Guest post written by Eveline Heston.
Getting your children to knuckle down and study hard for their tests or do their homework can be very hard. Understandably, work like this can seem too complicated and too much of a strain for children, causing them to switch off and to avoid it. Avoiding studying or homework can start as an innocent act, but can end up in a dropping of grades, disciplinary from the teacher, and a sudden change in behaviour from your child. What is even worse is that the more they experience the result of their lack of work, the more they will descend into not working and misbehaving. Children need to study, it is beneficial for them and can help increase their knowledge and double their understanding, so here are a few tips on how to get your child to study.
Rewards: You could reward your child if they work hard for a certain amount of time, or get a specific piece of homework done. Now you might be thinking this means a material reward like money, a new video game or something similar to that, but it doesn’t have to, rewards can be anything, from material gifts to just vocal praise and encouragement. As unresponsive as your child may be, we as humans somewhat depend on gratification when we do something well. You tell your child that they are doing well, lets them know that you are aware of the hard work they are doing and that you are proud of them for it. This will encourage them to study more and to finish their duties.
Patience: Though you might want to get your child to finish all their work as quickly as possible, sometimes that is not the best way to go about things. Would you work better if your boss stood over your shoulder and poked at you until you had finished everything that you had to do at work that day? Exactly! People require their breathing space to complete things. Be a mature parent and take a step back, if your child has done an hours’ work and their concentration is wavering, let them have a break for a while and come back to their work after some rest. Tell them to play with some anti-stress toys and get all their stress out! They will go back to their studying in a more concentrated frame of mind than before. Have them rest or eat something to make them feel more alert and ready to study.
Understanding: Your children do not need to write an essay online just yet! What I mean by this is, though the work they are doing at the moment is essential, there’s no reason to think that they will understand everything entirely at first. They may have struggled in class with a specific aspect of the work, and that’s why they are now struggling with writing a critical analysis at home. Their confusion is not always a ploy to get out of work, and although you may not be an English professor or a mathematician, you owe it to your child to sit down with them and try and work through it to help them towards an answer. You may improve their understanding of the task greatly, and they will be able to proceed on to the finish line, all because you sat down with them and helped them through it. But even if they don’t end up understanding it, you will have tried your hardest to help them, and they will appreciate that in the long run.
The Bigger Picture: What are some of your child’s aspirations? Musician? Sports star? Astronaut? Well, they are more likely to achieve these if they do this work! Try and show them the palpable difference that doing this piece of homework can cause. It might help their understanding of the course leading to a better grade, which means overall better grades, which means a good university which leads to good connections and degree and results in a fantastic job! It may sound long and drawn out, but that is what happens! We cement our understanding in secondary school, and then we display that understanding at the university.
There are just a few tips to help your child to study, and to motivate them to complete their work. With schools getting tougher as they try and push grades upwards, we need to understand the position our children are in, and they have a whole lot to deal with. Looking around us at the world as it is today it’s a wonder they can even concentrate at all. But if you follow these steps, I am certain that with your help they will be able to study and retain an understanding of the work that they are doing!
About the Author
Eveline Heston is a freelance writer who has a year of experience in writing for educational resources. She majored in pre-school education and English language and literature, which helps her during her researches and guides.