This is a question many parents have and it’s a good one too. I know I have asked it many times myself in my short eight years of being a mom.
In today’s world a lot of people place a high value on educational success and why wouldn’t they? Success in school usually (not always) means a lifetime of success. It’s not just about the grades either. Learning in school can increase a child’s ability to learn throughout his entire life which can open lots of doors. Learning well in school can raise a child’s confidence which increases his ability to do well throughout his life.
How do you inspire children’s learning?
From the very beginning of your child’s educational journey, when they are in preschool or kindergarten, we can cultivate an attitude of success, growth, and eagerness in them to learn. We can do this through daily habits, expectations and checking in with them.
In this article we will explore all of that plus we will take a look at what motivates children to do well in school, and how to help a child who is struggling in school.
A love for learning starts with daily routines and habits. These can set students up for success, rather than failure. Although it takes a little bit of time to instill, a routine creates a mindset that something for school needs to be done every single day.
Think about all the different successful people who have routines in their lives.
Share these career examples with your child so they understand that they will use the idea of routines and habits throughout their lives in whatever career they choose. Ask your child what he wants to be when he grows up and think about the routines required for that profession.
- Bodybuilders’ routines involve going to the gym each day.
- A firefighter’s routine involves putting on gear and getting into the truck as quickly and safely as possible.
- Police officers have routines when clearing a crime scene.
- A school teacher has to have a routine to make sure she has an orderly classroom and learning environment.
- A scientist needs to have a procedure and routine for studying a hypothesis.
A routine for a child in school is no different. Explaining to your child that everyday professionals and jobs use routines is also important so they will understand the value in it.
The routine you choose for your child depends on your individual child, but basically involves setting aside a specific time of day and place for something related to their education.
What do school routines look like?
- Completing homework everyday after school at the kitchen table
- Writing down each subject’s homework in a daily journal or planner
- Eating a healthy breakfast each morning with your student and discussing school
- Asking your child about one or two important lessons they learned in school that day
Having a daily routine, as we shared above, will help a child who is struggling in school. There are also other great ways to help a child who is struggling in school.
You may be thinking to yourself “I already invest time in PTA, and taking my child to all of the various activities he needs to be at,” and so on. That is all super fantastic! Involvement with your kiddo though doesn’t need to be anything more than just showing interest and being available.
While the singular job of a student is to go to school each day, the job of that student’s parent or caretaker is to help the student cultivate an attitude of learning. Despite the fact that we, as parents and guardians, have our own busy lives to deal with, it’s important to keep in mind that our children also are growing and learning.
There are many conversation starters revolving around school, and it is critical that parents set aside time each day to ask about school.
- What happened in school
- How the school day went
- What they learned
- Whether anything was surprising
- Or even what grades they got on tests
For older students, having a more in-depth conversation related to the transfer of educational knowledge to the real world is important.
Know When to Get Help
If your child is trying his best and he is still having trouble in school then it may be time to get a tutor. A tutor is a private teacher, typically one who teaches a single student or a very small group.
First step would be to check with your child’s school. Some schools offer student tutors.
If your school does not offer tutors you may need to seek out a private tutor or institution. These are categorized as tutor agencies.
If you can’t find an agency that suits your needs, or there is not one in your home town you may want to check with area Universities and Colleges. Sometimes students and teachers will offer tutoring for free or a nominal fee.
When all else fails, you can take your struggle to social media and your private circle of friends. Only do this if your child is comfortable with sharing his situation. If he is then you can post on your private Facebook page to see if someone you know (or a friend of someone you know), offers tutoring. You could also reach out and ask a trusted family member or family friend who is particularly good at the topic your child is struggling with currently.
What motivates children to do well in school?
We all have certain triggers that motivate us in life and kids are no different. Some kids get really motivated by money while others are motivated by things or adventures. Whatever it is that motivates your kid, yah,.. do more of that. Here are some ideas to encourage and inspire you as you motivate your child to do well in school.
Motivate Your Child with Money
While there are arguments for and against giving a child money for earning an “A” or a “B” on a report card, I personally feel like this can be done in a responsible way.
You can either choose to phase this sort of thing out as they grow older, or stick with it.
According to PBS.org there are many ways to effectively motivate your child with rewards such as money or toys but there are dangers too. They suggest making the rewards fairly immediate and keep track of progress with a chart, help your child reach the goals and be realistic in expectations.
Dangers could include your child not gaining a desire to do the right thing but instead expecting to be rewarded. Check out 8 Ways to Motivate Your Child in School for more ideas, helpful nuggets and inspiration.
Motivate Your Child with Adventures
For some kids money is a concept that is challenging to grasp, or they just don’t find it as exciting as adventures. My 5-year-old is this way. He would rather have an adventure reward over money. Here are some ideas to motivate your child with adventures.
- Have a mom & me day. Your child can earn a day with mom to do whatever he wants (within reason). This usually works best with younger kids. Our boys have chosen super simple things such as a walk along the river (one of our favorite spots), go to the park, check out a pet store or get ice cream. The idea is fun, upbeat and spending time together.
- Plan a family trip. This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. The trip can be as simple as going to a theme park a few hours away, checking out a Kid Museum in your neighboring community, or visiting friends out of town.
- Plan a family fun day. Our kids love this reward. We have a family fun day every last Saturday of the month. Here’s how it works. We keep their homework charts and chore sheets.
Overall, there are certainly many things you can do to jumpstart the excitement and energy that students have for school. With parenting, there are no right or wrong answers and you can even devise your own system for motivating your student for success.