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The Homework Dance – Encouraging Your Child to Take on the Responsibility

If you have teenage children you would know all too well their reluctance towards Homework responsibilities. The avoidance children have towards this necessary learning and the frustrated cries from parents to get it done is what is known as the Homework Dance. It is a back-and-forth tussle between age and wit, maturity and childishness, parent and child.

Many children cannot see the value in completing school work at home and it is more than likely they have used the excuse of why should they have to complete more work at home when they have spent the whole day learning at school. There is no simple or short answer to this response as the value of homework is varied and multiple.

The Value of Homework

Homework is set by teachers to further cement concepts or skills recently touched upon or introduced in the classroom. It gives further instances for students to organise these principles into their long-term memory to be called upon at examination or assessment.

Opportunities for independent study, such as homework, are an important part of extended learning. A student being exposed to more examples and variations of a concept means they are better able to apply it in an unfamiliar situation and problem solve later on when it counts such as during an exam.

Finally homework encourages students to be independent thinkers. Many students are simply not prepared to take chances and therefore homework is the perfect opportunity for them to ‘have a go’ without fear of criticism or peer pressure.

How to Encourage Your Child to do Homework

Reasoning with a child that homework will ultimately enhance their education is a concept that is too far removed from their immediate concerns. Instead a more effective approach to encouraging your child to complete homework is to offer more instant results or rewards.

1. Two is company

Despite their moodiness children do value your company and interest in their lives. Offering to sit with them whilst they do homework can be invaluable in getting them to complete their school work at home. It may be to give them assistance, it could be to give them a sounding board or perhaps just a way for them to entice you to make them food.

2. Reward Chart

Depending on the age of your child a reward chart can be a great incentive for completion of homework. For younger ones stickers or smiley face stamps could do the trick where the tally might culminate in a reward such as choosing a TV show to watch after school. With older kids positive end results to their class work could be rewarded with extra pocket money, shopping trips or perhaps a free pass to a social event.

3. Build it into the routine

Make homework time a family affair. The children and you could sit down altogether at the dining table to work on extracurricular jobs. This time could also be used to query them on their general engagement with school too.