How can I Encourage my Kids to do Homework?

Nychole Price

It seems that the minute an adult says the word "homework," every child within earshot scatters. Most children don't like to do homework. After a long day of school, a child usually wants to play. Unfortunately, classwork isn't enough to learn all that is required in one school year. There are several things a parent can to do encourage kids to do homework.

Helping a kid who is stuck on a problem might encourage them with homework.
Helping a kid who is stuck on a problem might encourage them with homework.

The most important thing a parent can do to encourage children to do homework is to let the kids know that they understand that it is not necessarily enjoyable. Parents will not often be able to make children enjoy their homework, as much of the time, it just isn't a fun thing to do. Empathy goes a long way with children, as often times, kids feel that parents just don't understand.

Children may have a hard time completing homework outside their favorite subjects.
Children may have a hard time completing homework outside their favorite subjects.

When children don't do homework, some parents take it personally. Parents must understand that they can't physically make children do homework. Parents can, however, motivate children to do their homework with verbal praise. Praise the child for the things they did right, such as keeping the letters between the lines, and avoid criticism.

Many children thrive when they know what to expect. The best thing a parent can do to encourage kids to do homework is to have a set time and place. Choose a time that is convenient to both parties so the parents can assist when needed. The place should be free from distractions, such as the television and toys. Having a routine will minimize arguments regarding when and where to do homework.

Some children function better when given choices. The best thing to do, as a parent or guardian, is to offer minimal choices. Tell the children that they don't have the choice of whether or not to do homework but they can choose when they want to do it. They can choose to do their homework before or after dinner or in the morning before school. The key is that it gets done.

One of the biggest distractions that prevent children from doing their homework is the TV. When children are attempting to do homework, turn it off. Use the time to get things done around the house such as pay bills, wash laundry, do dishes or read a book.

It isn't a parent's job to do the kids' homework. It is, however, their job to make every option available for them to do it. It may not always be convenient, but in the long run, it will be worth it.

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Discussion Comments


@GlassAxe- I wish getting kids to do homework was that easy. My daughter does not listen to a word that I say, and she is getting bad grades in her classes. She is split between my house and her mothers, and we both set very different boundaries for her. I try to be a little stricter, emphasizing the importance of being responsible and doing her coursework, but when she goes back to her mother’s house, she is free to do as she pleases. It is frustrating and I do not know what I should do.


In my household growing up, homework was not optional. We had to do homework before we could do anything else. If my sister or I wanted to play sports, we needed to maintain all A's and B's. If we had homework to do, we could not watch television, go out with friends, etc. After a while, doing homework became habit.

I would also like to say there was a flip side to all of this. If we did all of our homework, and maintained good grades, we were mostly free. Our parents trusted us, assuming that if we were responsible enough to complete our obligations that we were capable of making good choices.

As much as I hated homework as a kid, I have a strong work ethic as an adult. I have made deans list every semester except one, and I participate in a number of activities. Once my daughter is in school, I will enforce the same rules as my parent.

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