How to Motivate Your Kids to Get Their Schoolwork Done

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Nothing is worse than sitting down with a kid who refuses to work. They moan. They groan. Writing the word dog is clearly too much! The pencil is too heavy for their delicate hand. Instead of sweating the details, use this simple trick to motivate kids to get their schoolwork done.

How to motivate kids to get their schoolwork done.

I’ll admit my kids and I have days we really don’t want to accomplish schoolwork. There are days I really want to curl up with a good book even though I know we should hit the schoolbooks. Do you ever have those days?

This trick encourages my kids to be proactive about schoolwork. Why?

Because they want COMPUTER TIME!

The 1st rule in the house is no child is allowed on the computer until they can read. Once upon a time when my oldest son was a tot, I allowed him to play on the computer. Much to my dismay he quickly figured out how to exit the child’s program and make himself at home on my computer.

A reading child does less damage than a child randomly pecking keys!

Once the kids are reading well enough to start spelling lessons, they’re allowed on the computer.

My 5yo is used to his older siblings being on the computer, but his first-grade sister is now reading well enough for computer time. His enthusiasm for phonics has skyrocketed. He wants computer time.

Once the kids are allowed on the computer the 2nd rule comes into play. They earn 30-45 minutes for completing their schoolwork.

The kids are suddenly enthusiastic about getting their schoolwork done even when I’m dragging my feet.

Come on, Mommy, I want to do my schoolwork!

What a lovely refrain to hear!

Weekends are a problem though. The children still want computer time, but I’m busy with other needed activities like planning or cleaning.

There’s a solution though. It’s called chores.

In a large family, there are always extra chores that need to be done. A basket of laundry to fold, the kitchen to clean, or the front porch needs to be swept.

Periodically I have a bored child wander by.

Mom, are there any chores I can do for computer time?

Motivate your children for a well-run homeschool by using something your children want. It can be computer time like my family, a favorite movie, or marbles in a jar earning a trip to the local amusement park. You know your children and their deepest desires.

How do you motivate your children to complete their schoolwork?

Read more posts in the 31 Days to a Well-Run Homeschool series!

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  1. I wish that worked around here…. We tried that years ago–once they finished they could have screens, and it worked! EXCEPT that the children who didn’t have screens yet were suddenly whining about not having it, or the one I wasn’t working with (since I have 3) was sneaking off to watch the sibling play. So, we moved screens to the “end of the day,” but getting screens at 3 or 4pm just isn’t very motivating at 8am. LOL I know everyone will say it’s bad, but we give a small treat for finishing work, either a sucker or a fruit snacks. It doesn’t always work for motivation, but about 75% of the time it does.

    1. A small treat can be just as motivating as screen time! That’s actually how I taught 1 child to read. He had no desire to learn so I gave him a small snack after every lesson. He loved it and eventually became an avid reader. 🙂

  2. This is a great idea! My 2 older boys are very much interested in video games right now and are always asking when they can play them. Same as with the above comment though, it’s always for the end of the day. They can earn some TV time where they’re allowed to choose from a select few DVD’s that the younger kids can participate in watching with them.

  3. Love again!!! I’m definitely starting this soon! Now, I just need to find a way to have trusted sites easy to access! Of course, the iPad could work for this, too!

    1. The iPad should work for this as well. We have a tablet which I keep off-line, and the youngest kids are allowed to use it instead of the computer. 🙂

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