How To Boost Your Child’s Interest In Education
As children get older, more responsibility is placed on them to complete their homework and stay on top of their assignments. While some students have the motivation to complete their work on time, other students struggle to get started.
Most good students aren’t born good learners. Yes, different personality plays a big part in a child’s willingness to learn and their overall disposition when it comes to education, but most children who are good learners at some point had to become good learners. More importantly, any student, who possesses the basic aptitude and receives the right motivation, can become a good learner.
Although it’s important for parents to take an active role in ensuring their child completes homework, it’s also important to not force your child to do it—there’s a big difference between forcing and motivating. Encouraging your child to find motivation positively is important for building habits that last. Forcing your child to do work can make him or her resent study time, making self-motivation much more difficult to achieve.
10 Plans to Motivate Your Child to Study
- FIND OUT WHAT’S STOPPING YOUR CHILD
- CREATE A STUDY PLAN TOGETHER
- DEVELOP AN ATMOSPHERE OF READING
- MAKE STUDY TIME EASIER
- FOCUS ON YOUR CHILD’s INTEREST
- BUILD A REWARD SYSTEM
- ENCOURAGE OPEN AND SINCERE COMMUNICATION
- LIMIT STRESS
- FOCUS ON LEARNING INSTEAD OF PERFORMANCE
- RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS
- PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR YOUR CHILD
- MAKE EVERY DAY A LEARNING DAY
- TRY DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES
- INSPIRE YOUR CHILD TO SET SMALL GOALS
- HELP YOUR CHILD STAY ORGANISED
1. FIND OUT WHAT’S STOPPING YOUR CHILD
Your child may be unmotivated to study for many reasons. Finding the source of the problem will help you and your child develop a plan to overcome the obstacles that are stopping him or her from completing any task.
Some reasons for lack of motivation may be:
- Poor understanding of the material
- Work that isn’t challenging enough
- Work that isn’t suited to his or her learning style
- Anxiety about school
- Low self-confidence
2. CREATE A STUDY PLAN TOGETHER
Children do well with structure—having an uninterrupted study plan in place will help keep a child on track. Sit down with your child and create a plan for finishing homework each night. Including your child in the process will help keep him or her engaged (and more willing to adhere to the plan!)
Your plan should include:
- When homework is to be done each day
- How much time should be spent on homework
- How often to take breaks and for how long
- What tasks should be prioritized (i.e. assignments that are due the soonest)
3. DEVELOP AN ATMOSPHERE OF READING
Reading not only helps children develop a much more elegant vocabulary, but it also helps their brain learn how to process concepts and formal communication. And the skills gained from reading extend far beyond increased performance in language art classes. Students who read well experience an enhanced ability to learn in all subjects – including technical subjects such as math and science.
Help your child develop reading skills and a love for reading by filling his world with reading. Read to your child frequently. Have your child read aloud. Create a family reading time where everyone focuses on reading for 20 minutes a day. Through your own example of reading and by filling your classroom and/or home with reading materials (novels, posters, newspapers, magazines, etc.) you’ll create an atmosphere of reading that will demonstrate to your child (or students) just how important reading is.
4. MAKE STUDY TIME EASIER
Make study time as easy as possible for your child by giving him or her everything needed to get work done:
- Quiet space: Find a quiet, distraction-free space for your child to study.
- Food and drink: If your child is hungry, it can be hard to focus on work. Give your child a light snack before a study session and plenty of water to ensure he or she can remain focused.
- The right tools: Make sure pencils, an eraser, a calculator, and other important tools are easily accessible so time isn’t wasted trying to find them.
Making sure your child has everything he or she needs means less resistance and fewer excuses.
5. FOCUS ON YOUR CHILD’s INTEREST
When learning involves children in areas and subjects of interest, learning becomes fun and children engage in learning. If you really want to help your child to become a good learner, encourage him to explore topics and subjects that fascinate him. If he likes dinosaurs, help him find engaging and interesting books and stories about dinosaurs. Then challenge him to identify his five favorite dinosaurs and explain why he chose each one.
6. BUILD A REWARD SYSTEM
Create a reward system with your child so he or she has something to look forward to once study time is complete—the key to staying motivated when studying. The rewards can be as simple as watching TV once homework is done or collecting ‘points’ after each study session to use for something special.
7. ENCOURAGE OPEN AND SINCERE COMMUNICATION
Encourage your child or student to express his opinion about what’s going on with his studies. Create an open environment where he feels comfortable expressing his likes, dislikes, or concerns. When he shares his opinion, make sure to confirm his feelings – even if you disagree. When children feel like their opinion doesn’t matter, or they’re stuck, they’re likely to disengage from the learning process.
Good learners know their opinion matters and feel reassured that they can be open about their educational experience without being judged, put down, discouraged, or ignored.
8. LIMIT STRESS
If your child is stressed, he or she might find it tough to study or even find the motivation to get started in the first place. Help your child reduce stress by spending time with him or her and inspiring conversations about thoughts and feelings.
Make sure your child has sufficient time each evening to de-stress. Discuss activities to do during study breaks or after homework is complete that can help lower stress, such as:
- Going for a walk
- Listening to music
9. FOCUS ON LEARNING INSTEAD OF PERFORMANCE
Instead of focusing primarily on grades, celebrate milestones related to learning—both big and small.
This might be when your child successfully solves a tricky math problem, or when he or she finishes writing the first draft of an essay. When switching the focus to learning, your child can find more enjoyment in accomplishing work, helping boost motivation.
10. RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS
No matter how small they may be, it’s necessary to understand and celebrate your child’s successes. This is especially important for elementary-age school children who need constant positive support to keep them motivated to learn and challenge themselves to do better. We’re not suggesting that you praise mediocrity, but that you offer recognition and celebrate your child’s achievements. Finishing a difficult project deserves a special treat; doing well on a math test could call for a trip to get ice cream. Always use positive reinforcement as your tool to motivate learning with your child.
11. PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR YOUR CHILD
Keep open communication with your child, and give support when required. This might include making adjustments to talk with your child’s teacher, getting your child some extra help, or just lending an ear when your child is feeling overwhelmed. Knowing that support is available will help your child develop the confidence to tackle any problems that might arise.
12. MAKE EVERY DAY A LEARNING DAY
Turning every day into a learning day may sound like a bit much, but it really isn’t, if you go about it the right way. Whenever possible, encourage your child to explore the world around him, ask questions and make connections. Help him categorize, classify and think critically of what he sees and experiences. Turning every day into a learning day will help your child develop the internal motivation to learn in the classroom, at home, or wherever he may be
13. TRY DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES
There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution for studying—every student has a slightly different way of learning. If your child is studying with a method that doesn’t match his or her learning style, he or she might get frustrated because grasping the material becomes much more difficult. Try different studying techniques to see what works best for your child.
14. INSPIRE YOUR CHILD TO SET SMALL GOALS
Inspire your child to set small, achievable study goals based on what needs to be achieved. Setting goals gives your child clear directions for what needs to be done, and boosts self-confidence when he or she achieves these goals.
Some examples of studying goals include:
- Read one chapter of the assigned reading
- Review notes for twenty minutes
- Complete 5 practice questions from the textbook
15. HELP YOUR CHILD STAY ORGANISED
Helping your child organize his papers, books and assignments will go a long way to helping him feel motivated to learn. Disorganization is typical among young school-age children, but it can also lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed children spend more time and effort being frustrated and worried than they do learning. Be patient, but consistent, in helping your child organize his school supplies and assignments. This will help him feel in control, less overwhelmed, and more motivated to learn.