, but I will disagree with one thing it said. It is our job to help our kids and be supportive of them yes, to nurture them and help them get the skills they need to take care of themselves and their home when they're older...but it is not our job to do the teachers work for them, they get paid for that. Some days it seems like that's what's expected of parents. Some even send home classwork if the kids don't finish it in class. Which means the child now has even more work to do on top of their homework. Though I understand that the teachers want the child to finish the lesson, and were the homework not a factor I probably wouldn't mind it as much. I don't even mind them sending home study guides to help kids before tests (Which is what homework was originally) but to send home overwhelming piles of work each night for parents to help kids with, (Each child with different homework so that parents need to bounce from history, to math to English) it's unreasonable. When teachers send home homework, they're dictating what the parents can do with the little time they have with their child. Which is wrong. We once had to cancel a trip to a science museum because our child had too much homework to finish and there was no way to make it in time and get their homework done. They could have had an amazing educational experience which would overall help them get excited about learning with new and fun tactile experiences, but their schedule (and therefore our schedule) was being dictated by the teacher while they weren't even in class. Of course I try not to talk bad about homework in front of my children, because that would make it even more difficult to get them to do it. But children NEED family time, they NEED to be kids. To be allowed to get away from their work and be themselves, to go outside and play with their friends, or even go out to dinner once in a while with their parents. Homework has made it difficult to grow a relationship with our children beyond the confines of what the teachers are dictating. It's violating in some ways and frustrating in others. It's grown into this monstrous thing which it was never meant to become, and the funny part about it is that most studies done on it show that schools who don't have homework have higher test scores and graduation rates. Not to mention better mental health rates. Studies also show, that after a child is taught something, they'll only really learn it after a good nights sleep, and that no amount of homework will change that. Sleep is what our bodies need to absorb important information we learn throughout the day, so staying up late with homework might even be harmful to a child's education...

Sorry I guess that turned into a bit of a rant...In the end I was hoping to find something useful in this article, something I hadn't tried that might work, but I've done it all, and will probably continue to do all of it in hopes that consistency might be the key...It's just that even after years of already doing All of this consistently, it's still not working. It's as if my child has made a conscious decision Not to work. He's not unintelligent, he understands it, he's even been tested and found to have an above average ability to learn. He just not doing it..So what now? What more can I do to actually inspire him to do the work?

Momof6kiddos Gonna have to agree. We do not need tips, tricks, and how-tos for getting our kids to fit traditional molds of sit-and-get schooling. Here's a scenario...homework is described as reinforcement and practice for concepts learned in the school day. Well if the kid has mastered the concept, homework is unnecessary. More If the kid has not mastered the concept then the homework becomes the parents job to re-teach the material. Either way it is fairly useless. Especially in elementary school where kids get one-size-fits-all worksheets. No wonder it's a battle! This whole website is about listening and empowering parents and treating kids like the small respected human beings that they are... Yet when it comes to homework the advice is more like "keep calm and carry on" without tackling the real issue of whether that tiny screaming human in front of you may have a legitimate gripe!!!!

JC Hi Barb, thank you for bringing this up! My son sounds a lot like you...and he really wants to get good grades and go to an Ivy League school. What could someone do to help an 8th grader in the moment of struggle, while making sure they don't get more More anxious from falling behind for the rest of the year?

Tb Hi Barb, I'm the parent of an 8th grader and I want to thank you for the comment you left here. You helped me look at the deeper issues and I really appreciate that. I'm going to approach the conversation with my son differently, thanks to you. Thank More you!

My 11 year old daughter, Alice, has always helped her 7 year old sister, Chole, with homework. But just recently Alice has been giving Chole the wrong answers. We have been trying to get her to give Chole the correct answers

but she always yells at us. She has a baby sister 2 months named Ray and ever since Ray was born she has been giving Chole wrong answers. I once overheard her and Kevin, my husband, talking about how she felt left out. She came and talked to me and said exactly what she had told Kevin. She also told me she has been getting bad grades and doesn't get her homework. Me and Alice talked and she said "All the cool New York girls get straight A's and ever since I started getting D's and F's they said I wasn't cool anymore." We started having her grandparents come over and she would yell, hit, scream, and talk back to them. She is a great student but she spends all of her time on her phone. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even at school she is on her phone. All I'm asking is that 1. How do I make her stop screaming, yelling, hitting, and back talking? 2. How do I make her feel cool and get A's again?and 3. How do I get her off her phone?

sounds like you have a number of concerns around your daughter’s behavior, and

it certainly can feel overwhelming. We would suggest https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/its-never-too-late-7-ways-to-start-parenting-more-effectively/ and focusing on just one or two of the most serious, to get

started. Behaviors like verbal or physical abuse would be of top priority,

while behaviors like https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-walk-away-from-a-fight-with-your-child-why-its-harder-than-you-think/ we would recommend ignoring, and not giving it any power or control.

Empowering Parents author Sara Bean offers some great insight into the reason

for poor child behavior in her article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/.It sounds like your daughter is struggling to

find more effective ways to solve the problems she is facing, and the result is

the acting out behavior. Keep in mind, you can’t make your daughter do anything, but what you can do is help her to

learn better tools to solve whatever problems may come her way. Best of luck to

you and your family as you continue to work on this.

Emma Reed Alice also swears at school and she swears to teachers. Please we have tried everything, even her sister at age 18. What have we done wrong?

Being away from loved ones when they are struggling can be

distressing. It may help to know that it’s not unusual to see changes in

behavior as kids move from the tweens into adolescence, as Janet Lehman

explains in the article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/adolescent-behavior-changes-is-your-child-embarrassed-by-you/. Normally responsible

kids can start to push back against meeting expectations and disrespect towards

parents and other authority figures can become quite common. The behavior you

describe isn’t OK; it is normal though. I can hear how much you want to help

your daughter and granddaughter

work through these challenges. If your daughter is open to it, you could share

some Empowering Parents articles with her, such as the one above and this one, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-childs-behavior-is-so-bad-where-do-i-begin-how-to-coach-your-child-forward/.

We appreciate you writing in. Best of luck to you and your family moving

forward. Take care.

mphyvr Thanks for all these "strategies", they might work for some parents, but quite simplistic and just plain old common sense for more defiant kids... Thanks anyways and hope this article helps many.

Psych Fan I'm a mom of a sophomore he's also a swearing boy and will have quite a tantrum even with consequences of take away all he does is sleep. He doesn't like school says school is a waste of time and that grades won't matter in his adulthood . He says More it over n over about how schooling won't help him in the future as I go it will help you do good on a ACT and SAT he is like getting good scores on those are only good if your going to college. He also is like jobs won't look at my grades . I tell him homework teaches him responsibility once a job sees your amount of effort in school your going to have a heck of time getting hired. I even ask him how is he going to succeed to work real well at a job when he doesn't work hard at school he goes I don't need to work hard at school but I will need to work hard at a job.

dcastillo68 If it was only this simple, but, in reality it is not.  Middle school syndrome is the worst.  Kids don't want to be labeled as nerds so they do everything to try to fail.  I went through that with my first born, and now again with my youngest.  It is More very frustrating when I was the total opposite when I was growing up.  I cared about my grades an I took it for granted thinking they will feel the same way.  Now seeing how they are happy with just getting by is really frustrating to me because I am such an over achiever.  They didn't even get an ounce of this.  Very very frustrating.  And I wish I have never invited video games to this household.  That is all they want to do.  I keep using this an incentive to bring them back on track, but as soon as I give them their games back, they are back to their old habits.  Sorry, but I can't wait until they are finished with school and hopefully moving out of state to hopefully a college career.  I may change my mind later, but at the moment, this is just how I feel.  It is very hard too when you don't get any help.  I find today's teacher to be lazy and pushing on more responsibility to the parents.  Who has time to do a full day's of work, only to do additional work at home?  okay, enough venting.

@frustrated single dad Diane Lewis Hi there - I have a son adopted out of foster care.  He is 6 1/2 and has been in 5 homes.  He is totally the same!  They learn this behavior and are incredibly manipulative.  They are so insanely smart.  I worry about exactly the same thing.  They turn on and off the behavior depending on who they are with and what they want.

We did Parent Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT) at the Mailman Center (Jackson Hospital Miami).  It made a huge difference in the short-term.  They basically taught us to be full-time behavioral therapists with my son.  The effects wore off after a few months as my son adapted and found ways to circumvent the consequences techniques taught to us.  He is like the Borg!  I am going back to get more ideas on how to adapt and change and stay one step ahead of my son.  The gals there are really smart!

So, that being said - we have to be Jean Luc Picard and constantly change and adapt and outsmart them - just like changing the phasers on a laser gun!  It is bloody hard work.  And, harder the older they get -

eg.  He drops like a dead weight - throws his book bag and will not get in the car to go to school - response - next morning I headed it off by calling out to the kids "LAST ONE IN THE CAR IS A ROTTEN EGG!"  This has worked for 2 days now.  

Wont do homework 2 nights ago - response - "ooh I like doing word puzzles - Im going to do them and win" - this worked one night but not the next - he just then just left me to do his work - so I have told his teacher that there will be no school party for Alex next week unless he gets his homework finished - we will see if this works.....

It is totally exhausting and you have to be on your A game all the time.  Im telling you this but - I have to tell myself this too.  We have to stay really fit (like cross fit) and work out like a marine.  We have to be very disciplined with ourselves - a healthy body is a healthy mind - we cannot let up at all.  We have to stay calm at all times (again self discipline).  

Im always looking for concrete reactions to situations with my son.  Like I said - the entire day goes on like this with everything except what he wants to do.  Wont get dressed in the morning - put out his clothes in dining room where there are no distractions or toys - tell him that if he gets dressed and ready for school quickly - he can spend the left over time on the trampoline.  That worked this morning.

STAY STRONG MY BROTHER IN ARMS!!!  If you can get into a PCIT program - do it.

Love to you - R

My child comes home and says he doesn't have homework, does something easy to make it look like he's doing his homework, or says he did it during free time in class.  How do you combat this without going to the school everyday?  Neither my husband nor I can do More this because of work, and the we asked the teacher's if it was possible to send us the assignments via email or let us come pick them up once a week with no cooperation.  He is a very smart kid and gets "A's' on the work he does, but he is failing all of his core classes because he won't do homework.

@atmywitsend  , my child is the same way.  I'm at my wits end.  I feel like I'm a failure as a parent because I thought I taught my smart kid to succeed - and instead she's lying to me.

Psych Fan NinaMays I'm with the same feelings as my son can be above a C student but he choose to go oh I rather just get F's on this work than to actually get at least a B or A on these many assignments.. I ask him why he chooses F's More in many assignments when he could get a grade to bring his grades up and me telling me he's not being his full potential as by making him not do his work how can I truly believe he's going to be successful and he's like I have big brains . Then I'm like why not show me by doing your school work he goes I don't need do that and I show you of my big brains by telling you school isn't important. Telling me I am brainwashed. He is a sophomore in high school.

FRUSTRATED PARENT NinaMays This is my reality too - "relationship" with teachers is difficult when they won't co-operate with homework expectations, or follow up email - the schools complain that kids are on the internet - yet its them providing wifi passwords - so kids are playing in class - lying about More homework - and since I'm not in the class, I have no idea until report cards surface.

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Top 10 Homework Tips

Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!

Here are some tips to guide the way:

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Share this on social, how to help your child get motivated in school.

Strategies you can use to help kids work up to their potential

Writer: Danielle Cohen

Clinical Experts: Laura Phillips, PsyD, ABPdN , Ken Schuster, PsyD

What You'll Learn

It’s common for kids to lack motivation in school. Sometimes, this happens because the child has ADHD, anxiety, social challenges, or a learning disability. But other times, kids without a diagnosable problem still have trouble living up to their potential in school. Here are a few ways that parents can encourage kids to put in more effort at school.

Start by showing kids that you care about their schoolwork. Check in with them about how classes are going. Let them know that you’re there if they need homework help. Ask what they’re learning and what they like (and don’t like) about the assignments. With older kids, be sure to give them space, too. If they sense that you’re pressuring them, they might end up feeling resentful and less motivated.

Using positive reinforcement helps. You don’t need to give kids big rewards, but even small ones like a high five or a few extra minutes of screen time can make a difference. It’s also important to praise effort, not results. For example, praise your child for finishing a tough assignment or taking a class that might be hard. Nobody gets top grades all the time, so make sure your child knows you don’t expect perfection.

You can also bring in reinforcements if schoolwork is becoming a source of conflict for you and your child. You could hire an older student at your child’s school or a nearby college to help monitor homework and ease stress on the family. Talking to your child’s teacher can also give you insight into their behavior and help you work as a team to encourage them.

Finally, be sure to keep tabs on your own feelings. If you’re getting very frustrated or angry about your child’s school performance, a therapist or support group can help.

If you have a child who is struggling in school and doesn’t seem to be motivated to make an effort, the first thing you want to do is explore whether there is some obstacle getting in his way. Learning issues , social challenges, attention or emotional problems can all cause kids to disengage academically.

But not all kids who are underperforming in school—clearly not living up to their potential—have a diagnosable problem . And there are a number of things parents can do to help motivate kids to try harder.

Get involved

As a parent, your presence in the academic life of your child is crucial to her commitment to work. Do homework with her, and let her know that you’re available to answer questions. Get in the habit of asking her about what she learned in school, and generally engage her academically. By demonstrating your interest in your child’s school life, you’re showing her school can be exciting and interesting. This is especially effective with young kids who tend to be excited about whatever you’re excited about. Teenagers can bristle if they feel you are asking too many questions, so make sure you are sharing the details of your day, too. A conversation is always better than an interrogation.

Likewise, it’s important to stay involved but give older kids a little more space. If you’re on top of your daughter all the time about homework, she may develop resistance and be less motivated to work—not to mention the strain it will put on your relationship.

Use reinforcement

Many parents are nervous about rewarding kids for good work , and it’s true that tangible rewards can turn into a slippery slope. But there are ways to use extrinsic motivation that will eventually be internalized by your kid. “Kids respond really well to social reinforcers like praises, hugs, high fives, and those kinds of things,” says Laura Phillips , PsyD, a neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute. “Then they start to achieve because it feels good for them.”

Ken Schuster , PsyD, a neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute encourages parents to use rewarding activities that would have probably occurred either way, but placing them after a set amount of time doing homework. He suggests treats that are easy to provide but that your child will enjoy, such as going for ice cream or sharing a candy bar. He also recommends breaking work up in chunks and using small breaks as rewards for getting through each chunk.

Reward effort rather than outcome

The message you want to send is that your respect hard work. Praising kids for following through when things get difficult, for making a sustained effort, for trying things they’re not sure they can do successfully, can all help teach them the pleasure of pushing themselves. Praise for good grades that come easily can make kids feel they shouldn’t have to exert themselves.

Help them see the big picture

For older kids who have developed an understanding of delayed gratification, sometimes simple reminders of their long-term goals can help push them. It can help many high school seniors who slack off after getting into college to remind them that they could lose their acceptance if their grades drop too much, or they might not be prepared for college courses. “Linking school up with their long-term goals can make the work feel more personally fulfilling,” explains Dr. Phillips.

Let them make mistakes

No one can get A’s on every test or perfect scores on every assignment. While kids need encouragement and it’s healthy to push them to try their best, know that setbacks are natural . Sometimes the only way kids learn how to properly prepare for school is by finding out what happens when they’re unprepared.

Get outside help

One way to take a little tension away from your relationship with your child is finding an older student (either at their school or a nearby college) to help him out with work. Most will charge pretty low rates, and the fact that they’re closer to your kid’s age may make it more likely he’ll listen to what they say.

“Homework was a source of conflict for us,” says Elizabeth, whose son Alex has ADHD . Elizabeth hired a few Barnard students to help Alex do his homework on certain nights, she recalls. “He behaved a lot better with them, and it was money well spent for me because I wasn’t fighting and I wasn’t stressed out.”

Make the teacher your ally

Another one of the most important things you can do for your child is to work with his teacher. The teacher might have additional insight about how to motivate your child, or what he might be struggling with. Likewise you can share any strategies or information that you have.

When her son was in lower school and only had one teacher, Elizabeth would call his teacher before the first day, introducing herself and alerting the teacher that her son had ADHD and that he found it hard to focus. She would give the teacher little tips that she had found were useful with Alex: Writing multi-step directions on the board, tapping him on the shoulder while walking past to make sure he was paying attention, and other small tweaks that would be useful to any young child but are especially essential to one with ADHD.

“Make sure that both school and home are of one accord,” stresses Kristin Carothers, PhD, a clinical psychologist. Dr. Carothers often sets up a system she calls the daily report card. With this system, the child gets points from his teacher for things like completing work and following directions the first time he gets them. Then he brings those points home, where his parents give him small rewards, such as extra time on the iPad or playing a game together.

Get support for yourself

It can be just as frustrating to watch your child withdraw from school as it can be difficult for the kid himself to focus. Elizabeth says that she often feels judged as a parent for having a son who struggles so much in school.

Some schools have support groups for parents of kids who are less motivated, and if your child’s school doesn’t, Elizabeth encourages setting one up. “It’s very comforting to hear that you’re not alone,” she says. “It’s also helpful to hear people who have gone ahead of you talk about how to navigate the school’s system, find a therapist, and talk to teachers.”

“If you’re feeling yourself getting really angry or frustrated with your kids, take a step back,” Dr. Carothers recommends. “Put things into context.”

It’s also important to keep your goals in perspective: Your child may not become a star student. Make sure to focus on the effort she puts in and commitment she shows instead of the outcome. If you expect perfect achievement from a child who struggles in school, you’ll drive yourself crazy.

“I’m not trying to get my child to be someone he’s not,” Elizabeth says about her efforts to help her son. “I just want him to reach his potential.”

Frequently Asked Questions

You can motivate your child to do homework by letting them know you’re available to answer any questions they might have and that you see how hard they’re working. You can also reward them with small treats, like going out for ice cream, after they finish a certain amount of homework.

To motivate a child to do well in school, use positive reinforcement such as hugs and high fives, reward their effort rather than specific outcomes, and help them make the connection between current effort and achieving long-term goals such as getting into college.

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How to Get Your Kids to Do Their Homework

Last Updated: January 8, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Klare Heston, LCSW and by wikiHow staff writer, Sophia Latorre . Klare Heston is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker based in Cleveland, Ohio. With experience in academic counseling and clinical supervision, Klare received her Master of Social Work from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. She also holds a 2-Year Post-Graduate Certificate from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, as well as certification in Family Therapy, Supervision, Mediation, and Trauma Recovery and Treatment (EMDR). There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 464,172 times.

Parents around the world would love the magic formula to encourage kids to do their homework. Alas, it's not as simple as waving a wand, but there are some methods for encouraging your kids to develop and stick to a regular homework routine. For some parents, effective encouragement will also be about changing your own approach to homework enforcement. Don't worry, it's not hard, it's just about taking a moment to work it through. Create a homework space and schedule, establish clear expectations, rewards, and consequences, and approach homework positively.

Creating a Homework Space and Schedule

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Establishing Expectations, Rewards, and Consequences

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Approaching Homework Positively

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Altering Your Own Involvement

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5 ways to end the homework battle for good

By Alison Masemann

5 ways to end the homework battle for good

Photo: @cloisteredaway on Instagram

F or the past two hours, you’ve been sitting with your kid, speaking only in soothing tones (while contemplating what bribes might work), desperately hoping he’ll miraculously plow through three more pages of math problems without another meltdown. Or perhaps you’ve just received yet another email from the teacher, who’s sorry to have to get in touch again, but your son has forgotten to hand in the reading response due last Friday. Or maybe you’re still hunched over in the basement, well past bedtime, as you and your daughter painstakingly construct a model of a Mohawk longhouse, one toothpick at a time.

Unless you happen to be blessed with a hyper-organized, methodical, consistently motivated kid (we’re not jealous at all), you are keenly familiar with the pain and frustration of homework. Is there any way to sidestep all the drama?

“Figure out what makes them tick,” says Ruth Rumack, a former teacher and founder of Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space , an academic support centre in Toronto. Does your kid leave things to the last minute or have a hard time keeping track of assignments? Your kid’s personality, temperament and learning style are huge factors in how she deals with homework and how you deal with her. “If you can identify the roadblock for your child,” Rumack says, “you have a better chance of setting up a situation that creates success.”

Here, a cheatsheet on the most common “homework personalities” that crop up in kids and how to handle each one of them.

1. The p rocrastinator

Your child has known about the solar system project for three weeks now. But so far there’s only a half-painted Styrofoam sun abandoned in the basement. As parents, we know all too well the temptation to put work off, and it’s no different for many kids. 

The first thing to investigate is whether your child understands the material or is struggling with a learning exceptionality. Once those are ruled out, it’s good to remember that kids are going to find pretty much everything vastly more interesting than homework. And, as registered psychologist and parenting educator Vanessa Lapointe explains, one of the parts of the brain that helps manage self-control doesn’t necessarily become functional until the child is well into elementary school, sometimes as late as age 12. So the urge to organize Pokémon cards will win out, and the understanding that science homework needs to be done will completely disappear.

On top of that, most kids don’t yet have a clear concept of how long a task takes. “Why should I start gluing this longhouse now? It won’t take that long!” (Which is how you find yourself huddled in the basement at 10:30 p.m., nowhere near finished.)

What to do:   Insist the fun stuff can’t happen until the homework is completed. Royan Lee, a Toronto-area teacher and father of three , takes a strict approach. “All of our kids have a to-do list they must accomplish every day,” he says. “Things like playing video games cannot be done until homework is clearly done.” It also helps to break the work down into manageable parts. So if your kid has five pages of addition due next week, have him tackle one page a day.

Tech Support:   Create to-do lists and sync them with your own schedule using digital calendars and reminder apps (like Google Calendar). Any “to do” items that don’t get done, can automatically get shifted to the next day. Or set a timer on your phone to prevent your kid from getting overwhelmed. (“Let’s see how much you can get done in the next 10 minutes!”)

2. The perfectionist

Beyond the pull of Pokémon, there may a deeper reason your kid is putting off homework. If he can’t bear the thought of not doing it perfectly , he just won’t do it.

Kids who are sensitive or who are identified as gifted are especially prone to perfectionism, Lapointe says. The parents she sees at her practice in Vancouver often tell her they know their kids are capable of the work, but as she says, “they don’t want to venture into that vulnerable state of doing homework.” Perfectionists, she adds, see it as “an opportunity for someone to shine a spotlight on the fact that they have no idea what they’re doing or feel that what they’re doing is not living up to their ideal.” Sometimes they’ll start a project many times—they keep rejecting their own ideas, hoping the next one will be perfect.

What to do:   Overcoming perfectionism is anything but easy. In fact, your kid may always have anxiety around getting things right, and it might take longer for her to get through work than you might expect.

Try to keep the focus on process rather than outcome. As Lapointe says, “the learn ing journey should be about how to approach this, how we problem solve.” For instance, instead of asking what mark he got, she suggests parents say, “Did you try your hardest? Then whatever happens now is not important.”

To ensure your kid doesn’t get stuck, say, at the brainstorming stage, Rumack recommends placing time limits on tasks. Or if your child can’t abide the idea of spelling anything incorrectly, a “spelling doesn’t count” rule—not worrying about or fixing spelling until the task is done—is worth trying; it can also help them avoid the perfectionist tendency to play it safe for fear of getting something wrong.

Tech Support:  Dictation tools, such as Google Voice Typing or built-in Mac transcription, can help kids get ideas down without having to worry about spelling or penmanship, which can hold many perfectionists back.

3. The speed demon

With some kids, the faster they can get their homework done, the better. They’ll come home, whip out the assignment sheet, write a few rudimentary sentences and then holler, “Done!” They might feel that it’s silly to write about a book they’ve already read and they want to spend as little time as possible rehashing it. Those two-digit multiplication problems were a piece of cake in class—why do a whole extra page of them at home? They have better things to do.

What to do:  Going over homework with your kids and double-checking that it’s up to snuff can help them understand why it’s important to be thorough, Lapointe says. For written work, Rumack has her tutors use the COPS checklist: Kids review their work and look for capitalization, order and organization, punctuation and spelling. You can also create checklists based on the criteria set out in the assignment sheet to help break tasks down.

Tech Support:   Rumack recommends using tablet apps or software that encourage preplanning of written work, such as Google Drawings or Inspiration. If it’s the process of writing ideas out that your child finds arduous, dictation software can help record ideas as quickly as they are produced.    

4. The rebel

Maybe your kid is starting to see the world with a more critical eye, or maybe she has other interests that fall outside what’s being delivered in the school curriculum. In any case, she just doesn’t see the point of that geometry worksheet and has absolutely no interest in exploring the history of French-Canadian folk music. Rebels will second-guess and question the purpose of almost everything.

This, of course, can be a good trait. As Lee says, there’s more and more evidence that in the future the recipe for adult success will be about “divergent thinking, creative thinking, thinking outside the box and not waiting for someone to tell you what to do.” But if this attitude is starting to become problematic for the teacher and marks are suffering, it might be time to go back to basics.

What to do:   Keep the emphasis on learning . Help your kids discover what new ideas, concepts or skills they can master. See if there’s a way to draw connections between their passions and the work they’re doing at school. If, for instance, you can persuade them that learning about area, perimeter and volume might help them design and build their own Millennium Falcon, you may make some progress.

Resist the urge, however, to offer rewards or bribes, says Lapointe. Even if you’re just rewarding effort, it sets up a bad dynamic in which the kid’s goal—whether it’s ice cream or more screentime—becomes the prize, not the learning experience. But as Lee says, sometimes it comes down to this message: “Whatever homework you’re getting, you just need to get it done, you don’t necessarily have to put your heart and soul into it.” 

Tech Support:   The novelty of a tech device or app can jump-start a rebel’s interest. Motivational tools like digital timers can help get them into the groove of sitting down and working. And if your child is particularly resistant to reading, Rumack finds   audiobooks can be quite helpful, although she strongly recommends that a physical copy of the book remain part of the reading process, too.

5. The forgetter

Did he write in his agenda today? “Oh no, I forgot.” When is the diorama project due? “I can’t remember.” Where did he put that assignment sheet for the family tree project? “I don’t know.”

Part of our role as parents is to help kids develop organizational skills , Lapointe says, but with some kids, that’s going to require a lot of monitoring, reminding and cajoling. “For many children, remembering and organization simply are ‘can’t dos’ rather than ‘won’t dos,’ because of immaturity,” she says.

What to do:   Start out with a lot of structure, repetition and reminders. At first, don’t rely on your child to drive the process, as she may not yet have the skills or the maturity to deal with the consequences of her actions. Help her develop good habits by attaching a tag to her backpack with a list of everything she needs to remember to bring home and by checking her agenda together at the end of the day. Once her organizational skills begin to develop, it’s important to back off, Lapointe says, so that you’re not just perpetuating a situation in which the child is depending on you to remember everything for her. (You don’t want to end up being your kid’s permanent personal assistant.)

Tech Support:   Many tech tools are tailor-made for the forgetter. If the school allows devices in the classroom, taking a picture of the homework board can help students who have a hard time using a physical agenda. The same goes for assignment sheets: A digital photo is much harder to lose than a crumpled piece of paper in the bottom of a backpack. Digital calendars, where parents and kids can sync reminders, can also be invaluable.

Make it a habit

As parents, we quickly learn that no matter what the parenting challenge, one of our most effective tools is helping kids develop a routine. That applies to homework, too. Experts recommend kids sit down at the same time, in the same place every evening so that starting homework becomes as automatic as putting on a seat belt.

When to back off

There’s no doubt kids benefit when you get involved in monitoring homework and help them establish good habits. But you don’t want to get over-involved. If you help too much, you might be masking a larger problem. As teacher Royan Lee says, if a child is assigned work she just doesn’t have the skills, knowledge or understanding to complete, there’s really no value in having a parent fill in the blanks. After all, kids learn the most when they themselves figure out how to overcome hurdles. And teachers need to know when a child is having trouble with the work or just isn’t developmentally ready to tackle it. Parenting educator Vanessa Lapointe says parents need to consider when to rescue their children and when to let them fail. If you believe your child has the maturity and the tools to deal with failure, sometimes the decision not to intervene might be the right one, and once in a while a reprimand from a teacher might go way further than more nagging from you. The message that occasionally we need to back off can be a difficult one for some parents to hear. Lee’s advice? “Teachers assign homework because we want students to practise something. We know not everyone’s going to get it done.” And remember, if your child is struggling every night to complete assignments, it could be that either her homework is too difficult or she’s getting too much. That’s definitely the right time to talk to the teacher about what’s going on.

This article was originally published online in August 2016.

Coffee and Carpool: Intentionally Raising Kind Kids

Helping Busy Parents Intentionally Raise Kind Kids//Bully-Proof Your Kids//Bullying Prevention

How to Help Kindergarteners Do Homework Without Tears

Inside: New students have a hard time working on homework. Kindergarteners especially have no desire to sit still and often refuse to do their homework. But there are tips and tricks to help new Kindergarteners do homework without complaining or without tears.

Kindergarteners often struggle with sitting still to do homework. These homework help tips will encourage our youngest students to finish their homework. www.coffeeandcarpool.com

Congrats! You’ve survived the huge parenting milestone of sending your child off to Kindergarten!

But now there’s a new challenge for parents: homework.

Some Kindergarteners come home with no homework ever, some start it a month or two into school, and some schools start to send home homework Day 1.

There’s a huge debate over the purpose and benefits of homework in general and many, many parents are frustrated homework starts in Kindergarten.

Related: Here’s What You Need to Know About Homework and Why Teachers Assign It 

But if homework is being assigned to our youngest learners-and it is being assigned in the majority of our schools- we need ideas to help our Kindergarteners do homework without complaints and without tears. 

Because while a few kiddos might be excited to do homework because it makes them feel like a big kid, many kids balk at the idea of sitting down to do more work after their hours at school.

Our Kindergarten kids may fight us every step of the way to complete their homework, mostly because they’re absolutely exhausted . They are mentally and physically drained.

These new students have been told what to do all day.

They have probably had to sit still on a tiny rung spot with their legs folded under them way longer than they’ve ever had to.

They have to actually work. And think. And answer tough questions.

And now we expect them to do more work at home? More thinking? More sitting?

Of course they’re going to complain or flat out refuse or revert to tears and a tantrum.

But there are ways to help ease them into this new transition of coming home from school and helping kindergarteners do homework.

How to help kindergartners do homework with these 10 tips without tears and complaints #homeworkhelp #homeworktips #homework #kindergartentips #kindergartnertips #kinderhomework

General Homework Tips To Help All Students:

Before we get into Kindergarten specific tips, there are several things you can do to help set your student up for homework success for years to come .

The first and most important is to create an afternoon schedule and routine and be consistent with it.

My kids know they come home, hang up their backpacks and empty them, wash their hands, get a snack, and start their homework.

Because if it’s something that happens every day, my kids know what to expect. They know it’s coming.

You will set yourself up for a lifetime of homework ease if you instill in them now the expectation that homework is done right after school.

If you’re unsure how to set up an afterschool routine, use this one.

My kids love to check things off their Afterschool Checklist almost as much as I love crossing things off my to-do list because they are in control of how fast they move through the list.

The faster they get their checklist done, the sooner they can go play.

For more general tips and tricks for homework solutions, like setting up a homework station and a homework supply box, click here .

How to help kindergartners do homework with these 10 tips without tears and complaints #homeworkhelp #homeworktips #homework #kindergartentips #kindergartnertips #kinderhomework

Encourage Your Kindergarteners to Do Homework Without Complaining:

If you set the expectation that homework is something we do and we do it without complaining , it will benefit everyone in the family.

For you, you don’t have to hear the whining and can get through the afternoon without pulling your hair out or needing a cocktail by 4pm.

For them, they get a treat. Try punching a hole in a sheet of paper every time they finish their work without complaining.

When they get five, they get a special “date” with mom or dad or get to go somewhere they love.

Every month, you can increase the number of holes they need to earn the date.

Whatever it takes to discourage the complaints.

Homework Strategies to Help Kindergarteners Do Homework:

For our Kindergarteners, we need to help them actually finish their homework.

This is new, so there are going to be some growing pains.

Keep in mind, not all tricks will work for all kids. You need to choose what you think would motivate your child the most.

And if that doesn’t work, try another trick.

1. Physically Be Nearby

We can’t expect these five-year-olds to sit and work independently in September .

We need to build up to it.

For the first week, sit next to them as they finish their work. Then the next week, sit across from while they work. During the third week, don’t sit with them, but stay in the same room. You can then graduate to being in and out of the room as needed.

If they balk at you moving further away, take a step closer to them until they feel more confident.

The end goal is for them to not need you to be monitoring their every move.

2. Visually Reduce the Amount of Homework

If a whole math sheet overwhelms them, cover some of it up with another paper.

You can cover up half of the paper or you can cover it all and just show one line at a time.

As they finish their work, slide the paper down until they get to the bottom of the sheet.

3. Reduce the Amount of Time They Have to Work

It can be intimidating to sit down and finish all their work at once .

Set a timer and have them work for five minutes. Then take a “brain break” for five minutes. Repeat the pattern until the work is finished.

For the next week, extend the work timer to six minutes, but keep the brain break time the same.

Some brain break ideas: listening to music, dancing, coloring, building Legos, exercising, jumping, or these really cool brain breaks on youtube.

4. Let Kindergarteners Do Homework and Move Around While They Work

Who says kids have to sit still to do their work?

Let them stand to finish their work.

Let them do their work on a bosu ball or on an indoor trampoline with a clipboard.

Standing, jumping, bouncing, stretching, spinning…whatever their little bodies need.

If they can’t do these things while they actually work, encourage them to be active before and after homework time.

How to help kindergartners do their homework with these 10 tips without tears and complaints #homeworkhelp #homeworktips #homework #kindergartentips #kindergartnertips #kinderhomework

5. Let Kindergarteners Do Homework Outdoors

Who says homework has to be done inside? They’ve been stuck inside all day.

Let them finish their work while breathing in the fresh air.

Fresh air and oxygen will wake them up, refresh them, and get their brain moving.

Try working at a picnic table or on your back patio or balcony.

6. Use Their Whole Body to Finish Their Work

Since many kids learn best when they’re moving, encourage them to use their bodies to learn.

Let them stomp their math answers using this fun activity from the SuperKids Activity Guide . 3 + 4 = Stomp the 7! Then they can write it on their paper.

How to help kindergarteners do their homework with these 10 tips without tears and complaints #homeworkhelp #homeworktips #homework #kindergartentips #kindergartnertips #kinderhomework

Use chalk to practice their letters and sounds.

If you write letters on the ground, have them run to the “C” or run to the letter that makes the /b/ sound.

When they’re starting to read, have them spell words by running to each letter.

Use chalk to practice their numbers and addition and subtraction. Write the numbers on the ground and have them run to the 4. Or have them run to the answers of  “1 + 1” or “6-2!”

7. Give Them Counters to Finish Their Math

When it’s time to start adding and subtracting, let them use real tangible things that they can move to add or subtract.

They can add and subtract with coins, Cheerios, crackers, or even their favorite toys.

1 Shopkin + 3 Shopkins = 4 Shopkins

8. Give Them Colorful Markers

Grey pencils can be so boring.

Let them use markers–or better yet, smelly markers –to trace their letters, write their name, or write their spelling words.

Rainbow colors make monotonous work more enjoyable and your kids will be used to “Rainbow Writing” from school. 

How to help kindergartners do their homework with these 10 tips without tears and complaints #homeworkhelp #homeworktips #homework #kindergartentips #kindergartnertips #kinderhomework

9. Offer them a Healthy Snack While Kindergarteners do Homework:

My kids live for snacks, so they love to eat snacks while they do their work.

They do a problem and then take a bite.

Offer them “brain food” during this time to boost their minds and memories: berries (especially blueberries), bananas, trail mix, sunbutter and jelly, and avocado (try guacamole and chips).

How to help kindergartners do their homework with these 10 tips without tears and complaints #homeworkhelp #homeworktips #homework #kindergartentips #kindergartnertips #kinderhomework

10. Use Rewards (for a short period of time)

Offer up rewards for when they finish a row of their work…stickers, stars, or even a treat.

Put their favorite food at the end of a row of problems. ..  I’ve used Goldfish Crackers, fruit snacks, and even jelly beans.

When they finish the row, let them eat the treat.

The following week, only put the treat on every other line of work.

Eventually, just put a treat at the end of the page.

The goal is to wean them off of needing or expecting the treat.

How to help kindergarteners do homework with these 10 tips without tears and complaints #homeworkhelp #homeworktips #homework #kindergartentips #kindergartnertips #kinderhomework

With these 10 tips, kindergartner homework will get done sooner without complaints, and without tears.

And your afternoon will go much smoother.

Does your Kindergartner struggle with sitting still long enough to complete their homework? These tips and tricks will help them finish their homework. www.coffeeandcarpool.com

Need more Back to School Help and Ideas? We’ve got you covered:

how to get your child to enjoy homework

Reader Interactions

Shelby @Fitasamamabear says

September 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

There’s homework in kindergarten now?? Actually?! Oi

Nicole Black says

September 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

In some classes, yes! A lot of Kindergartners don’t start right away though….

Erin Burton says

September 28, 2017 at 12:49 pm

I like that so many of your strategies involve moving. You are correct! Children have already had to sit still for hours at school, listening, following orders, and mentally concentrating (sometimes on things they care nothing about). They need time to get up and move! I am actually an ex-public educator who now homeschools my children. My children will often pace while reading, and sometimes we take it a bit further and study while we take a walk outside. My children are able to concentrate much longer when they move. We probably have an hour’s worth of sit-down time each day. The rest is spent moving, exploring, and playing. Children (well… and adults) are not built to sit for hours without moving. Nice post! 🙂

September 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Yes!! A lot of kids have to move to do everything. I force them to sit while they’re eating (I’ve given the Heimlich one too many times) but other than that, who cares if they’re standing or jumping while they spell or read or practice math facts??? Not only will they focus more for some kids, it will actually help them retain the info!!

Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks says

September 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm

OK, let me just get out of the way that having homework in K is SICK SICK SICK. (I’m a mama of a 3rd grader and a K student.) But – having said that – your tips are SO great and SO spot-on. Our third grader has ALWAYS struggled with homework; some of these are tricks we have tried with her in the past, some we still use with her now, and some I WISH I’d thought of when she was in K suffering through (what to her was) busywork! Thanks for the great post! 🙂

September 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

I know a lot of people get angered by this post because of it’s premise. I’m not trying to take a stand in favor of Kinder homework. But if it’s getting assigned–and it is getting assigned– I wanted my readers to have some tips to help them get through it. And you’re right, these tips will apply for anyone trying to do homework… Glad you liked the tips!

Becca @ The Married Cat Lady says

September 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm

I don’t have kids yet, but I definitely want to remember some of these great tips for when I do someday!

Żarty O żydach says

January 29, 2022 at 4:33 am

Definitely, what a great blog and illuminating posts, I will bookmark your site.Best Regards!

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Winning the Homework Battle: 10 Tips for Helping Children with Homework

Winning the Homework Battle: 10 Tips for Helping Children with Homework

1) gauge your involvement based on what your child’s academic behavior is showing you and not just what your child is telling you., leave your successful student alone.

As a parent, you have to determine when your help is both necessary and useful and when it simply complicates an already stressful situation for your child. If your child says that he is doing the work and/or studying well for tests and the grades and teacher comments support that, believe him and go do something else (in another room)! Your child has proven that he can be an effective student on his own and you can leave him alone. While this can hurt your feelings as a parent, you want your child to be independent. You can always remind him that you are there if he needs you.

Trust what your child’s teachers have to say.

If, however, your child’s grades and the teacher comments do not support her story that she has done everything on time and accurately, believe the teachers. Teachers are not going to make up situations where your child is not meeting expectations. Avoid the urge to make excuses for your child. If a teacher talks to you or your child’s grades are slipping, you need to let her know that you will be increasing your involvement in the homework process until you see marked improvement. You, as the parent, get to determine what that means. However, be realistic or he will lose all motivation. Reasonable expectations include completing work in a more public place, or showing a parent completed homework in that subject area every night for a specific period of time.

Offer additional support if your child is putting in the effort and not seeing results.

If your son says that he studied for hours for the math test but failed it, you, as a parent, need to step in. You can say that while you believe that he studied, it is clear that he needs additional help. Giving him some ownership of this review process will make him more open to it. Let him know that if he does not want that person to be you (and don’t be surprised if he doesn’t) tell him that is fine, as long as he identifies a person he would like to work with. It can be a teacher, tutor, or advisor, as long as that person is an expert in that subject area. Do not fall for him naming another student who is going to “help him study.” It is unlikely that he will receive the help he needs from a peer, mainly because most kids are unlikely to admit to others that they are falling behind.

2) Make sure your advice on studying and your approach to learning is based on how your child learns and NOT on how you learn.

You might have a fantastic working memory that you have relied on your entire life. If you insist that your child remember things the way that you do, and she did not inherit that particular memory gene, you are setting her up to feel inadequate in that regard. You might be visual, where your child is verbal. She might need to “talk out a problem” while you need to write it out. Whatever it is that you are helping your child with, always ask her, “What kind of help would be the most useful for you? Would you rather I make a chart, talk it through with you, or show you examples?” You might be surprised at what she needs. It also helps when you point out your child’s strengths, especially if it is not one of yours. It will make your child more apt to utilize that strength in the future.

Take a quick quiz to find out what learning style you are at http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire /

Let your children choose their supplies and set up their workspaces.

Insisting that your children study the way you did is not always in their best interest. For example, if you go to an office supply store and buy all of the supplies you think they need and set up their workspaces in the way you feel would be the most useful, it might be marginally appealing to them. If, however, you take them to the store with you and give them a budget, letting them both pick out and organize their supplies, chances are they will be significantly more attached to the workspace. Parents might need to practice restraint on this one. Yes, you might write neater, but if they write on their binders, they own them. If you have an idea for their workspace, they have the right to veto it. Just think to yourself, would you like someone (anyone) to come into your office or home and furnish and decorate it for you without your input? If they did, would you be as proud of it as you would be if you did it yourself?

Base your help on how a concept was presented in class.

Read your child’s textbooks or the class notes to see how he was taught to do the problem before helping. Yes, things are taught differently than when we were in school and if you insist your child try solving problems or completing things your way, he will most likely have to “unlearn” that method and learn the teacher’s way in order to build on that skill in the way the class will ask them to.

3) Keep your hands off the project, keyboard, pencil, or pen!  

Resist the urge to contribute complete ideas or help to the actual production of your child’s work. Advising is very different than editing, which is different than ghost writing. The quality of the homework your child is turning in is NOT a reflection of you as a parent. By editing it until it is perfect, or interjecting your “spin” on it until it reads like a graduate level dissertation puts your child at a big disadvantage.

Let your child make mistakes on homework and assignments.

Teachers use homework and drafts as gauges of each child’s level of understanding of material. When parents edit or contribute to it, teachers can no longer use that assignment as a formative assessment of what a child does or does not understand. Teachers might look at the paper and see that everything is spelled correctly, for example, and therefore, not focus on spelling frequently used words with that student. In reality, the parent changed all of those words, so the child is left not knowing how to spell them, or even worse, left without the ability to see that the words were misspelled in the first place. More often than not, teachers know when the work is done by a parent, and are then forced to disregard its content for formative purposes. That child is then left with one less piece of data informing the teacher of what he or she really needs to focus on.

Do not type your child’s assignment for her.

Yes, this means you can’t “just type what she says out loud.” As an adult, we edit as we type and inevitably make corrections. This sort of help enables children to not have to learn to think while producing work, which is something they will absolutely have to learn. Just ask yourself, “Is my help going to serve my child well when I am not around?” If the answer is no, don’t do it.

Allow your child to learn kinesthetically—let him do the work.

Lastly, when your child asks for help, do not grab the pencil or keyboard!!! Children are innately kinesthetic and many of them gain understanding by trying things as they are listening to or watching them being explained. If you take over the writing instrument or computer keyboard, you take away this opportunity for kinesthetic practice. Get your own pencil and let them work with you.

4) Don’t ask a preteen or teenager yes or no questions if you want more than a yes or no answer.

If you give children the chance to get out of a conversation with a one-word answer, they will take it. Rather than asking, “Did you do your homework,” consider asking, “What was the easiest part of the math homework tonight?” When they respond with two words, force them to elaborate by asking them, “Why?” Children often fail to recognize that homework has a purpose and it’s not there simply to make their lives difficult. This is why one of my favorite questions to ask a child is, “Why do you think your teacher assigned this as homework?” Keep pressing them to give you an honest answer after they initially reply with, “Because they don’t like us.”

5) Discuss and establish definitions for the terms “studying” and “homework” in your house before the school year begins.

Think about the last time you asked your child to clean her room. Upon inspection, the room was far from your definition of clean. She probably wasn’t trying to pull a fast one on you, but her definition of clean is different from yours. This is why you need to define what clean means to both of you ahead of time. It might involve a short list like this:

A list of what completed homework means might look like this:

Once rules and expectations have been established and mutually agreed upon, the process will be more peaceful. This is also true with homework. If children know the guidelines and expectations in advance, the daily battles will subside.

6) Set minimum time limits for homework completion.

If your child always has an excuse as to why he can’t do his homework, establish a minimum amount of time he must spend in his workspace each night, regardless of whether or not he is prepared. Kids occasionally forget things or have valid reasons for why they cannot get things done on time, but if there is a pattern of homework avoidance that is supported by low homework grades or teacher concern, establish a time minimum. Ask your child’s teachers how much time your child needs to spend on homework each night. If it is 40 minutes, for example, make it clear that he needs to sit there for that amount of time every day, regardless of whether or not he brought the correct books home or if he left his binder at school. It is amazing how much more responsible students become about their belongings when they realize that “forgetting” them doesn't mean not having to do the work . This also works well for children who tend to do the bare minimum. If they know they have to sit there, chances are that they will pull out their work and elaborate on it. This is one of those strategies that does not go over well initially with the child, so sometimes you might need to let him know that the 40 minutes begins when he stops complaining.

This is also a great opportunity for you to apply his behavior to a real-life situation that you would encounter as an adult. Ask your child what would happen if you went to work on a day that a proposal was due and said, “I forgot it at home.” That’s an adult reality and we know how badly these children want to be treated like adults.

7) Set realistic expectations for success and failure by letting your child make mistakes.

School is preparation for life. If we provide support and guidance at the right levels, we teach children how to be independent learners, strong self-advocates and creative problem solvers. If we hover over them, make excuses for their failures, and enable them by taking away natural consequences for their behaviors, we set them up for disappointment. They do not learn perseverance.

Children who rarely experience failure or disappointment often grow up with a false sense of invincibility combined with a unrealistic belief that things will always work out for them in the long run without increased effort on their part because that is how the world has always worked for them. We do not want to teach children to always externalize their failures as the fault of someone or something else (i.e. I failed because that test was so hard) and internalize their successes (i.e. I aced that test because I am awesome). We also do not want to encourage the opposite, which involves internalizing failures (I failed because I am stupid) and externalizing successes (i.e. I did well because the test was easy). We need a combination of both. We need students to realize that there are things in life in our control and things in life that are not. There are things that people are inherently good at and things that take practice.

8) Work with your child to discover her learning style.

Talk to you child. Ask her what she needs to help her learn. Teach children about learning styles and have them research how they learn. Make them proud of how they learn and encourage them to use that as a filter through which they make all of their educational decisions.

9) Don’t give unsolicited help.

The “too involved parent” often, if not always, insists on helping even though the child has not asked for help. This unsolicited advice inevitably leaves the child feeling as though the parent does not have faith in his ability to produce quality work on his own, which ultimately leads to low academic self-confidence.

10) Ask yourself:   Is my involvement in this process helping my child to be more successful when I am not around?

If parents use this as their mantra and are honest with themselves when the answer is no, they are likely to be successful in maintaining balance. Remember, your child’s college dorm room will be too small for the both of you! She will have to know how to survive and be her best academic self all by herself some day.

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About the author.

Annie Griffin

Annie Griffin is the Middle School Academic Dean and Learning Coordinator at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA.

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School and homework can sometimes be challenging for children. Some children are willing to do homework about their favourite lessons, while others find all of the homework concept boring. We prepared an informative article about the possible reasons for the unwillingness to do homework and how to overcome it. First of all, let's find answers for "What is homework and why is it important?" . Then we can focus on the ways that will help children enjoy doing homework.


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Homework is a task that must be fulfilled to be successful. The task can be given by someone else or it could be the result of taking self-responsibility and charging oneself . Homework (school homework) refers to the tasks that a student needs to do at home after school hours to support learning .


In the above definition, we wanted to emphasize by highlighting some words. Now let's remind the importance of homework through some concepts.


Before making them enjoy assignments, we must pay attention not to make them frightened of homework . To ensure this, let's talk about the behaviours of parents and teachers. What they should avoid and what needs to be done?

1- Do not give time-consuming or difficult homework

Teachers should not give tough assignments that will almost take the whole time of children after school. Nevertheless, it should also not be extremely difficult, even though it may be accomplished in a short time. Because of these assignments, children can get exhausted psychologically and feel nervous. So, after clarifying the negative effects of too much/hard assignments, we can move on to the next step.

2- Do not be a perfectionist

The homework your child has completed may not look good, but after all, that homework is done and it's over. When you say "No, this is not good, do it again", your child will be unhappy, thinking that all of his/her efforts were a waste. If this happens, again and again, this time the child would think "They will not like my homework anyway and I do not want to deal with it" and accept the failure in advance. So, if you recognise mistakes in the homework, help your child to correct them but never want him/her to do the whole homework again.

3- Do not force children to do homework immediately they arrive home from school

The child, who comes home from school, needs some rest like a grown-up adult. You should not say "Do your homework now!" immediately your child comes from school. You need to give them some time to rest and play.

Remember: Games are the most effective tools to develop the intelligence of children. Some beneficial ones, like MentalUP, are even played at school as unblocked games for school .

Do not consider playing games as a waste of time. Even the simplest games have important influences on developing their imagination and preparing them for various responsibilities. On the other hand, self-designed intelligence games, intelligence-boosting toys, and similar materials allow children to have fun and improve their mental skills. With the development of technology, new alternatives were produced.

Have a look at MentalUP Educational Intelligence Games . MentalUP , developed by the specialized academicians in cooperation with child development specialists, is an application with pedagogical product certification and it is preferred by many educational institutions . With all its scientific and fun intelligence games, MentalUP allows children to have fun, learn and improve themselves in many ways. In this process, MentalUP also gives you useful statistics about your child’s improvement.

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4- Assigning specific times for homework!

It is always beneficial for your child to plan and follow their daily activities. Teach them how to be organized and have a planned life instead of making plans ready for him/her. Allow them to create their own plan or offer several options. For example, ask them what time they want to do their homework. If you come to an agreement, you will not have to remind assignments over and over again.

Remember: Forcing children to study or do their homework constantly (reminding over and over again) can cause a negative effect on them. Children who are abused such kind of pressure often try to make excuses and run away from their homework.

If your child sets an appropriate time, confirm it and follow. Doing homework and studying every day at the same time is an important detail. So, this plan should not be changed constantly. In this way, your child learns to complete the duties and responsibilities without taking postponing as a habit . Otherwise, your child may begin to postpone the homework until the sleeping time. Everyone, including adults, loses motivation as they postpone their duties. Therefore, it is very useful to determine the homework time.

5- Check all the homework.

Everyone wants to receive a reward after completing something. On the other hand, without supervision, some malfunctionings can occur. It is necessary to adjust this balance. Your child should know that you will congratulate him/her when he/she finishes the homework. If the homework is not done, he/she should know that it is necessary to explain why. Especially, teachers should check whether the assignments, they have given, have been completed or not. Otherwise, the student may lose his/her sense of responsibility and find himself/herself thinking; "It does not affect anything whether I do my homework or not".

6- Appreciate success and increase motivation.

Many of the parents, who usually think that their child is not working hard enough, are underestimating the importance of appreciation. They observe that the results can be really different when they appreciate the child's homework instead of always expressing negativities. At the same time, teachers should also pay special attention to this.

Example: Presenting a nicely done homework makes the student feel more successful and this motivates him/her. Not only at school but also at home! So parents can do the same at home. Hanging a well-done homework of your child on a wall will be a good motivation for him/her. A student who is appreciated will then try to do the homework more carefully and successfully.


7- Homework materials should be prepared.

Especially when a child with low motivation gets disrupted, it’s more likely for him/her to lose all the motivation and concentration. That’s why before starting to do the homework the child should have all the supplies that might be needed during the process. When the child’s pencil is out of ink and the child needs to look around to find another pencil, he/she loses his/her concentration and time. So you can prepare a small box with an eraser, pencil sharpener, ruler, pen and etc. to supply the basic needs of your child.

8- Help, if only necessary!

It’s, of course, a nice thing for a parent to help his/her child’s homework. You try to clarify the solution so that he/she learns and also doesn’t lose concentration or time. But it’s really important for you to realize if the child turns asking you the solution into a routine.

Sometimes it becomes like a habit of getting help from their parents and they stop trying. Because the mother or father will always be there to help him/her to complete the assignment. As this situation repeats, the child will become lazy and move away from the sense of responsibility. The best you can do is to encourage them to do research and show him/her which sources can be useful.

9- Use the power of love

A child always responses if he/she finds love. It is very important for a child to love his/her teacher because only then he/she evaluates the teacher’s advice. Researches showed that students are more sensitive about the demands coming from their favourite teachers. In the same way, parents should show enough love and attention to their children. Children who feel valued and loved are more careful about not to lose it and fulfil their responsibilities.

10- Ideal homework timing according to the age

According to experts' suggestions, the time that children need to spend on homework is as follows.

NOTE: The duration of the daily course review is not included in the table. Time periods in the table represent the average (ideal) time that must be reserved for mandatory assignments.

This article is prepared as a solution for parents who think that their child is not studying enough. We will be here sharing new articles in order to make your children love school, lessons and homework. We wish you and your child a great success in academic life.

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Cool Games for 10-Year-Olds - Home Activities & Learning

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10 top tips for helping your child with homework

how to get your child to enjoy homework

1. Discuss homework

Give your child a chance to talk about their school work if they want to. Even if you know nothing about a particular subject, you can still help just by talking and listening and helping them to find their own answers.

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2. Encourage

Help your child take responsibility for organising and doing their homework and never forget to praise them for their hard work or their improved concentration, handwriting or presentation.

3. Use available tools

Many schools have a homework diary or daybook for parents to sign each day, so show your interest, commitment and respect for your child by signing it regularly. This helps you and your child know that their homework is being monitored and also builds up goodwill between yourself and the school.

4. Help your child keep to a routine

Some children prefer to do homework straight after school, whereas others prefer to ‘unwind’ first, or have their meal then do homework later. Let your child decide – but ensure they stick to it.

5. Establish a study zone

It’s very important to try to create a suitable place where your child can do their homework, ideally somewhere with a clear work surface, good lighting and no interruptions. Try to teach younger brothers and sisters not to interrupt when homework is being done.

6. Allow for differences

Children are all different and have different learning styles. Some prefer to study alone, whereas others like to study with friends or family. It’s worth remembering that some children like to work with music on to keep them company, too.

7. Use resources

If there isn’t suitable space in your home for working, try a local library or a homework club if your child’s school offers one. At the library, children can use computers to get on the internet if you don’t have access at home.

8. Get tech savvy

The internet can be great for looking things up and finding out more so encourage your child to become an independent learner and to go the 'extra mile' with their studies.

9. Read together

As a parent you are your child’s first teacher, and one really practical way to help your child to learn is to read together, particularly when your child first starts school. But even as children get older they still love to be read to. Remember to share storytelling duties between both parents, as dads are powerful role models and have a strong influence on their sons’ attitudes to reading. Let them see you and older children reading yourselves, too.

10. Offer rewards

Make homework rewarding by setting up some treats like staying up 10 minutes later, spending 10 minutes extra on the computer, or having a friend round. It can help to keep your child motivated if they need that little extra encouragement from time to time.

For more ideas, have a look at our homework tips from real parents .

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