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How to make homework fun!

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If your little ones are finding any excuse not to sit down and get on with it, here are some easy ways to help motivate them

Create a colourful study zone, which could even be a tent with a table and chairs inside. Draw posters together to reinforce the facts they’re expected to learn.

Have a clear start time for homework so that children can’t procrastinate. Anything that we’ve been putting off feels worse than if we tackled it straightaway. Have a clear end time too so that it doesn’t take up more time than it should. Give your children plenty of time for playing and relaxing in the evening.

Use a timer. If your child finds it hard to concentrate, try working in 10-minute bursts. They’ll enjoy racing against the clock to get the task done.

Turn their homework into a mini quiz. Create flashcards with questions and answers on, then test them on their topic afterwards.

If your child tends to lose focus and stare off into space, don’t keep reminding him to pay attention, which makes you sound like a nag. Instead, praise something about his work. That’s more likely to motivate him to keep working.

Figure out what time of day they work best. Some children like Saturdays to be a break from school and prefer to use Sunday mornings for homework. Discuss with them what their ideal scenario would be.

Let them personalise their school homework books with a Personalised 'Belongs To' Stamp 


Get a homework partner. Invite a motivated friend over so they can do their homework together. Set a few rules in advance, then you can reward the children with playtime and a snack afterwards.

Alternatively, sit at the table with your child, doing your own ‘work’. Everything seems easier when we have company and you can play at ‘sharing an office’.

Offer an incentive. Let your child choose a reward for completing their homework, whether that’s baking some cakes together, playing a game or even popping out for pizza if it’s a weekend.

If they’re prone to fidgeting, give them a mini stress ball to play with as they figure out the answers.

Use your school’s on-line learning tools for times tables such as which has catchy times tables songs.

Always be up-beat about homework and give them plenty of encouragement. Never admit you too find it a drag!

Let them have a short break in between tasks, like a game of Frisbee or football. 

Offer a music break. Playing some classical music can be immensely calming. Harp music in particular is very restorative and can leave you both ready to tackle the assignment at hand. Some children who struggle to concentrate enjoy having soft classical music in the background while they work too.

Try having a story break with a picture book in the middle of intensive maths tasks, as it allows their mind to change gear.

Allow your child to negotiate and choose which piece of homework they do first. They’ll enjoy the sense of feeling empowered.

Use mindfulness activities to help improve their relaxation and focus before they start work. Try the exercises on this site for free:

Lay out an array of tasty, healthy snacks with their homework to keep their energy levels up.

If your child feels overwhelmed, being able to visualise their progress may help. Make a list or chart on a whiteboard or planner and get them to cross off each task with colourful pens as it’s completed. 

Thanks to our experts: educational consultants Diane Witt and Beth Hahn. Diane Witt is author of Strategies for the Tech-Savvy Classroom (£15, Prufrock Press) and Noel Janis-Norton, Director of and author of Calmer, Easier, Happier Homework 








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