Children have little choice in academics, and it’s challenging to stay engaged in something they are not interested in. A child who feels forced to learn will likely lack motivation and have difficulty recalling information. Giving your child a rigid homework schedule with little choice can also damage your relationship with them. Because of this lack of choice, giving your child some agency is essential to keep them interested in learning.
Work With Them, Not Against Them
Allowing your child to make choices can help them feel involved and excited. For example, you can offer a choice of homework times, such as before or after they’ve had a snack. They could work on their homework in portions or all at once. You can infuse some fun into homework time by buying fun stationary or pencil toppers for them to choose from when they work on homework. Think creatively! What choices does your child like to make? Catering to your child’s interests when considering how they can choose to learn can completely turn around a sour attitude.
Learning doesn’t have to be boring. Turning learning into a play session may help your child recall information more competently. When trying to turn academics into play, a helpful factor to consider is what you can do to make the lesson appealing to them. You could add fidget toys to spelling/reading like this TikTok. Crafts, science experiments, and even researching answers are great ways to keep your child involved and enjoy their learning.
Learning is all about making mistakes, so make sure your child knows it’s okay if they don’t get everything correct. Encourage your child to try even if they think they might be wrong. A mistake can become a valuable learning experience where you and your child can find the correct answer together and feel like a team. If your child doesn’t feel their environment is safe to make mistakes, they will likely have limited engagement and excitement about learning.
If you feel like learning with your child has become a battle, the tension could damage your relationship. In addition, your child may exhibit lousy behavior because they are comfortable with you. If this is the case, your child could benefit from receiving outside help through tutoring
Showing interest in your child’s school day is vital to keeping them engaged in their academics. Try to make time to talk about how both of your days were. Ensure you aren’t interrogating your child- you want this to be a conversation. Open up about your day, and ask them questions about theirs. Older tweens and teens may be less willing to open up. If this is the case, it can be challenging to have a conversation, but try to show interest while allowing them to share only what they’re comfortable with. If you push too hard or create a hostile environment, it will be even more difficult for them to open up later. Forming a bond with your child doesn’t only benefit their academics. Teens with close family relationships are less prone to risk-taking. Parental support and open dialogue are associated with fewer problem behaviors, including less substance abuse and delinquency.
Studies have shown that face-to-face interaction with an instructor is much more effective for learning than electronics. Homework is an excellent opportunity to get involved with your child’s academics. However, it’s important not to create a stressful environment. Stress will only make them avoid homework time or fracture your relationship with them. If you approach homework as teamwork, it could even become enjoyable! Help your child with questions, and look up information together if they need help finding the answers.
It is crucial to understand how your child learns. If they struggle with a learning disability, they must get the appropriate educational accommodations. If needed, an IEP – Individualized Education Program can transform your child’s academics and/or mental health if they are struggling. Talk to your teachers about how to learn more about this process.
Finding the right amount of challenge can be difficult, but creating a good balance can do wonders. Like video games, motivation can come from slowly increasing difficulty and accomplishments. If your child feels challenged and accomplishes their task, they will feel encouraged to continue to the next goalpost. However, if the final goal is too difficult to reach, they may become frustrated and give up. Please ensure the goals you give your child are appropriate for their age and skill level while avoiding boredom from too easy of a task. You will likely have to adjust until you find the right mix.
Positive reinforcement and prizes can come in many forms. Encouraging words, excitement from the parent, and even high fives and hugs can all be plenty of motivation for your child. Positive reinforcement can also come from how you schedule their day. Schedule fun activities after they have time to work on their academics, so they have something to look forward to.
Getting your child engaged in academics can be a struggle and even frustrating. However, a child who feels that their learning environment is hostile and their homework invites criticism will not feel motivated. A parent who is engaged, supportive, and ready to offer assistance is the key to a successful student. Maintaining firm boundaries and consequences is just as important as the child understanding the connection between their effort and results. Receiving outside help can be valuable as well.
Here at Read Academy, we specialize in learning for children with dyslexia and other special education needs. We understand that learning disabilities can be challenging for students to manage independently, and we are here to support them. Don’t hesitate to call for more information or schedule a tour to learn about enrollment.