Keeping kids motivated is a job in itself for parents and teachers, but it’s not an impossible task. We have a few ideas to help your child succeed in school and help take the stress out of learning.
1. Create a safe, distraction-free learning space – Knowing where they’ll work every day helps children to create a habit. Make it free of all distractions. No television. No computer, tablet, or cellphone unless it must be used for lessons, and only then, and use parental control filters to eliminate their urge to scroll social media feeds or watch YouTube videos. Have your child create a mood board, filled with motivational sayings or posters hung in front of the desk or nearby. Keep the desk or table space clear of anything not conducive to learning. Make it a space your child is comfortable in and won’t complain about spending time in.
2. Organize and Plan – Children need structure to feel secure. Without a schedule and the tools they need at the ready, the environment and situation will feel chaotic. Having set hours to do their homework helps them to create a routine. Set a timer for focused time of work and breaks in between. Have a dedicated place such as desk drawers, baskets, cubbies, and folders to keep the supplies they need.
3. Encourage your child to read for pleasure – Reading helps children develop much-needed literacy skills and improve their grammar. Studies prove that students who read are more likely to succeed in all areas of formal education. Reading to them before they’ve learned to read will give them a head start.
4. Communication – Keep the lines of communication open. Create an environment in which they can vent their frustrations, speak their minds, and talk through problems.
5. Positive Affirmations – Keep things positive. Congratulate them on jobs well done. Don’t focus on what they can’t do. Focus on what they are doing. Positive reinforcement is a great motivator.
6. Limit screen time – Make it a reward not something they kill time with. If they get their work or chores done, give them a specific amount of screen time and stick to the limits.
7. Encourage friendships – Kids need social interaction. They need peers. Let them have some fun.
8. Encourage after-school activities – Kids need work-life balance. Studies show that extracurricular activities contribute to a well-rounded education.
9. Work with them – Perhaps set up a shared space where you can focus on any work you may have while they focus on theirs. Bouncing ideas off each other will open a dialogue. If they get stuck, you can help them and it won’t feel like they’re bothering you.
10. Exercise is a great brain and focus booster – Get outside. Get some fresh air. Exercise will help keep them alert and ready to take on any task. Even better, do it as a family. Everyone in the family can benefit from good old-fashioned exercise. Go for a walk. Jog around the block. Play catch. Show your child that you’re a team.
By: Lauren Wise