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How to Incentivize Homework 101


Getting Kids to Put in the Work

“The dog ate it!”. “I forgot it at home!”. Yeah, kids are pretty creative when it comes to thinking up of reasons why they didn't do their homework. With classes resuming soon, we thought it time to share some tips and tricks on how to keep your kids motivated to do and hand in their homework on time. Here's 4 mum hacks to keep them on task, with a little help from our favorites at Centrepoint.



Give them the coolest tools to their success

Sometimes, motivating children is all about finding that one area of interest in a task and exploiting it for all its worth. In the case of homework, nothing quite seems to make it more tolerable than some really cool pens, pencils, and the like. Centrepoint has a truly dazzling amount of awesome finds that fall into these homework helping categories. Little boys will love this Maped 31 piece pencil case comes with all the bells and whistles.



Or how about letting your kiddo show their wild side with this amazing 5 piece eraser set featuring various brightly colored animals?


And let's not forget to get that paper!



Set Up a Homework Center

Pick a space in your home that can be a dedicated area for your child to complete their homework regularly. This tip falls into the category of setting up another form of routine, which kids thrive on. When they are in this area, they will be able to focus better, knowing that the space they are in is meant for work. Keep it as quiet and as free of distractions as possible. That means no screens,  and no loud noises. If possible, allow your child to help pick the spot. You want them to be comfortable and for it to be a place they enjoy being in. Outfit this space with various items like basic school supplies for home use: pencils, glue, tape, a calculator, a dictionary, and some folders. A cork board or dry erase board might also be helpful to them so that they can keep track of upcoming projects or longer-term assignments. If the designated homework area is shared, use some bins to store away these items when the “desk” your child is working at needs to convert back to its other purpose. You could even help create a checklist for tasks that need to get done. For that we love this Scribble n'Play Boogie Board from Centrepoint.

It erases with the touch of a button, so it can be reused over and over again each school day. It will be sure to give your child a sense of accomplishment and pride each time they can check something off the list.



Praise and Reward

One of the best ways to motivate children is by offering them praise for hard work done, or a goal accomplished. Children are generally very hungry for approval, and you should never be shy about giving it when it is deserved. Reward their efforts with kind words, a treat, some extra play time, or even a small gift for an exceptional job done. Don't consider a toy bribery. Think of it more as a child's equivalent to  a work bonus. You can even keep your gifts educational. Centrepoint has some great books for children that would make a perfect gift for diligent homework completion.  We are definitely into this 4 in 1 book of traditional fairy tales.

Puzzles also make a stupendous reward gift that helps to sharpen your child's mind and concentration skills. This incredible set even allows your little one to color in the pieces before linking them to form an animal scene.

On a slight twist on this tactic, you can also take your child with you to the nearest Centrepoint and have them walk the toy aisles. Allow them to choose a few inexpensive, smaller items. Tell the child that to earn each one, they must complete all their homework for that week or month. It's amazing how hard kids will work when they know there is a reward waiting for them at the end.


Structure, Structure, and more Structure

Our last mommy hack for you centers on the idea of structure. We swear, we're not trying to beat a dead horse here, but it really is so important when it comes to our little ones. One of the best things you can help your child to do is establish a homework time. This should then remain constant. Some kids do their best work right after returning home. This is because they are still in “school mode”. Others need just a bit of time to get home and unwind. They may still be a bit frazzled and burnt out after their long and demanding day. If this is the case, allow them a bit of playtime and perhaps a snack before having them get to business. The general rule of thumb here is to insist on homework getting done before dinner. After the large evening meal, and the advancing hour, kids are going to get more tired, lethargic, and have more trouble concentrating as tiredness begins to creep in. When the time has come, engage your child. Discuss that they have to do, and approximately how long they will need to complete each task. Ask them if they will need help, but enforce the fact that you are there to help, not complete their tasks for them. If your child needs a break, consider allowing 10  to 15 minutes between tasks. This  will help combat fatigue and burn out, as well as ease frustration.

Many of us moms know, sometimes you just need to walk away from something for a few moments before you can look at it again with a clear head and fresh eyes to progress. If your child needs further incentive, remind them of a fun activity they can engage in when their homework is complete. You can also remind them of what comes from hard work and good grades. Consider starting a point system to earn rewards like toys, getting out of doing a chore, or extra time on a video game if homework is completed in a timely and correct fashion. Really, it's all about working to find what tactics work best with your little. Allow your children small choices in the process so that they have some feeling of control, this can help keep them focused and feel like they have some say. You're still providing structure, but they are working within parameters that you help set and they agree to.