Sometimes the reason children avoid homework is because they simply don't understand what they get out of it. Why spend time doing work they don't want to do when they could be playing instead? Education and parenting experts chimed in on a very important piece of advice: making your child aware of rewards and consequences.

Set rewards and incentives

JoAnn Crohn, CEO of Whimsicle, said:

At the beginning, homework was such a struggle that I offered little rewards for each small assignment my daughter finished. I chose fruit snacks. After each homework page, she got to eat one fruit snack. After a couple of months, she no longer needed the reward to stay motivated. Word of warning though, DON’T USE FRUIT SNACKS. Llama needed 12 cavities filled that year.

Dr. Erica Wollerman, founder of Thrive Therapy Studio, said:

Offer an incentive for homework completion - It is always helpful if a child struggles to complete work to have something enjoyable to look forward to after they have completed it. This should be something contingent on work completion such as playing a board game, playing on their iPad or other devices, going to get ice cream, etc.

Make them aware of consequences, good and bad

Johnna A. Ithier of JohnnaIthierSpeakLife said:

Set rewards. I will get to take a break after I finish Science. If I finish my book during the week, I will have the weekend to play with my friends. As a parent, you must be consistent and help your children set priorities. Homework then fun. No exceptions.


Dr. Fran Walfish, author of The Self-Aware Parent, said:

Implement a positive incentive forgetting the work done. For example, tell your children after homework is completed we are going to bake cookies or make our own banana splits! [Also], make consequences for your child and his teacher. If he doesn't finish his homework he must deal with his teacher. You won't bail him out nor will you criticize or chastise him. Perhaps, he has to sit in for a couple of recesses to catch up on his homework before he realizes it's easier to get it done the night before.

If your child feels like their effort is valued more than a grade they may be less afraid of getting the wrong answer and more likely to learn through their homework.

Be aware of what you're praising

Zoie Hoffman of Zoie Hoffman Tutoring said:

Praise efforts instead of grades. If you see your child working hard on their homework, make sure to praise them for it. If your child feels like their effort is valued more than a grade they may be less afraid of getting the wrong answer and more likely to learn through their homework.


Holly Klaassen of The Fussy Baby Site said:

Foster a growth mindset. When kids believe they’re “dumb” or that being smart is something you’re born with, there’s not much motivation for them to try. They can also become very discouraged about homework, believing it’s a waste of time (since they’ll never be smart anyway). When we can instill in them that intelligence is something that can increase when they work hard, we give them the motivation they need to actually become invested in their schoolwork. This will ultimately lead to a decrease in homework meltdowns.

Key Takeaways:

Give your child an incentive to complete their homework -- small, consistent rewards.
Make sure your child is aware of the negative consequences of not doing homework.
Praise their efforts, not the grades, so they're encouraged to keep working and grow.

Thanks to these experts, you have some great options to help your child understand how important their homework is!

That's not all -- you can find more homework avoidance tips here! Learning Success System can also help you find which micro-skills need strengthening and increase learning ability -- take our free assessment here!


This is part four of a four-part series.

Here's Part OnePart Two, and Part Three.

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