How to Motivate Your Child to Do Homework: 7 Practical Tips

How to motivate kids to do homework

“How to motivate a child to do homework” is a question that plagues many parents. Getting kids to do homework can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can even be enjoyable! In this article, we will explore seven practical tips to motivate your child to not only do homework but also love it.

Why Do Kids Hate Homework?

For many children, kindergarten is their first formal experience in school. However, kindergartens have changed significantly over the last decade. Emphasizing the importance of learning to read, count, sit still, and listen to teachers, kindergartens have become more structured environments. This transition from constant play to structured learning can be tough for children, and assigning homework to kindergarteners further reduces their available playtime. It’s no wonder that some kindergarteners are not motivated to do homework.

Homework Motivation

Children are naturally curious and passionate learners. They love learning about everything around them when provided with the right environment and motivation. However, the common approach to motivation involves rewards and punishments, which can have unintended consequences. When children are motivated purely by external rewards, their intrinsic motivation diminishes. Instead, the key to motivating children is to foster intrinsic motivation, which involves engaging in an activity for pure enjoyment, deriving satisfaction from performing the task itself.

How to Motivate a Child to Do Homework

To motivate your child to do homework, it’s crucial to shift our mindset from a working perspective to a learning perspective. Going to school is not just about achieving future goals; it’s about acquiring knowledge, exploring new subjects, and growing as an individual. By intervening early and cultivating a love for learning, you can set your child up for success. Here are seven tangible steps to help you achieve this:

1. Change the Narrative

Avoid referring to homework as your child’s “job.” Calling it a job implies that it will be all work and no fun, setting a negative tone from the start.

2. Integrate Homework and Play

Don’t separate homework from play. Highlight the importance of play and let your child know they can do both. Allow them to decide the order of activities as long as they accomplish both by the end of the day. Granting autonomy over their homework schedule often motivates children.

3. Don’t Use “No Homework” as a Reward

Using “no homework” as a reward sends the wrong message. Homework is not a punishment or torture; it is an opportunity to practice what is learned in school, aiding understanding and retention. Avoid giving the impression that homework is something to escape from.

4. Avoid Nagging and Forcing

Nagging or forcing your child to do homework, whether through rewards or punishments, diminishes their intrinsic motivation. Instead, let the motivation come from within the child themselves.

5. Allow Natural Consequences

When your child refuses to do homework, let them face the natural consequences. Explain the importance of homework for learning and the potential outcomes in school if they neglect it. While it may be challenging to see your child struggle, it’s essential for them to understand the purpose of doing homework.

6. Do Homework Together

Lead by example and show your child that you value homework by doing it with them. This action demonstrates your commitment to the task and helps you bond with your child. Parental involvement has also been associated with better school performance.

7. Make Homework Fun and Positive

Explore different ways to make homework enjoyable. One method is to use homework as a “reward” for good behavior. This approach signals that homework is a desirable activity to be earned. Additionally, you can turn doing homework into a game or a bonding activity. By making it interactive and engaging, you can create a positive association with homework.


Motivating your child to do homework is just the beginning of cultivating good learning habits. Remember, the purpose of education is not simply to finish assignments or achieve good grades. It’s about instilling a love for learning early on, which will benefit your child throughout their life. By adopting a positive mindset, fostering intrinsic motivation, and making homework enjoyable, you can set your child on the path to academic success.


Q: How can I motivate my child to do homework if they already hate it?

A: If your child already dislikes homework, it’s crucial to shift their mindset regarding learning. Encourage them to see the purpose of homework as an opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop their skills. Incorporate fun and positive elements into homework to create an enjoyable experience.

Q: Can using rewards motivate my child to do homework?

A: While rewards may work in the short term, they can erode intrinsic motivation over time. It’s best to foster intrinsic motivation by helping your child find enjoyment in the learning process itself rather than relying on external rewards.

Q: How can I make homework time more productive?

A: To make homework time more productive, create a quiet and organized environment free from distractions. Set a designated homework time each day and ensure your child has the necessary materials and resources. Lastly, provide support and guidance when needed, but encourage independent problem-solving.

Q: Should I let my child fail if they refuse to do homework?

A: Allowing natural consequences can be a valuable learning experience for children. If your child refuses to do homework, explain the importance of completing assignments and the potential outcomes of neglecting them. Letting them face these consequences can help them make more informed decisions in the future.

Q: Is it normal for children to dislike homework?

A: It’s common for children to feel some resistance towards homework. However, by implementing the tips mentioned in this article, you can foster a positive attitude towards learning and homework. Remember, it’s important to make the learning process enjoyable and to emphasize its benefits.