You’ve heard the question before: How do I get my child to become motivated?

Being a homeschool parent is enough of a challenge. Motivating your kids to do their school work shouldn’t be. There are three key principles that will keep your kids motivated and excited about learning.

To make sure your children stay motivated, you need to apply the principles of motivation consistently. Kirkwood Education Online can help you do this. Our program was structured with built-in tools to help you keep your children motivated toward working to learn.

Key Principle #1: You

That’s right. The first and most important factor in fostering motivation is their teacher—or in this case: you. The way children first develop their self esteem is based on how their teacher sees them. If you tell them you believe that they are smart and capable to do anything, they will believe it. It sounds simple, but celebrating, validating their achievements and giving positive reinforcement is very important, especially for young children.

Here are some tips you can use now to motivate your children.

Avoid negative feedback.
If a child did not reach their goal, encourage them to try again, and go over the ways they can achieve their goals or perform better next time. It is not good to let a child feel like a failure.

Be purposeful about giving positive feedback.
Otherwise known as positive affective experiences, these become the building blocks of a child’s self-esteem.

Celebrate their good character behavior as well as academic achievement.
For the youngest children, it is important to smile and act excited when they achieve a goal, no matter how small.

Use words of encouragement, high fives, or hugs.
Incorporate daily one-on-one time time. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes each day to show positive results. Don’t just drill or quiz your child during this time.

Pray with them. Listen to them.
Then fill any spiritual, emotional, or academic needs that they have.

Taking these steps ensures that children come to think of learning as a positive activity and not something to be dreaded, even when it becomes challenging. Your actions and attitudes are important in motivating your children and making them feel excited about learning.

Key Principle #2: Self-Esteem

Simply-put: children are more likely to do activities that make them feel good and confident. Doing activities in which they feel successful will increase their self esteem.However, this also means that they will avoid activities that make them feel incompetent.

Your role is very important. Think of yourself as your child’s coach. Help him or her go beyond what they normally expect of themselves while at the same time setting up realistic standards they can achieve. Then recognize each of their efforts. When your child is struggling with a concept, do your best to avoid negative feedback. Encourage them to try again, and go over the ways they can achieve their goals or perform better next time.

Try a learning program that emphasizes mastery learning, which lets a child move ahead at his or her own pace, repeat a lesson if needed, or skip ahead if they master a concept. Each learning experience will nudge your child closer toward having greater self esteem if they associate that learning experience to something positive. This will lead them to think “I am good at this” and “I can do this.”

In the end, they will associate their academic success with increased feelings of confidence, motivating them to do more and more work.

Key Principle #3: Value Development

Has your child ever asked you, “How will this lesson help me in the real world?” There is a reason why we shouldn’t brush this question aside. One of the key principles in motivating your child to learn is to let them see the value of what they are learning.

Adults and children alike tend to do things that they feel are important to them. If you take the time to explain how the concept they are learning is relevant, your child will see the value in investing more of their time and energy into their learning. The ultimate goal in our program is for kids to become more self-motivated. As their confidence grows, they will require less positive feedback from you, and will come to value their education for its own sake. A result of this is that they become motivated enough to work independently, and they come to rely on themselves and feel good about what they are doing and achieving.

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