Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Get Students to Do Homework

Get Students to Do Homework

How do you get students to do homework? That’s one of the most common questions I receive from teachers and parents alike.

Recently a 4th-grade teacher contacted me. He said that he was having a tough time getting his students to complete their homework. He believed in the Discipline Without Stress methodology and didn’t want to go back to the old way, where he would deduct points from the students’ overall grade if they failed to turn in homework (which was what his colleagues were urging him to do). This smart teacher knew there had to be a better way to get his students to do homework. But what?

How to Get Kids to Do Homework

I told him to ask himself two questions: “Why am I giving the home assignment?” and “What have I done as the teacher to have students want to do the assignment?” If the students don’t understand the point of the homework, what motivation do they have to do it? Remember, not all students are motivated by grades.

Also, rather than take points off the student’s overall grade for not completing homework assignments, it’s better to talk to the student and come up with a solution as to how he/she can get his/her homework in on time for future assignments.

If other teachers promote taking points off, ask them for the justification of this approach. In other words, if a student does well on what is taught (usually measured by tests), then how can you rationally justify lowering the grade? There is only one answer to this: The student is not obeying. Is that what you want to base an academic grade on?

Remember that a teacher’s job is help, not harm, their students. Using coercive and/or punitive approaches in the classroom gives teachers a negative feeling toward students who will  not do homework assignments—and these are usually the students who need the most encouragement and assistance.

How do you motivate students to complete their homework? Please share your ideas on the Without Stress Facebook page.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 714.220.1882
marv@marvinmarshall.com
Piper Press
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 559.805.1389
order@piperpress.com

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