It can be challenging to get your children to want to learn, rather than seeing it as something they’re forced to do at school. Just because a child is intelligent or has a natural aptitude for a subject doesn’t mean it will always translate into good grades or success, and usually those bad marks are the result of poor learning habits. Teaching your children how to study and learn effectively is one of the most important things you can do for their educational development, but figuring out exactly how to get them excited about learning is a hurdle that many parents struggle with. If you’ve got a child who needs some encouragement, let’s go over three simple strategies you can use to motivate your child to learn.
1. Focus on your child’s strengths and interests.
It’s no secret that it’s easier to invest time in topics that interest you. While you shouldn’t neglect any of the subjects that your child is studying at school, a good way to make them feel more inclined to learn more is to focus on the subjects that they’re most intrigued by. Encourage them to explore and educate themselves further, and figure out how their interests and hobbies may eventually translate into a college major or a job one day. If your child loves dinosaurs, buy her books about them and teach her about fields like paleontology, so that she can start to understand how something she loves can become a career with enough work and effort.
2. Invest in learning outside the classroom.
If your child is falling behind, invest in outside help. They won’t get much out of their classes if they don’t understand what’s going on. Classes like math or chemistry can be difficult if someone is struggling to grasp the underlying concepts. These days, it’s easier than ever to find help with any subject, including online math tutoring. There’s no need to waste time in getting your child up to speed or wait for them to fall in further behind. Given all that’s going on in the world logistically with the spread of COVID-19, online tutoring is the safest and most logical way to give your child the extra help they need and to quickly sharpen those math skills.
Beyond enlisting additional expert help, you should also find ways to incorporate learning-based activities into your day. Take your kids to a museum or try a craft project together on the weekend. There are plenty of ways to learn and have fun, and finding the balance will help your children see learning as an enjoyable part of every day, not just as something to do at school.
3. Celebrate their efforts.
It’s important to reward effort, not just results. If you want to ingrain positive habits in your child, it’s crucial to celebrate the correct process and the work they put in, otherwise they may find themselves giving up if they don’t immediately get the grade or result they want. If your child studies for a certain amount of time, offer them a break to do something relaxing. If they agree to work with a tutor on a subject, reinforce your support with positive affirmations over their effort. You want your child to understand that learning is a process and that they shouldn’t cut corners. If you’re rigid about rewarding only excellent results, your child might be willing to cheat or focus on memorization in order to obtain a reward without actually engaging with the material in a meaningful way.
Teaching children to appreciate education and to get excited about learning can be difficult at times, but there are plenty of strategies for getting even the most stubborn child to enjoy more academic pursuits. It might take some trial and error, or outside help, but with patience and effort, you can find the right routine for your child. As a parent, you can also make every day a learning experience when you teach your child about the world around them, encourage them to make logical connections, and explain things to them when they have questions. Combine creating a culture of inquisitiveness with activities designed to interest your child and you’ll find them more motivated than ever when it comes to learning.