How to Motivate a Child to Do Homework

Paige Geis Bradshaw

Most children don’t want to do their homework. Most college students don’t want to do their homework, either. Does anybody actually enjoy homework? (I know I didn’t!)

The collective hatred for homework doesn’t discriminate against age groups, but that doesn’t invalidate the importance of getting it done.

In addition to what children learn from the subject matter of their homework, doing their homework teaches children important life skills such as time management, routine, and responsibility.

If your child struggles to complete their schoolwork, read on to find out how to motivate a child to do homework.

Create Space for Study

Environment is everything when it comes to encouraging your child to complete their homework. They need a space they can call their own without distractions like TV, loud noises, and bored siblings.

Pick a Place

How does your child do their homework best? Do they prefer the silence and solitude of their bedroom, or would they rather get to work in the kitchen or another common area?

Talk to your child and pick a place that can be their designated study space. The kitchen table, their own desk in the office, the quiet nook in the basement—any place that fosters their focus and learning. Creating this space is especially important with the recent and continuing increase in online learning.

To complete their education station, fill a storage caddy with their study staples: pens, pencils, paper, scissors, a ruler, and a calculator, to name a few. Consider tucking a white noise machine in there, too!

Set a Schedule

Just like your child knows when to wake up for school, it helps to have a schedule that indicates when it’s time for homework.

That time could be 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM, or any time in between. You could allot some time for your child to decompress from school before diving in, or you could encourage them to get started right away!

Talk to your child about what schedule would help them achieve success. Be sure to account for dinnertime, bedtime, and any time that’s dedicated to extracurricular activities.

Use Incentives

Some may call it bribery, but the reality is that reward systems work. According to psychiatrist Anisha Patel-Dunn, “Reward systems can be helpful to encourage positive, healthy behaviors in children and may increase their self-esteem and self-image.”

If your child is struggling to finish their homework assignments, try motivating them with incentives!

Daily Quotas

Establish homework “milestones” that must be met each day in order to earn certain privileges.

For example, if your child wants to ride their bike, tell them they must finish their homework before they can. If they just received a new video game, let them play it for a few minutes in between assignments to break up their work and keep them motivated.

No matter your child’s age, unpleasant tasks are easier to tackle when an exciting end is in sight. Knowing an award awaits them will push them to get the job done!

Long-Term Rewards

If your child is less motivated by the short term and more driven by the long term, try implementing a point system that lets them cash out for a greater reward later.

For example, each homework assignment could be worth five points. Once they hit one hundred points, they can choose a trip to the zoo, museum, arcade, or another activity to enjoy.

This system not only rewards your child for completing their homework, but it helps them build good homework habits, develop accountability, and maintain consistency.

Good Old-Fashioned Praise

When material rewards and field trips don’t do the trick, a little praise from a parent goes a long way.

Children, especially young children, thrive on their parents’ praise. Knowing they’re doing a good job and that their parents are proud of their hard work can make a huge difference in their homework habits!

Remember Your Role

Parents tend to absorb their children’s responsibilities as their own, whether purposely or by accident. It’s natural! You want your child to succeed and walk toward a bright future. That often starts in school.

But the truth is, as a parent, it’s not your responsibility to ensure your child earns top marks. Their homework is their responsibility, and regardless of how badly you want them to perform well, you can’t do their homework for them. (At least, you shouldn’t!)

Here are additional ways you can help your child complete their homework:

  • Meet with your child and make a plan. Involving your child in their schoolwork schedule gives them a sense of control over their circumstances. Plus, letting your child take charge allows them to come up with their own solutions!
  • Make yourself available to help with homework. Sometimes, kids avoid doing their homework because they don’t understand it, think it’s too hard, or feel overwhelmed by the workload. With your help, they may feel more at ease.
  • Let the consequences unravel. If your child won’t complete their homework, then they’ll be forced to face the consequences put in place by their teachers. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to teach children to finish their assignments!

Troomi Makes Homework Time Easier

Troomi phones eliminate the distractions that keep kids from completing their homework and other responsibilities. Screen time limits, disabled access to certain apps and features, and other parental controls on the Troomi Parent Portal ensure your child stays focused on important tasks—like homework!

Plus, Troomi phones feature a variety of popular online grading systems. Apps like Canvas, Skyward, and the like can help your child stay on top of their assignments.To learn more about how Troomi can help your child succeed in school, click here!