With kids returning to school in January, they are already halfway through their school year. At this time, it can be easy for students to lose focus and motivation to finish the year strong.
We all know that “first day of school” feeling – the fresh school supplies, eagerness to write perfect notes, and complete organization. But then, halfway through the year, it seems to…disappear? Well, it doesn’t have to! Let’s get our kids reorganized, re-energized, and ready to finish the school year strong.
Parents and educators play an integral part in motivating kids. They can use the excitement of the new year to propel kids into a better learning outcome. Encouraging the right attitude can really make a difference in their study habits, interest in learning, and grades. In addition, quality tutoring, such as School is Easy tutoring, can be a powerful motivator for kids.
In this article, we will be discussing how to motivate kids, with proven strategies that you can use today. Read on to learn more, and let’s help our students succeed in the final months of the school year.
All About Motivation
Understanding how to motivate kids requires you to understand the different types of motivation or the reasons why your children do what they do.
There are two types of motivation:
- Intrinsic – doing something because you enjoy it
- Extrinsic – doing something because of the reward offered, regardless of whether it’s enjoyable
To set your child up for success, whether in school or in life, it’s essential to cultivate intrinsic motivation. This is when a child enjoys learning on their own. While there may be tasks that require extrinsic motivation, a child with intrinsic motivation has a better attitude toward the activity. And that is vital in what motivates your child.
How to Motivate Kids
From a young age, children are naturally curious. They want to examine every part of the world because they find it all fascinating. This natural curiosity should be cultivated because it is the basis of intrinsic motivation.
A German study found that students who were intrinsically motivated to read were better at it than those who did it to compete with classmates (a sign of extrinsic motivation.)
Another study of student motivation found that “the more that students’ motivation is autonomous, the better their academic performance, the longer they persist, the better they learn, the greater their satisfaction is, and the more positive their emotions at school are.”
While most of your child’s learning will be in the classroom, it doesn’t have to stop there. You can engage your child in learning wherever they are. Conducting experiments at home, taking nature walks, and visiting a museum are all types of activities that inspire learning outside of the classroom. When children are able to see that learning can be fun, it can enhance their motivation. For more ideas, check out our blog post on how to make school fun for kids.
Develop Children’s Motivation
Cultivating a strong motivation in your children will help them develop character and ensure they will be able to overcome challenges and succeed. Here are some ways that you can use to help build your child’s motivation skills.
1. Encourage Play
One of the best motivations for kids is exploration. Playing is one of the main ways children discover the world around them and more about themselves. Encourage your child to engage in imaginative play or make-believe activities.
2. Challenge the Child
Children’s motivation is developed as they attempt challenges and succeed. However, if the task is too easy or hard, they’ll lose the opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation. As a parent, you can help adjust tasks to your child’s abilities. It’s also important to offer productive feedback and encouragement.
3. Let Your Child Lead
It’s easy to see our children’s motivation develop when they are engaged in activities and subjects they are interested in. Letting your child have some control over the activity or task is one of the best things to do when it comes to how to motivate kids. One way to do this is to give them options and let them choose. When children feel more in control of their learning, it can motivate them to push themselves.
4. Focus on Effort, Not Result
A key element of what motivates your child is to focus on the effort they put forth rather than the result. For example, if your child wins an accolade, praise them for the work they put into the process. Focusing on the reward alone may lead to a child believing results are the most crucial aspect of achievement. Rather, to cultivate motivation in your child, help them understand that the effort they put in was what resulted in their success.
5. Teach Them Why
Helping kids understand the benefits of tackling difficult tasks or work can feed their motivation. If it is an activity they don’t enjoy, explain to them the value of completing it. One example is helping kids see why they need to complete chores. You can explain to them that every family member needs to help take care of the home you share and each other.
This tactic can successfully develop motivation in your child even from a young age. Simply explain it to them in language they will understand.
6. Establish Good Communication
Talking with your child and creating a relationship based on good communication is vital in teaching motivation to children. Doing this may mean you’ll hear things you won’t always like or agree with, but handling your child with gentleness is essential. Allow your child to express their frustration or dislikes with you. Not every subject will be interesting or come easy for your child. And that is okay.
If they are struggling with a particular subject, consider booking a tutor to help guide your child. Once they gain a new understanding and appreciation for the subject, they might find that school is easier.
7. Get Enthused
Share your enjoyment of learning with your child. Enthusiasm can be contagious, and it might help your child see learning in a different way. If there is a subject or topic that you really like, talk to your child about it. Let them know why you like it and what you find valuable about the knowledge. Perhaps you can discover new information on the topic, and you can both share the excitement of a new discovery.
8. Encourage organization
Being organized is critical to success as a student – or anywhere, really. So, encourage your child to organize their study area, books, supplies, etc. If your children are younger, you may want to help them stay organized. Remember that disorganization can cause children to feel overwhelmed and anxious. By encouraging organization skills, you can also help motivate kids.
9. Get SMART
SMART is an anacronym for a goal-setting method. It means creating goals with your child that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Encourage your child to create goals, then break these goals into smaller steps. Each time your child gets a little closer to their goal, it can cultivate that internal motivation.
Celebrate your child’s successes. When your child accomplishes a goal or completes a difficult task, celebrate it. Acknowledging the work and effort they put in and how it paid off can reinforce motivation skills in children.
With these 10 highly effective strategies, you can help motivate your young student to finish the school year off the right way!
In addition, if your child is struggling to understand lesson concepts, a qualified tutor can be a powerful motivator. When students understand what they are learning in school, it boosts their confidence and excitement for learning. This can play a key part in helping them succeed in school. Find a School is Easy tutor near you today!