How to motivate your child to do homework

Many parents will agree that they find it difficult to find new ways to motivate a child to do homework - especially after a busy school day. Online homeschooling offers children a more personalised and flexible approach to their education. This means that parents and children spend far less time doing unnecessary homework, which allows the child more time to explore hobbies and other activities. It also frees up parents from having to do lengthy evening homework sessions and it means that they can spend more quality time with their kids.

At CambriLearn, we encourage our learners to spend their after-school time being kids, getting outside, doing things they love and most importantly - having fun! This not only helps develop gross motor skills and creativity but also helps students feel less resentment towards studying and educational overload. We believe that if a child works hard during their school day, then they should have no additional work to take home.

Motivating your child to revise 

Whilst we don’t believe in homework, we do encourage our learners to spend some of their free time doing revision work. According to the Collins English dictionary revision means ‘to read things again’. We believe that practice makes perfect and that is why we would like to share some tips on how to study and do revision work

The importance of revision is twofold: 

  • Firstly, it helps your child remember methodologies, formulae and rules that have been covered. 
  • Secondly, if done correctly, it will help increase their confidence and reduce anxiety – they will be better prepared for their assessments.

Top achievers prepare themselves for assessment by revising productively and including structured revision in a suitable environment in their preparation for assessment. 

Create a productive workspace

Begin by explaining the importance of arranging their workspace and organising their study material. If possible, help them create a specific ‘study’ area which is separate from the space in which they normally relax. Remove any distractions and gadgets that could cause their concentration to waver while they are studying.

Create a schedule

Discuss how long each revision session should be. They should not spend longer than an hour on a subject without a break. If the child is going to spend two hours a day on revision they will need at least a ten-minute break after an hour. This break should not include playing on their XBox or playing games on a cell phone. Rather prepare a light snack and drink for them. 

Help them draw up a revision timetable which includes all the aspects of the relevant subjects. Make sure that their plan is realistic. Let them draw up their own plan and then check to ensure they have given themselves enough time to revise properly. The revision timetable needs to be flexible enough to allow for some concepts to take longer than expected.

Define the subject matter 

Ask them to prioritise their revision by identifying areas and topics that they want to work on.  Your child will be able to pinpoint which subjects create problems with their performance and they should spend more time on these. For example, if your child is struggling with Afrikaans then they may want to spend their revision time focusing on Afrikaans reading exercises. 

Check their previous achievements and encourage them to focus on topics in which they have shown less understanding. This will help reduce anxiety because they will feel confident that they have established a deeper insight into the topic or concept. 

Start with what they already know

They should not tackle the difficult areas first. Starting with a brief revision of what they understand will boost their confidence and make them more positive when tackling the more difficult areas.  For example, if your child is having difficulties with long division allow them to practice short division first and help them identify that the procedure is the same, but is calculated mentally rather than recording the process. 

Create study cue cards

Your child should record all formulae or rules that apply to the assessment on paper or card and display these in their study area. The continuous visual reference to the formulae or rules will help them remember when they have to apply them.  

Quiz your child the formulae or rules regularly.  The more your child can recall, the more confident they will become and the more confident they are the more motivated they will be.  

Let them teach you

The learning-by-teaching method has been demonstrated in many studies. Students who spend time teaching what they've learned show a better understanding and knowledge retention than students who spend the same time re-studying. 

At the end of a section, allow your child to prepare a lesson and teach you the rule they have mastered.  This will boost their confidence, and a child who is confident about what they know will be more motivated to continue.  

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