How to Motivate Kids to Succeed at School
My 11 year old son has straight A's now but he didn't always. I have learned some best practices that have motivated him to succeed.
The most important factor in learning is attitude. I personally have succeeded in classes that I was excited about and done, not so well, in classes that I did not like. If you child is struggling with a positive attitude toward school ask your child how he or she feels about school. You want to make sure that their is no bullying or teasing going on that is discouraging learning.
Set proper expectations
At the beginning of the year I told him my son that he already has A’s, he just has to keep them. Michelle Pfeiffer said that in the 2005 movie “Dangerous Minds” and it has stuck with me ever since. So, I passed along this little bit of movie knowledge I have as wisdom.
I also let him know that I expect him to try his best no matter what. If he tries, I will be proud of him.
Behaviors of an unmotivated child:
- requires a lot of prompting to start work and continuous prodding throughout work time.
- puts in minimal amount of effort
- behaves and speaks negatively about learning and homework or just doesn't seem to care.
- gives up as soon as work gets difficult.
- chooses easiest assignment
- does not complete work.
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Show your child you think school is important
My son, his father and I have discussed the importance of school many times. We tell him that the grades he gets now will affect the high school that he gets into. And, the high school grades will affect when college he gets into. And the college will affect the job. It's all important.
We also show that we value education through continuing our education. We read often and take classes, and visit museums.
Behaviors of a motivated child:
- positive attitude toward learning and school
- completes assignments
- chooses challenging tasks, concentrates, and makes an effort to complete those tasks.
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Support your child's learning style
Does you child learn best through seeing, hearing, or hand's on activities? Support that style.
If you child is an auditory learner you can support him by giving practice quizzes orally, listening to books on CD while he reads along, encourage him to talk through problems, and use rhymes and songs to remember facts.
If your child is a visual learning you can support him by suggesting he take notes using different colored pens, post items he needs to learn in a special plan in the house, and make flashcards.
If your child is a tactile learner you can support him by looking for hands on activities that encourage learning, use objects when learning addition or subtraction and allow him to move around while learning. He may need to stand up or lie down to learn. And encourage activity during study breaks. Have him run around, play tag, or soccer.
When your child struggles have open discussions about what's going on. Ask questions about what they will do differently in the future.
If he gets a bad grade, son't get upset. Stay calm. Tell him you know he will try hard and do better next time.
Encouragement & Praise
I use a heavy dose of praise with my son. When he does well, I make sure he knows I am proud of him. I will hang the grade up on the refrigerator, tell him "Great Job", or take him out for a special treat. I also talk him up to family and friends. I tell them how well he is doing in school so it encourages he current momentum. And, I encourage friendships with like minded kids. Kids who also try hard in school are a good influence.
- read together at home
- go to the library
- go to museums
- go to the science center
- make up your own science experiments at home
My son is very intelligent but in past years he did not care about school so he ended up getting A’s, B’s, and C’s. Using these methods and a heavy dose of praise when he does well has made a big difference in his academic career so far.
- Tips and Strategies for Motivating Students
Here are the strategies I use to motivate my son to suceed at school. Right now, he has straight A's and is on honor roll. But, this wasn't always the case.