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Motivating homework

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Motivating homework

What to do with this activity?

Some children hate doing homework, and it can be an uphill battle to motivate them to get the work done. Here are some suggestions that might help.

1) Have a routine after school - get the homework done first thing. The reward for completion could be extra screen time, a game of football outside, or something (not sweets) that your child likes a lot. Maybe a star chart might work? Once the work is done they can have "free" time. Be consistent with encouragement, rewards and penalties. 

2) Choose a space in the house where your child is comfortable and won't be distracted - the kitchen table might be good. Avoid the room where you have the telly, and keep younger siblings busy elsewhere. 

3) Start with the most difficult bit of homework, and then move to the easier bits. Support them as best you can. Read with them what they are being asked to do, and make suggestions. Break down the tasks into bite sized chunks, so that it doesn't seem so daunting. Encourage their efforts. If you would like help with your own reading and writing ring our helpline for advice - 1800 20 20 65. 

4) Talk with the teacher if your child is struggling to get the work done. Maybe the kids are being given too much to do - it's better if the teacher knows so that they can make adjustments. For more about how long your child's homework should take, click on this link on our website and follow the links. 

5) Keep calm yourself, and don't turn homework into a big deal. Help them to quietly get on with the homework as best they can.

  • Why am I doing this?

    Learning to write should be fun. It’s important that children know that writing is a fun and useful. By fitting it into everyday activities, like drawing, writing notes and birthday cards children will get used to holding a pencil and learning to write properly.

  • How can I do more?

    It’s always good to keep crayons and paper close at hand, so that you can give them to your child anytime to play with.


    Write words under your child’s drawing – like their name or what they have drawn – that will help them understand the meaning of words.


    Later you could clip 10 or 12 of these drawings together to make a book. This will show your child how books can be made.


    Let your child see you writing – notes, lists, letters and emails. If you don't write much yourself, show your child other people writing when you are out and about.


    Encourage your child to use ‘pretend’ writing in play - writing their own name, notices or price lists. You could even give them a little notebook when you go to the shops or when they’re playing ‘shop’ with their friends.

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