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How to Motivate Your Children to Do Well in School
We all want our children to do well in school, but keeping children motivated to learn and do well in school is as much on the parents as it is on the kids. Doing so can positively impact your children’s lives forever, and the passion for learning is something that will take them beyond ‘success’ in their academic lives, but also in their professional and personal lives.
Here are some ways that you can motivate your child to do well in school:
Don’t press them too hard
Ideally, learning is supposed to be fun! And if there is so much pressure on learning and doing well in school, this can have the opposite effect on your child than the one you both want. So don’t press them too hard, and find that balance of encouraging them, being positive, but also holding them accountable.
Make them feel they are in charge
Ultimately, your child’s academic career is his or her own. But you of course have influence and have a hand in this from the start. To encourage your child to take responsibility and make them feel in charge of their own success is incredibly motivating. And also makes your child know that you believe in them. This might mean that your child has to make some mistakes while learning their habits and what works best for them. But supporting them in this learning is really important.
Allow innovative and alternative tools
While many parents limit technology, etc. (and it is highly recommended!), allowing innovative tools such as technology, games, and YouTube offer a fun alternative to the traditional textbook. If your child is learning a language, for example, this is a time to really let them explore what their favourite learning method is. For example, your child can learn Portuguese online with apps like Babbel for example and build up the confidence with written language skills before applying what they have learned in a group setting where they may not be as confident in their speaking skills or may be more challenged with auditory processing.
Create structure and routine for homework
Your child’s work ethic really develops during their educational career. So to help them create structure and routine for homework and their studies that works for them is crucial. Remember that there is a difference between being prepared to be productive and actual productivity. Helping your child learn what structures and organization works best for them is a lesson that they will take forward into the rest of their lives. This may take some trial and error, so work together to learn what environments and routines they do their best work in. This might mean coming home and doing homework immediately by themselves or having a homework buddy to work with, or maybe having an hour to play after school and then starting homework.
Reward after accomplishments
Accomplishments deserve to be rewarded! This doesn’t mean you need to make a big deal out of academic accomplishments all the time. But hearing a ‘good job’ or an ‘I’m proud of you’ goes a long way.
Promote travel and field trips
There are so many ways to learn, and both travel and field trips are ways that your child can have academic experiences outside of the traditional classroom setting. Ask them what aspects of school they like. And when they have a passion about a certain topic, find an activity you can do together that aligns with it.
Teach them that it’s ok to make mistakes
Mistakes are absolutely ok, and it’s crucial for your child to know that. Mistakes are all a part of learning, and that’s what it’s all about! It’s more than ok to expect and want effort from their children in terms of academics. But expecting perfection adds stress and this could have long-term effects on your children that is very avoidable. Every child is different, and every learner is different. So it’s important for your child to remember that they have the space and support to make mistakes and try again.
Do you have any suggestions or strategies that work for you and your children?
*this post was written in collaboration with E. Jones – for more details please see my disclosure page