If you’re looking to help your child get all the education that they need from the home, then you need to recognize how important motivation is towards their learning. The more motivated that a student is, the more engaged they are likely to be with the lesson, which is going to help them sink in a lot better. To that end, here, we’re going to look at some of the ways you can make sure that you’re able to give your child the motivation they need or at least help them towards it.
Praise and criticize with care
Feeling valued in the work that we do is important to us, even at a young age. Recognition can go a long way in giving someone the spark to continue to improve in their studies. As such, when you praise your child, make sure that you’re being specific with what it is, and avoid praising them too much for doing the same things over and over, but encourage them to keep improving and showing progress.
Similarly, when you criticize, you have to make sure that it’s constructive. What’s the lesson that can be learned from a mistake or a failure? If you can identify where they went right, how do they build off that to be more successful in the future?
Ensure the right environment
Something that a lot of people working from home can attest to is the importance of being able to create a distinct environment to work in the home. It’s not enough to sit at the kitchen table with your child and say “okay, this is the classroom, now.” You need to work to create a homeschool classroom that’s dedicated to the purpose.
This might mean investing in some good furniture, such as a decent study desk and an ergonomic seat. It also means being able to close out the environment, to make sure that noises and sights from the rest of the home do not interrupt the focus and work that’s going on in the “classroom.”
Set the scene with the right motivational decor
You might think that using motivational posters seems a little bit predictable or easy, but the fact is that the images that surround us every single day have a more profound effect on our mindset and our goals than you might think. To that end, make sure that the space has plenty of good visual material that connects with the learning experience or even helps your child memorize parts of their lessons, like classroom decoration worksheets.
Of course, the overall visuals of the space matter, not just the posts. Bright and energetic colors tend to be better at keeping us more alert and engaged so try to make them the primary colors of the surrounding environment.
Take it outside the classroom for some fun
One of the big advantages of homeschooling is that you have the freedom to adapt the learning experience in whatever way you think will be effective, so why don’t you take advantage of this freedom? For school classrooms, the benefits of field trips are widely known, being able to help get children more energized about their learning and taking them into a new environment where they’re more likely to be curious about what’s surrounding them.
However, it takes a lot of effort to plan that for an entire classroom. Perhaps not as much for your child alone. Think of school trip ideas with your child, whether it’s a museum, a gallery, a local natural beauty spot, or otherwise, can use their educational value while making things fun.
Keep it to a routine
As mentioned, you do have a lot of freedom as to how you carry out your lessons compared to the traditional school environment, but that doesn’t mean that you have to use that freedom all the time, even when it might be to the potential detriment of the learning experience. One of the clearest-cut examples of this is those who don’t establish any kind of routine or schedule when it comes to lessons.
You might think that having a schedule is too strict and rigid, but the truth is that we like to have our days being a little predictable when it comes to our responsibilities. Having specific times of day set aside for schoolwork helps us get into the “zone” with it a little better.
More breaks might help
The specifics of how you schedule your day might be up to you, and there are parents who find different approaches to be the most effective. However, if you find that it’s tough to keep your child’s attention for the entire learning day, then you might want to think about adding more breaks to that day.
The Pomodoro method is an approach that has been more popular as of late, encouraging parents to set aside 25-minute blocks of learning time, each of them broken up into 5-10 minute breaks, with some evidence that it can help people stay engaged with their learning for longer and to avoid the burnout that can really sink lessons.
Get them to talk about their work
A lot of parents trying to homeschool get into this situation, where it feels like they’re describing a task or a lesson to a brick wall with no feedback whatsoever. If your child isn’t being actively engaged in their lesson, it’s very easy for things to go in one ear and to come out the other.
To that end, you should get them used to having to repeat what they have been learning and extrapolate on it, explain their work tasks and their homework, and demonstrate understanding more often. They will get used to it eventually and become better able to respond in the future.
You can’t always help if your child isn’t able to get into a certain lesson or isn’t feeling it on a certain day. When motivation fails, discipline has to pick up the slack. But the tips above should hopefully help, at least.