10 Best Ways to Encourage Your Child to Learn

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Guest Post by: Tiffany Young

Tiffany Young is a freelance writer, content strategist, and former graduate assistant. She writes about the latest developments in teaching, public policy, standardized testing, and educational technology.

Teaching your child is an exceptional opportunity to allow them to learn in ways that motivate them and relate to them at their own pace. It can be a gratifying experience for you both. However, sometimes a subject is difficult or a topic isn’t very interesting to your child. It is crucial to learn various ways to help keep your child focused on school work and holding their attention. Here are some tips to help you encourage your child to learn.

10 Ways to Motivate Your Child’s Learning

1.    One-On-One Time

When you notice your child becoming less motivated to participate in school activities or homework, it is important to take some one-on-one time to talk about what may be causing their lack of focus. Your child may be bored with the material, or it may be too difficult. Maybe the topic is not one they are excited about learning, or is something happening in their social or home life that is taking up their thoughts? As you build communication with your child and find what is creating the block, you can start deciding which direction to go to help your child re-engage in learning.

2.    Make Learning Enjoyable

An excellent way to motivate your child to learn is by engaging in activities and topics that pique their interests. For example, if your child enjoys trucks but has difficulty creating a story, write a topic like, ‘What happened to the runaway truck?’ Give your child the ability to think creatively about the story’s beginning, middle, and end to tell what happened to the truck. Since your child loves trucks, the topic of trucks will generate an eagerness to think of a story about them.

3.    Learning Styles

Find out what learning styles work best for your child. There are four styles of learning, and your child will show favor in one or more of them. They include:

  • Visual – learning through seeing information, such as pictures and graphs.
  • Reading/Writing – learning related to researching topics through reading materials and writing, such as essays.
  • Auditory – learning through listening to information, such as read-along lessons.
  • Kinesthetic – learning through doing activities, such as experiments or playing games.

When you find your child’s learning style, you can create learning activities that engage that unique style. Then, they will begin understanding and enjoying lessons again.

4.    Hands-On Learning That Relates to Life

Hands-on learning goes beyond the kinesthetic learning style. It means that your child engages in activities that get them out of the ordinary textbook structure of instruction and lets your child explore the outside world. Here are some examples to encourage hands-on learning activities:

  • Take your kid on a walk around the park to discuss the life cycle of a butterfly and look for the different stages in the surrounding vegetation.
  • Math is very important in our lives, so teaching your child with manipulatives like real-life coins, clocks, or fraction pieces can help them identify how math relates to their world in more ways. For older children, let them create a grocery list and budget to shop for the family’s weekly meals.
  • Dioramas are excellent projects that bring a story to life and allow your child to show their favorite part while retelling the events.

Learning through hands-on experiences motivates children who want to relate and connect to the world around them. You can find many activities your child will enjoy and engage with when you bring hands-on learning into your home setting.

5.    Use Various Resources

Getting a curriculum that spells out all your lessons and materials is easy. However, there may need to be more in the curriculum to keep your child engaged or meet their learning styles. Feel free to supplement your curriculum lessons with additional resources, like library resources, internet research, computer and hands-on games, museums, etc.

6.    Routine

Set a routine time for schoolwork with your child that they can commit to honoring. Stick with the routine schedule to allow your child to associate that time with school and successfully prepare for their learning block. If you find the routine is not working, discuss it and make changes.

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7.    Relax Time

It is important that children get time to rest throughout their school day. If something is a difficult task or a project is lengthy, take time to break and then come back to work. Setting timers is an excellent way to let your child have an appropriate time frame to complete work with the reward of a break when the timer and assignment are complete.

8.    Sit With Them

Some children love having someone sit beside them to keep them company while working. It doesn’t mean they need to talk or be distracted. It may just mean they enjoy your company. Plan a project for yourself as you sit with them for specific times during the learning hours. It may be an excellent way for you both to finish your work.

9.    Rewards

Your child deeply desires to hear verbal appreciation for their work and efforts. They want to know they are doing well and pleasing you. Praise your child on their completed assignments, focus, and behaviors during school, even in the smallest moments. Add rewards to their days, large projects, and weeks to help them work towards something they can enjoy. Rewards can be school supplies, stickers, treats, or anything else that motivates your child to work hard.

10.   Attitude

Motivation for school has a lot to do with attitude. Not just your child’s mood but your attitude makes a huge difference in how your child learns and their motivation to complete assignments well. Take time with yourself to be in the right place before starting school. If you feel the energy declining throughout the day, take a time out and refocus on your goals. Come back refreshed.

Start Motivating Your Child Today

Encouraging children to learn well involves identifying who they are and what works best for them. Each child is unique. With learning styles, favorite hobbies, rewards, praise, the right resources, appropriate schedules, and attitudes, you can have a flourishing learner for the rest of school. Take time today to start implementing changes into your child’s learning environment and see a refreshed motivation for learning.

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A Teacher's Guide

I am a National Board Certified educator currently teaching in Virginia. I have taught the following: English 9, 10, 11, and 12 (on academic, collaborative, and honors levels); Dual Enrollment English; Mass Communications, Yearbook, Newspaper, and Communications Technology. I have experience in five different school systems, four in Virginia and one in Maryland. I served as my school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year and was a top five finalist for the Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. I am passionate about recruiting and retaining quality educators in our public schools. Let me help you find your path to changing lives through teaching!

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