Habyts has a new focus! Learn more.

Homeschooling Pressure: 127 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Kids

Not getting any easier?

So, you’ve finally figured out Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and how to download/upload 13 worksheets a day.  (By the way, a brilliant start and a well-deserved “well done”!)

But you still have a ton of your own work to do and the initial excitement of homeschool is wearing off for your kids.

To help move things along,  here are a few ideas on how to reward and keep the kids motivated to actually get the work done.  Every. Single. Day.

The tried and trusted  “When/Then” routine is a key tool here.  That is, “WHEN you finish your math, THEN you can build an obstacle course in the living room tonight.”

Don’t limit your idea of motivational treats to “stuff”.  Simple activities and acknowledgment can be just as powerful (as well as more fulfilling and viable long-term).

Below is a list to help you try to keep it fresh for your kids and doable for you. (And if you have any ideas to add, enter to win a $20 Gift Card in our Homeschool Motivation Giveaway).

Indoor Rewards and Motivation for Finishing Schoolwork

  1. Build (or start to build)  an obstacle course for later.
  2. Stay up late (but within reason).  
  3. Do some of a puzzle (with you).  
  4. No chores day (for both parents and kids!)
  5. Hot chocolate. 
  6. Earn some gum. 
  7. Get a chance to earn pocket money.  
  8. Paint a feature wall. 
  9. Use descriptive praise for recognition (and it also works for chores!)
  10.  Help mom or dad make a treat. 
  11.  Choose what’s for dinner. 
  12.  Sleep somewhere different in the house.  
  13.  Eat in an inside, homemade fort with a flashlight! 
  14.  Special snack.
  15.  Read in the bathtub with pillows. 
  16.  Be the ‘only child’ for a few hours. 
  17. Hi-5. (Don’t underestimate the power of fun and simple celebration).
  18.  Read a non-school book or comic. 
  19.  Play a funny or fascinating video clip. 
  20.  Get extra car privileges (for teens only please). 
  21.  Get your own checking account set up. 
  22.  Blast your favorite tunes. 
  23.  Buy your favorite magazine or app online. 
  24.  Bonus screen time (and here’s a tool to automate that bonus screen time).  
  25.  Have a sleepover with Mom and Dad.  
  26.  Throw a party (or scavenger hunt) with your friends on Zoom. 
  27.  Earn art stuff for creative fun.   
  28.  Choose a film (rent, stream or DVD.) 
  29.  Bake together.  
  30.  Take and print photos.  
  31.  Play a computer game. 
  32.  Make a pinata together. 
  33.  Tie-dye an old shirt. 
  34.  Watch a TV Show. 
  35.  Stickers, stars, and habytars.
  36.  Do an online video call with cousins..  
  37.  Earn an item such as a jump rope, football, hula hoop or frisbee. 
  38.  Enjoy a dance party to your favorite music. 
  39. Surprise scavenger hunt in the house.
  40.  Do a fun science experiment!  
  41.  Redecorate your own room. 
  42. Talk for extra time on the phone. 
  43.  Get to sleep in late on the weekend. 
  44.  Make a handprint tree
  45.  Visit a friend virtually. 
  46.  Visit an online museum. 
  47.  Create a collage
  48.  Write a letter to someone you admire (teachers maybe?)
  49.  Put on a play. 
  50.  Make homemade cards. 
  51.  Have a tea party. 
  52.  Make a time capsule
  53.  Play hide-and-seek. 
  54.  Put on a fashion show. 
  55.  Create an art gallery and display your art. 
  56.  Draw a picture. 
  57.  Send a postcard to yourself. 
  58.  Make a cardboard box robot
  59.  Make finger puppets
  60.  Dress up. 
  61.  Make Cake Pops
  62.  Make an animal mask
  63.  Play board games
  64.  Finger paint. 
  65.  Learn about your village, city or town. 
  66.  Make origami
  67.  Make breakfast or dinner for the family. 
  68.  Create a scrapbook. 
  69.  Have fun with paper mache
  70.  Make button jewellery
  71.  Play restaurant. 
  72.  Make paper aeroplanes
  73.  Do karaoke. 
  74.  Build a mini-library of your favourite books. 
  75.  Make a television show. 
  76.  Play laser tag. 
  77.  Paint a picture. 
  78. Listen to an free audiobook.

Outdoor Rewards and Motivation for Finishing Schoolwork

Part I: With a little bit of time allowed outside.

  1.  Write with sidewalk chalk. 
  2.  Go through a drive-thru and get some ice cream! 
  3.  Pick up dinner to-go and/or eat outdoors as a treat.
  4.  Do some schoolwork outside or other outside homeschooling activity.
  5.  Extra outside play time that day together (some ideas). 
  6.  Scavenger Hunt in the garden. 
  7.  Wash the car (and let it turn into a hose and  water sponge fight).
  8. Just go ahead and do the hose fight on its own (And add some water balloons).
  9. Have a water balloon fight.
  10. Visit the library to check out some new books or audiobooks.
  11.  Make a snow or leaf angel
  12.  Have a wheelbarrow race. 
  13.  Run through sprinklers. 

Part II: If you are allowed to be out for a longer period of time.

  1.  Picnic in the backyard.  
  2.  Camp out in the backyard. 
  3.  Go for a bike ride. 
  4.  Go on a walking field trip. 
  5.  Play a sport. 
  6.  Be the parent and choose where you go, what you do, eat, and watch. 
  7. Go for a hike.   
  8.  Feed the ducks. 
  9.  Make a sandcastle. 
  10.  Climb a tree. 
  11.  Plant an herb garden
  12.  Have a snowball fight. 
  13.  Go sledging/sledding. 
  14.  Have a BBQ. 
  15.  Go bird watching. 
  16.  Build a fire to cook marshmallows. 
  17.   Walk the dog. 
  18.  Fly a kite. 
  19.  Go geocaching as a family. 
  20.  Plant a tree. 
  21.  Build a birdfeeder
  22.  Go rock pooling. 
  23. Do a bug hunt. 
  24. Go trampolining. 
  25. Make tin can stilts
  26. Make a mud pie. 
  27. Go stargazing. 
  28. Collect leaves and make leaf prints
  29. Make a fairy garden
  30. Plant a butterfly garden
  31. Go puddle hunting. 
  32. Play tag. 
  33. Build a tree house
  34. Skim stones (or paint them).

Need more ideas?  Check out these other resources.
1)  51 Reward Ideas to Motivate and Inspire your Kids
2) 100 Unplugged Activity Ideas for Young Kids and Tweens
3) Screen-free Activities for Kids Search Tool | Habyts

Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Do you have a tip to share? Then you could win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Have you found a great reward or method  to motivate your kids to do their homeschooling work?  Share your tip and we’ll randomly choose one lucky winner to receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card!  Enter today for our chance to win!

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Return to the Habyts Blog
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x