April 30, 2014
How to Motivate Your Child At School in 2014
It’s not always easy to help children attain their true potential in school, college and beyond. It’s particularly challenging in today’s world, with so many distractions from smart phones to social media channels so readily available to all of us. From technological gizmos like tablets, handheld gaming devices to television and the Internet; it can be challenging to help your child focus on education, learning at school and the things that really matter in life.
However, that’s not to say that these ‘distractions’ are bad for students. The art is to look to engage and encourage children to focus in a mutually beneficial way, balancing reward with motivation.
The following tips have been formulated with the modern student in mind. Traditional methods are also included, but we also make sure to address the challengers that parents of 2014 are likely to face!
If your child is struggling in the classroom, why not inject some confidence by hiring a tutor? Private tuition can give your child the confidence he or she may need to really excel. One to one attention goes a long way, and not only will your child benefit from that concentrated care, a private tutor will identify weaker areas of learning and build a programme to improve them.
Feelings of inadequacy and disdain for learning come when a child feels that the subject matter is beyond reach. Fill in the gaps by allowing for some one-on-one learning. You’d be surprised by just how much of a difference this can make to both a child’s confidence and motivation to continue learning.
Check out our blog on how to choose the perfect private tutor for your child.
Set Your Child Targets and Goals
The absolute best way to motivate anyone is to set realistic but optimistic targets. Targets give children (and adults) something to work towards so that their efforts are met with some form of self-satisfaction and reward.
The general rule of thumb is not to push a child too hard. For example, if they’re projected to get a C grade in Maths, why not set a realistic target of a B grade. That way they’re working towards achieving something that’s not beyond reach, and if they get it the satisfaction will reinforce their confidence in their own ability into adult life.
It’s an important life lesson that sends a positive message. Set yourself a goal, work hard and achieve what you wanted to.
Celebrate Your Child’s Achievements and New Found Brilliance
It’s important that a child feels supported and endorsed when specific targets and achievements are met. Positive reinforcement will inspire your child to continue studying even when they don’t really feel up to it – after all, they know that at the end of the road a treat awaits.
It doesn’t even have to be something big. Giving a child an hour’s worth of PlayStation time can be more than enough to encourage a good bout of homework and revision.
Try Out Different Learning Techniques
Not all children are cut from the same cloth and so the same exact teaching style will work well on some, while it won’t suit others at all. It’s important that you explore several avenues of learning so that you can finally come to a formula of what works best.
It’s important to avoid hammering the same style of learning in the hope that eventually it’ll stick with you child. Drilling learning techniques works for some, but the majority of children will find constant repetition either boring or demotivating if they’re already struggling.
Test whether your child finds value in listening to a book on tape, for example. Do they absorb the information more effectively compared to traditional books? In similar fashion, consider visual and kinaesthetic learning strategies.
Keep Learning at the Forefront, Make it Valuable
Your child looks up to you, as a parent or teacher, as an example. If you discard learning as a secondary pursuit in your family home, it’s difficult to convince children that it’s of any importance.
Set the right tone by keeping learning a central feature of day-to-day life. Instead of watching the latest reality TV, why not watch an informative documentary instead? Should that be too boring or difficult to understand for them, try a film adaptation of a literary classic. This gives you the opportunity to go over monumental works without it seeming like an inconvenience.
This concept works well with many aspects of education. Try to make studying fun and interactive. Your child will get more out of life if they feel a connection to what they’re supposed to be learning, and they will have a deeper understanding of the value of knowledge.
Taking your children out to museums, galleries and local landmarks also help tremendously. It will give your child a sense of the wider world and the amount of information that will be naturally absorbed can give a real advantage.
Combine Technology with Learning
If you’re ready to pull your hair out because your child is seemingly glued to a tablet, try using it to your advantage instead. Encourage your child to go beyond the standard games – download learning applications or books that they can read.
Even social networks like Twitter can help students … so it’s best to make the most of them whilst they’re around.
These simple tips are easy to implement but can make a world of difference to your child’s development. Don’t underestimate the value of your day-to-day input – learning isn’t just about what happens on school grounds.