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STRATEGIES TO MOTIVATE YOUR CHILD TO LEARN AT HOME - PART 1


Are you worried because your child is not showing enthusiasm when it comes to learning – especially as far as schoolwork is concerned? As a parent, it is perfectly alright to be bothered. After all, education is said to be the best legacy you can ever give your child. Here you are, willing to do whatever it takes to give your child the best education money can buy but the child is just not interested. Getting him or her to go to school is a battle on its own. Then comes the battle of making the child study at home or do homework. You just cannot seem to get this child to love learning.


You are not the only parent in this situation. While it is important to make sure your child studies regularly, it is important to not force your child to do it. Instead, focus on making study time a positive experience so your child can build self-motivation. The good news is that there are things you can try to get your child interested in studying. We have done some research on this and here some of the steps suggested by Oxford Learning (an education-focused organisation) on how you can get your child running for their books without forcing them to do so.


1. FIND OUT WHAT’S STOPPING YOUR CHILD


Your child may be unmotivated to study for a number of reasons. Finding the root of the problem will help you and your child develop a plan to overcome the barriers that are preventing him or her from studying or completing homework. Some reasons for lack of motivation may be:

  • poor understanding of the material

  • work is not challenging enough

  • work is not suited to his or her learning style

  • anxiety about school

  • low self-confidence.


2. MAKE STUDY TIME EASIER


Make study time as easy as possible for your child by providing 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.

  • The right tools: Make sure pencils, an eraser, a calculator, and other important tools are easily accessible so time is not wasted trying to find them.


3. CREATE A STUDY PLAN TOGETHER


Children do well with structure—having a solid study plan in place will help keep your child on track. Sit down with your child and create a plan for studying and completing homework each day. 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

  • which tasks should be prioritized (i.e. assignments that are due the soonest).

4. CREATE A REWARD SYSTEM


Build 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.

5. LIMIT STRESS


If your child is stressed, he or she might find it difficult to study, or even find the motivation to get started in the first place. Help relieve stress by spending time with the child and encouraging conversations about thoughts and feelings. Make sure your child has enough 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

  • doing artwork.


There are a number of other steps you can take. Watch this space next week for more on the subject.


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