It seems like there’s at least one child in every family that isn’t an enthusiastic learner. This in no way means that the child lacks intelligence. It simply means that they haven’t found a way to love learning yet.
The reasons for this may be many, and more than one parent has come close to tearing out their hair after months of fighting with a child over going to school and doing homework. Fortunately, there are many effective strategies for getting your child motivated to learn. Any of them might work for your child, but experimentation may be required before you find the right formula for them.
One of the most time-honored and reliable methods of getting a child motivated to learn is reading to them. Nightly reading offers a wonderful opportunity to bond. Moreover, even basic picture books introduce new concepts, places and people. If your child loves a fictional book, use it as an opportunity to learn more by getting related non-fiction books. That story about pirates becomes even more fascinating when your child learns about real-life pirates.
Learn Outside the Classroom
It’s also vital to create learning experiences outside of the classroom. Take your child to a museum or historical home to see how people lived in an earlier century. Go on a nature hike, and try to name all of the plants, animals and trees you see. When you’re baking cookies, ask your child to help. Doubling the recipe is a great way to learn more about math. Opportunities to learn exist everywhere. Any one of them might inspire your child to learn more.
It may seem counterintuitive to sign your child up for extracurricular activities when he’s already having trouble getting his homework done, but studies show that sports and hobbies often inspire greater learning. Taking piano lessons, playing baseball, learning to sew and joining the basketball team can all serve as academic motivators for children. That’s especially true when they love the activity and their participation is dependent upon their performance in school. However, learning a new skill also brings a sense of accomplishment, which is a feeling that kids want to replicate. That may translate into an increased willingness to learn.
Distractions abound in the 21st century. Most of them make it more difficult for kids to focus on their homework. It’s helpful to set up a designated homework zone in your house. Ideally, this would be in a common living area rather than in the child’s room where, again, distractions will surround him. Use the kitchen table, the desk in the home office or another area where there is no television, computer, radio or video games. Make this a quiet space while homework is being done, and promise kids some extra play time for focusing on the task at hand.
Hire a Tutor
Parents are exceptionally busy in the 21st century. Accordingly, it may be wise to get some help by hiring a tutor. You want a tutor who has a solid educational background and plenty of teaching experience. Moreover, it’s helpful to seek a tutor that is capable of using several learning methods and a customized approach for each student to bring about the best possible outcome. A capable tutor may be able to provide exactly the motivation your child needs.
Motivating a child to learn requires time, patience and creativity on the part of the parent. Use these tips with your kids to help them discover the fun and adventure that learning can bring. It’s an enthusiasm that will serve them for a lifetime.