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Thursday, January 1, 2015

5 Ways to Motivate Students to Complete Homework

After a long day at school, enticing students to complete homework can be challenging.  Few young learners look forward to tackling assignments at home.  So what can we done to make this often painful process less taxing, and possibly fun?

Homework Can Be Home Fun:
After-school assignments should never have been called "homework." Clearly, combining the words home and work it not a good marriage.   So what can be done to improve students attitudes and motivation about home assignments?
  1. Shed the name homework altogether and come up with a more appealing and motivating task names.   Imagine you are selling a product, and create fun and enticing names for all your assignments and lessons.  For example, don't assign script or cursive, ask students to practice their roller-coaster letters! Furthermore, generate excitement about upcoming units by showing your own enthusiasm for the content.
  2. Bring the games, music, and art into assignments.  Many students enjoy the arts as well as playing games, so try to weave these into what I call, "home fun." Assigning these creative options also ignites the fun factor and makes academics more memorable too.
  3. Offer assignment options.  Each student possesses their own preferred ways of learning.  As a result, provide choices that allow students to share their knowledge while granting them the power to select an empowering approach.
  4. Limit homework time.  Students are often spent after a long school day, and there is a lot of research that suggests that home assignments are not beneficial.  In fact, a Canadian family took this very issue to the Supreme Court in their country, claiming that there is no evidence that home assignments improved academic performance.  They actually won the ruling, and their children were granted and exemption from all homework. 
  5. Offer your students extra credit for completing home assignments.  Most students are motivated to improve grades.  This will offer them the incentive.
  6. I hope you found this blog helpful.  If you have other ideas, please share them below this blogpost.
Cheers, Erica

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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