“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” - Richard Feynmann
The UK is incredibly fond of private tutoring and the industry has grown a lot in recent years. One of the biggest advantages is just how adaptable a private tutor can be.
So how can they motivate students to do their homework?
It might seem like they never want to do their homework. However, once they have their homework, they’re going to have to do it. They may as well try and get as much enjoyment out of it as they can. Not just for their parents’ or teachers’ sake, but for their academic success.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of their homework.
Doing Homework: Do It Somewhere they Like
The first tip for getting homework done is finding the right place to do it. Where you do your homework can make all the difference and you’re more likely to want to do your homework if you have to do it somewhere you like so choose an appropriate place.
You won’t want to do homework with little brothers and sisters running around as there’ll be too many distractions. You must find a place where you feel comfortable. Perhaps it’s at the desk in your room, your parents’ desk, or somewhere other people won’t bother you.
Next, get comfortable and make sure that you have everything you need. Pens, pencils, paper, exercise books, textbooks, etc. You don’t want to have to keep getting up to look for stationery.
Ideally, you want to be in a place that you’ve set aside just for doing homework or studying. Make sure that it’s organised and comfortable as you don’t want to have anything to tidy up while you’re working.
If your parents will let you decorate this space, go for it. Turn it into an environment that you'll like working in. You can stick up pictures of things you like that aren’t too distracting and even consider giving it a theme. Let your imagination run riot if it’s going to help you to work more effectively.
Some prefer to listen to music when they work as it helps them concentrate. However, sometimes the lyrics can be distracting so it’s a good idea to listen to classical music or instrumental music.
Use Your Passions to Help You Get Your Homework Done
In the same way that you can use your environment to motivate you, you can also use the things you like to make you more likely to do your homework.
Have a French exercise?
See if you can write about something that you’re interested in like animals or swimming. Not only will homework feel like less of a chore, but you’ll get to talk about the things that you’re interested in. Let your interests fuel your motivation.
A lot of homework can be adapted to cover things that you’re interested in. Maths is a subject that can be useful in everyday life. If you’re interested in swimming, you can use maths to work out how fast you swim when doing a lap or what your average pace is. Your hobbies might be able to play a role in motivating.
Split Up the Tasks
You might have a lot of homework to get through. This is particularly true in secondary school during your GCSEs and A Levels. If you have a big project to do, it can be quite easy to lose interest and put off your homework for another day. This is known as procrastination.
Split up your work to avoid doing this.
If you have a week to do some maths homework, why not split it into parts?
Not only will it make the tasks more manageable, but it’ll also make each one take less time. This is a good way to avoid stress as you’ll only have a small amount of work to do the day before it’s due. We’ve all been there and it’s not the best way to do it. Splitting your work up into sections is a good way to make it feel like less of a challenge.
Of course, don’t split it into parts that are too small. For example, splitting your maths homework into absolutely tiny exercises will mean that you never really get into a flow and will just be wasting time by stopping and starting the work too many times.
Organise Your Tasks from Easiest to Most Difficult
Another way to get your homework done is by prioritising activities from easiest to most difficult.
It can be tough sitting down to work if you know you have to do something tricky. By starting with easier and more manageable activities, you can slowly work up to the challenging stuff. Start with an easy maths exercise and once you’ve got warmed up, you can move onto more difficult activities.
By organising them and building up to them, it won’t seem as complicated and by the end of the session, you’ll have very little homework to be getting on with. Wanting to finish your homework will be motivation enough. Make a note of the order that you’ll be doing your homework in.
Get Your Homework Done as Soon as Possible
It’s never a good idea to procrastinate as it can lead to the work building up. By keeping on top of your homework, you’ll never have too much to do.
You never want to get home from school with a mountain of homework to be getting on with, even less so during the weekends and school holidays while everyone else seems to be having fun. It’s a good idea to schedule when you’ll be doing your homework. Bit by bit, do some homework every day and you’ll never find it piling up.
Make a routine of it and by doing a bit every day, it won’t upset your schedule. Very few students will do this under their own volition. Parents can get involved and make it part of their routine.
Use Interactive Resources
Homework isn’t often very enjoyable, but it can become more interesting if you use interactive and fun resources.
Wouldn’t they much rather be watching an episode of their favourite show?
Interactive content like apps and exercises is a good way to keep them focused on their homework. Parents can find a lot of content online and there are plenty of websites and apps for students to use with their homework.
Maths homework may be more entertaining if you have a YouTuber explaining it to them. History is more entertaining if there’s a well-produced and funny video with everything they need to know.
After all, academic success isn’t just about hitting the books and learning every less off by heart. The more a student is interested in their studies, the more they’ll remember. Interesting and interactive content will make studying and homework less of a chore.
It's pointless spending hours looking at the same maths problems until they’re done as it could be counter-productive. It’s important to take regular breaks.
After all, your brain needs breaks. When you go back to your maths problems after a break, things will be clearer and students will get more out of their homework if they’re well-rested.
Each student will have a routine, but a 5-minute break every half an hour tends to work well. Too many breaks, however, will have the inverse effect. The student will never be working for long enough to get into a flow.
Plan an Enjoyable Activity After Homework
Dinner then bed isn’t much of a motivator for finishing your homework. To ensure they remain motivated, it’s recommended that there’s a rewarding activity for them once they’ve finished. The quicker they get their homework done, the quicker they can go and play, for example.
Each student will be looking forwards to what they’ll be doing once they finish their homework. This can be their reward for doing their homework well. The thought of getting to play will make them want to finish their homework sooner. Just make sure they don’t rush it!
If you're looking for homework help or academic support tutoring, you can search for tutors on the Superprof website. There are plenty of experienced and qualified tutors ready to help you and you can view their profiles for free.
No two tutors are the same so you need to think carefully about the type of tutoring that will work best for you or your child and what you're looking for in a tutor. Think about which subjects you'll need the most help in and consider making a shortlist of the criteria you're looking for in a tutor. From there, you'll need to consider your budget and the type of tutoring available.