With the busy days of the holiday season quickly approaching, you may forget that it is about half way through the school year. Kids get excited about to holidays and the break they get in the middle of the school year, but this break could also weaken their motivation. As the semester starts to come to an end, they will be excited for a break from school. It is easy for your kiddos to slack off as the semester comes to a close, knowing that they are weeks away from relaxation.
But it is important for them to stay motivated and work through the end of the semester, finishing strong and giving their final projects a solid effort. Helping your kids to stay motivated through the end of the semester and at the beginning of the next is important, but may also be challenging. There are many different way to help keep your kids motivated in their school work, finding the right method for your child can help you handle this time period every year.
Every student will lose motivation at one point or another, even the best students will feel unmotivated at times, but as a parent you can help to motivate your kids and keep them excited about school and learning. At Resurrection Christian School, our teachers are taught a highly effective teaching model, helping them to keep students interested in the subjects and teaching them in the best possible way. Even though our school has a 100 percent graduation rate, our students still lose their motivation to finish a semester strong, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t all great students! They just need a little push to stay involved in their school work.
In this blog, we will go over some helpful tips for parents trying to keep their kids working hard through the end of the semester.
When a parent is involved in their child’s academics, it is more apparent to the child that their schooling and work is important. It is easy to be involved, start by asking questions about what they learned, help them with homework, and let them know that you are happy to help whenever they need it. When you sit down with your child and help them with homework, it could help them stay focused and work to get the assignment done quicker. Leaving your child to do their work by themselves could be completely different. They may end up getting distracted, find ways to avoid working, and take double the amount of time finishing an assignment.
Helping your children with homework, especially when they are younger, can help them to develop good study habits and learn to get their homework done quickly. Children who are left to do their homework alone, may not put as much effort in and could end up wasting a lot of time. Sitting down with your kids could help them to work harder to show you that they are capable of getting their homework done.
Another way to get involved is to show interest in what your children are learning. Asking what they learned, what their favorite subject is, and what is interesting to them can help show your children that school and learning is interesting. If they get excited about something they learn and want to tell you all about it, listen and ask questions. They will be excited that you are showing interest. If you know anything about the subject, let them know, this could start a discussion and get them excited to go back to school to learn some more about it.
A Child Mind® Institute article mentions that while it is important staying involved in your children schooling, you also want to consider their age. Older kids may not like the fact that you are being nosy and constantly asking about their homework. Teens may become less motivated to do their homework if your are constantly nagging them. While you can ask about their day and have a conversation with them about school and their work, don’t hover, it does not work the same way it does with younger kids.
Put Homework First
It can be hard to say no to your children, but if they want to go play with their friends or do other activities before homework, it might be necessary. Tell them that once they finish their homework they can watch their movie, hang out with their friends, or do whatever else they wanted to do. But not until they finished their homework.
We know it is hard for kids to come home from school and jump right back into homework, but it can also help them. They are still in the learning and school mindset after returning home, so jumping straight into their homework can help them to get it done quickly. If you believe your children need a break for school and homework, allow them to spend half an hour reading, drawing, or even watching a show. But once that half hour is over, make sure they get up and do their homework. Don’t let them off with the “five more minutes” deal. This always ends up being more than five minutes. Simply tell your kids that they can spend some time relaxing but once that time is up they have to start their homework.
Many kids play sports and do other extracurricular activities after school, which is a good time for them to take a mental break and refocus. Once they get home for these activities have them start their homework and remind them that waiting to get it done may mean they can’t watch a movie with the family or go to a friends.
It is easy to reward your kids with stuff or money. But there are other ways to reward your kids that will help them as well. An Oxford Learning article states that praise can be one of the best rewards. Telling your kids how proud you are of them, how good they are doing in school, and other verbal reinforcements can help to keep your kids working hard.
The Child Mind® article also mentions that children respond well to these verbal reinforcements. Giving your kiddos high fives, hugs, and praise can help your child want to achieve more, because they like getting your praise and attention.
If your child does not respond as well to the praise, you can test out other rewards. Again, money and buying your children new video games or things like that is not the best reward. Instead, try taking them to that movie they have been asking to see for days after they finish their project. Bring them to get ice cream after dinner as a special treat for finishing their homework early. You could even plan fun activities like having a family movie night, making cookies together, or bringing the kids to Estes on the weekend to celebrate all of their hard work. Your children will enjoy spending this special time with you and if you rarely do these things, they will love the reward. Buying your children items instead can cause them to pull away from the family and may show that material items are a better reward that spending time with the family.
Build A Study Spot
Sometimes, the area where your kids do homework can be distracting and may be the reason they are losing motivation in their work. Never let your children do homework in front of the TV or around their toys. It may even be worth taking your teenagers’ phones while they do homework, although if they are generally pretty good at finishing their homework on time, this may just cause a fight that can be easily avoided. You know your children better than anyone, so make judgements on what is making homework hard for them and try to fix it.
Dedicating a spot for homework may help your kids maintain focus and get their work done faster. Set up an area away from distractions. If you have a spare bedroom, set up a few desks and allow your children to work on their homework together. Or allow your kids to work on their assignment at the kitchen table as you are cooking dinner. This way, they can ask you questions if they need to and they won’t be distracted by their toys, the TV, or their siblings. Plus you can keep an eye on them. Having a spot designated to homework can help your kids get in the right mindset and improve their motivation and focus.
These are only a few of the many tips that can help your children stay motivated. As the semester comes to an end, make sure they are staying on top of their work. You could offer a big reward for finishing strong. Just remind them they once the finish the semester they have a while to relax and not worry about school before they have to go back. This alone should help them to stay motivated, but in case it doesn’t, use some of our tips!
At Resurrection Christian School, we help our students get the best education and prepare them for the future. We will help to keep them working hard as much as we can, but they may need an additional push to stay motivated throughout the entire semester. Learn more about the RCS difference now!