ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips and Strategies for Motivating Students

Updated on November 3, 2012

My fifth grader and I have been working really hard on his grades this year. After a little over one quarter in school, my son has all A's, the lowest being a 95%. We have kept those A's by spending time on his homework and studying every day. Here is our plan of action:

A parent must check all homework

My son sits down and does his homework by himself. Only when he specifically asks for help do I help him. I always hope he doesn't need help because if he does, I will inevitably have to go find a YouTube video to tell me how to do it. I have recently learned that I am not smarter than a fifth grader. Once his homework is finish, I check all of it and circle any problems that are not correct. I give it back to him and ask that he review those problems again. 9 times out of 10, he sees what he did wrong and fixes it without me having to tell him how to fix it. The other 1 time out of 10 he tells me I was wrong and why his answer was right in the first place. This is always embarrassing.

Math Facts

Math Facts seems to be an area that my son struggles with. So, in addition to regular homework and preparing for tests, we have a math facts quiz every night. I will write down times tables for him to complete. For instance, I might write down multiplication questions for 8's from 8x1 to 8x12 but not in order. It might be 8x2 and then 8x9 and then 8x6. He needs to fill all of these out and we will go over any errors before homework is complete.


Spend some time studying for tests each night

Usually my son has a vocabulary and spelling test every Friday. So, Monday afternoon, we start studying for these tests. For the spelling tests, I will quiz him once every day on the spelling words for that week and let him know any time a word is spelled wrong. Sometimes the quiz is oral, meaning that I say the word and he spells it back for me. Sometimes the quiz is written, meaning I say the word and he writes them down. We mix this up based on what he feels like doing that day. He has to do the quiz but he can choose the format. For the vocabulary quiz he has flash cards. I will say the word and he has to give me the definition. Occasionally, we will switch this around and I will give him the definition and he has to give me the word. I think this is the easier so I prefer that he gives me the definition. One Thursday night we were taking my son and his friend to a skating party so we didn't have time to do the vocabulary quiz at home. Luckily both boys were working on the same words so we made a game of it in the car. I said the definition and they raced each other to see who could give me the vocabulary word first. They had a good time seeing if they could beat each other.
A Social Studies test is coming up on Tuesday so we began quizzing for it on Friday Night. 4 evenings of quizzing seems to be plenty to ace the test. Usually the quizzing only takes 10 - 20 minutes each evening and he has the facts down.


Weekend Reading

His teacher requires at least 300 minutes of reading a month. We don't spend a lot of time on homework on the weekends unless there is a test coming up but he is required to read 30 minutes a day each weekend day reading so that he can fulfill his reading requirement. He also takes it upon him self to read for a little while right before bed every evening so the 300 minute requirement is no problem.

Check book

The fifth grade teachers have an awesome program to teach the students financial skills. Each child has a checkbook with pretend money, of course. When they turn in their work, provide a great answer, or get a good grade, they get money to deposit in their checkbook. If they are bad in class or do not complete an assignment they have to write a check to the teacher. At the end of each quarter they have an auction in their classroom. They can spend the money that they have earned that quarter on things at the auction. Auction items could be a 6 pack of soda (that they get to drink in class) , candy, school supplies, an itunes gift card, etc. The kids get really excited for the auction and do everything they can to earn money instead of loose it. This has an excellent tool for my son to encourage him to do better in school.

While these strategies seem like a lot of work, it is really only about an hour every school day including the time it takes for my fifth grader to do his homework and complete the practice quizzes.

Now, I know that it will not always be like this. I certainly won't be able to go to college with my son to check his help him study. Once good study habits have been ingrained in him I will slowly let go. I will stop checking his work and helping him prepare for tests, unless he asks me to, of course. Eventually, he will have to learn to do this on his own.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Vaughn 

      5 years ago from Midwest

      I agree Mhatter99. I had expected my son to do it more on his own but that didn't work for him. As a student, I was totally responsible for maintaining my grades and making sure my homework got done, and that worked okay for me. I expected my son to do the same but he seems to require me to be more involved.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Both of my children did very good in school. My wife and I were very involve. As a soccer coach my players also did better in school. I attribute this to encouraging parents to stay and get involved with the team's development.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)