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STRATEGIES TO MOTIVATE YOUR CHILD TO LEARN AT HOME - PART 2



There is so much you can do as a parent to get your child to love learning. Rather than trying to force your child to study regularly, 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. Last week, we discussed 5 steps you could take to achieve this but there are more steps you can take, which include:



1. 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 you switch the focus to learning rather than grades, your child can find more enjoyment in accomplishing work.



2. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO SET SMALL GOALS


Encourage your child to set small, achievable study goals based on what needs to be accomplished. Setting goals gives your child clear directions for what needs to be done, and boosts confidence when he or she accomplishes these goals. Some examples of studying goals include:

  • read one chapter of the assigned reading

  • complete 5 practice questions from the textbook

  • review notes for twenty minutes.


3. TRY DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES


There is no ‘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 does not match his or her learning style, the child might get frustrated because grasping the material becomes much more difficult. Try different studying techniques to see what works best for your child.


4. TAKE PROPER STUDY BREAKS


Although it can be tempting to try and get all homework done in one go, the brain can lose focus without breaks (especially for younger students). Dividing study time into manageable chunks is important for keeping your child’s mind fresh and engaged. Encourage your child to take proper study breaks during a study session. Keep these tips in mind for a productive study break:

  • use a timer to remind your child when it is time to take a break

  • take breaks after about 30 minutes of work

  • keep breaks between 5-10 minutes long.

5. ENCOURAGE EXERCISE


Pent-up energy leads to frustration and makes studying even more difficult. Regular exercise improves overall well-being and reduces stress, making homework much easier to accomplish. Make sure your child is getting plenty of physical activity each day before studying. Even a quick walk around the block during a study break is a great way to allow your child to get the blood flowing to the brain and helps avoid frustration and burnout.


6. PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR YOUR CHILD


Keep open communication with your child and offer support when needed. This might include making arrangements 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.


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