With the ups and downs of the past year and changes to the school routine, it’s normal that your child might have lost a bit of motivation. Boosting your child’s interest in school can even be a challenge at the best of times, particularly if they’re not particularly academically minded. All children have a great deal of potential to learn, however, and it could be that they simply haven’t discovered their passion yet. Whether your kids are homeschooling or back at school, here are ten tips to help get their motivation back.
10 Ways to Boost Your Child's Interest in School
Improve their study environment
It’s vital for children to have a stimulating and ergonomic study environment at home. This means a supporting chair and table, the right equipment, not too much noise, and plenty of light. If the room where they do their homework is a bit dark, the first thing you can do is brighten up the space. This will help them concentrate and will be less of a strain on their eyes. It’s difficult to expect kids to study hard if they’re uncomfortable to begin with.
Make school subjects more relevant
When you’re helping your child study at home, try and make the school subjects relevant to them, however you can. Look for inspiration in everyday objects around the house, for example. Teach them about American History with movies, toys, and even patriotic t shirts. Relate math to your family life, counting money, or sharing food. You can find your own original way to draw their interest in the subject they’re studying at the moment.
Help them find their passion
Another way to boost their interest is to help your child find their passion. If you notice they prefer a certain subject or excel at it, focus on this, rather than the subjects they’re less good at. It’s unusual to be perfect in everything, so put a lot of attention on any subject they are passionate about. They will then hopefully transfer this positive attitude onto other subjects later.
Make learning fun
Children learn best when they’re enjoying themselves, and even though it’s often a challenge, teachers are looking for new ways to make learning fun. You could try to make a game out of certain exercises. There are plenty of relevant games that will improve certain skills such as spelling, vocabulary, and various number skills. You can find these online with a quick Google search. There are many free resources available to parents. If not, a strategic game of chess, or hangman to boost their vocabulary could also work wonders.
Make the most of digital resources
As well as games, there is a wide range of homeschooling resources available online. If you’re struggling to find ideas to help your kids study at home, then look online. Even YouTube has educational channels for children of all ages. Kids today love interactive activities and videos online, and the standards can be very high. You can find plenty of engaging material that’s very effective.
Avoid negative reinforcement
Whereas punishment is sometimes unavoidable, there are many benefits of positive reinforcement as well. Don’t overpraise, but remember to acknowledge any good behavior and achievements as this will go a long way. It’s also more productive to teach children the consequences of their actions when they’ve done something wrong, rather than throwing an irrelevant punishment at them. This teaches them more effective problem-solving skills they can then use later in life and it will help them to learn self-control.
Taking time out is important and there has been a lot of research into the science of taking a break. It’s difficult for children to concentrate for long periods of time and this can result in fatigue and a lack of motivation. Let them take short regular breaks from time to time to refresh their energy levels to bring them back to studying. You could also teach them relaxation techniques that allow them to disconnect from their schoolwork completely for a short while. Playtime is also very beneficial and teaches them plenty of useful soft skills. These include various social skills and problem-solving.
Help them cope with failure
Often children lose motivation because they are disappointed by academic failure. As a parent, you need to try to help them to learn from failure. It’s important for them to understand that success and failure go hand in hand and that they will learn from their mistakes. This will motivate them to keep trying. Failure is, unfortunately, a very important part of learning and eventually, they will build more confidence.
Keep a positive mindset
It’s essential to stay positive and encourage your kids to do the same. If you’re having difficulties motivating them, then have a look at these activities to teach positivity. It’s natural for both children and adults to dwell on negative thoughts more than positive ones, but it’s important for them to learn how to process negative emotions in a healthy way. This will help them to be more emotionally resilient and learn how to respond to certain situations. They need to see things from another perspective and open their minds to new possibilities.
Lead by example
Your behavior is very influential even if it doesn’t always feel like it, so it’s necessary to lead by example. Children are always observing how adults act towards others and will try to imitate them. How you interact with them also impacts their development. You want to try to be the best role model you can be. It’s important to be accountable for your actions if you’ve done something wrong. Parents aren’t expected to be perfect, but it’s how you deal with the mistakes you’ve made that’s important.
Take a genuine interest in your child’s school subjects yourself and ask plenty of relevant questions. Listen while they explain to you what they’ve been studying recently, and if necessary, do a bit of homework yourself. If you try to build a positive environment at home you can change their attitude towards school.