How to Motivate Students to Do Their Homework

Mark Gardner |
Editor's Note:  Mark Gardner, NBCT, is a high school English teacher in southwest Washington state working in a hybrid role that also allows him to work on professional development experiences for teachers. The views expressed in this blog are his own.
If you're wondering how to motivate students to do their homework, there are a few steps you can take. There are some key factors that are important, including understanding, respect, time and organization skills. It's also important to push them to do more than the bare minimum.

Lack of understanding

One of the most difficult aspects of modern education is getting students to do their homework. Students are often confused as to what they are supposed to do. It would be great if they understood the task. To get them to see it as an opportunity to learn more about their subjects, a little more motivation goes a long way. The best way to do this is to assign homework that is relevant to each student's strengths and interests. In this manner, each student will be more engaged in the process.

Getting students to do their homework is a daunting task, especially when students are inundated with other academic tasks. To make the task manageable, teachers should be on the lookout for clues that their students are not paying attention. Teachers can also enlist their students in the effort by providing them with the requisite tools and information.

Lack of time

Homework is a stressful part of life. It takes up valuable time for families. However, there are ways to help motivate students to do their homework.

Many factors influence a student's motivation to complete homework. For example, if the student feels like the subject is boring, they may not do it. They may also feel like they do not understand the material. Another cause is the student's personal life. If the family is experiencing stress, the student will be less motivated to do his or her homework.

Teachers can also help students with their homework. They can make the environment conducive and encourage the student to take advantage of extra help. This may include providing a tutor or setting up a common workspace. Also, the teacher can write comments on the completed assignments.

Lack of organization skills

One of the easiest ways to motivate students with lack of organizational skills to complete their homework is to make them a little more organized. This may be as simple as getting their book bags ready and setting up a common workspace. The frugally inclined can also recycle items they no longer need. If you have students with a new house, you may also have to think outside the box about where to locate your student's homework.

Most kids have at least one or two organizational challenges. However, the most effective solutions involve a few key components. You need to first know the barriers to disorganization before you can hone in on the appropriate tactics.

Next, you have to find the best tools and materials to use. Some students will benefit from a dedicated work space, while others will benefit from a more open environment. A good teacher will know when to encourage these two approaches.

Lack of respect

In order to provide an effective learning environment, teachers need to establish respect for students. One of the best ways to do this is to form a positive relationship with students. The Georgia Tech Statement of Civility identifies mutual respect as the heart of the partnership between instructor and student. Teachers can help students develop good relationships by providing positive feedback, suggesting common workspaces, and assisting students who are struggling in their home lives.

Researchers have discovered that low homework motivation is associated with negative effects on academic performance. This may be because it is more difficult for students to engage in homework and to complete it at an appropriate level. There are several factors that may contribute to low motivation, including homework procrastination, a lack of effort, and a negative learning environment.

Pushing students to do more than the bare minimum

In a world of homework, it's easy to get caught up in the rush to get as much work done as possible. However, in doing so, you're setting your students up for failure. While there is no one size fits all solution, there are several things you can do to help your child accomplish their goals. One of the most important is to have a realistic deadline. This can be a simple 40 minute deadline each day, or a more ambitious schedule for longer term assignments.

Another thing to consider is your child's level of motivation. A student who's been struggling with a particular subject for a while might be able to benefit from a little extra push, even if it's just an extra hour of homework on the weekends. Other ways to boost motivation include praise and incentives. If your student feels that their goal is within reach, they'll do their best to achieve it.