Dkrainwater’s Weblog

How To Get A Child to Do Homework

Posted on: February 27, 2009

Click Picture for more information.

Click Picture for more information.

Teachers, parents, and students struggle with the idea and the practice of homework. As a special educator I have discovered that simple rewards are a tremendous incentive to keep the non-compliant child on task. This article will give some suggestions on how to start an incentive program in your classroom or home to get the homework results that are expected from your student. Rewards, in my experience, have to be tangible, immediate, and something the child truly wants. The goals must be clear and obtainable. For elementary age students, a simple star chart that marks the progress may be sufficient, but there needs to be a tangible reward, something they can see, for them to continue the effort. Though now a bad practice, educators once rewarded children with candy to complete a task. A more healthy and modern approach to short term reward can be an allotted time with a video game or the pick of a favorite television program. If the child likes to read or color, a small book or coloring page can be the reward. The tangible long range goal reward might be a bicycle, a pair of skates, or new shoes. Whatever you think your student would need to urge them to be successful in their education. For the older student the rewards can be as costly or inexpensive as you wish. I once hung a new skateboard in my classroom and told the students whoever turned the most assignments in on time and received a B or higher they would receive the skateboard. With the older students, they had to keep score themselves as the teacher would not give out who was ahead or who was behind. It left some mystery and a little fun in the competition. For short term rewards for older children, internet time, phone time, or a new CD or video game. One strategy is to let them earn one song at a time. For each successful homework session, buy a song from your computer music service and burn it on a CD for them. This will give them something tangible while they build the CD of their choice. Also this will add the special benefit of allowing the parent to monitor what music their child is listening to. To some reward system is a cop out from good parenting and teaching. These opinions are respected, but for some children the organization skills and time management skills are not fully developed and they need to be prompted to mature these abilities. The main objective of the reward system is to give the student something to work for. We as adults do not work for free, why then should we expect are students to. The long term benefit of a good education is not in the sight of some of our youth. As with all of us, that comes with maturity and age. The reward system is just to get the students to this point of insight.

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