How to motivate your child to do well in school

Child studying

As a parent, you play an active role in the success of your child’s education. In fact, studies have shown that parents who are actively involved and interested in their child’s schooling, are more likely to raise successful children. There are many things you can do to help your child succeed and have a great school year, and it’s important to note that this motivation from you will be an ongoing process throughout their education. Hampstead Hill, an independent school, based in Hampstead have prepared the following tips on how to motivate your child to do well in school.

Become involved in your child’s school

Be sure to meet your child’s teachers and establish a partnership with them. After all, you both have the same goal; to help your child do well at school. Get to know who is who around the school, not only in terms of the staff but also the other parents and kids. Offer to help at school, especially during extracurricular activities. If your child sees how involved you are with their school and how interested you are in their success, they will more likely try harder in the long run.

Be available during homework sessions

No child wants to sit by themselves and do their homework if they know other people in the house are having a good time. What motivates your child to do their homework? Get involved with them! Sit with your child during homework sessions, not only to make sure it gets done but also to answer any questions they might have. If you struggle with the answers yourself, you and your child can explore books and other sources on the internet to discover the answer together. Homework time can actually become quite a bonding experience.

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Adopt a positive attitude to learning

If your child thinks you don’t value education, then they probably won’t appreciate it either. Try and be enthusiastic and positive about learning new things and let them see how exciting it can be to discover new information. As with everything regarding children, parents should lead by example. For example, if you need to help your kids with English homework, play word-related games that will encourage their vocabulary or read a book together which leads onto the next point.

Encourage your child to read

When it comes to learning, reading is essential. It helps children develop many skills, from imagination and concentration to spelling and grammar. What motivates your child to succeed with reading on their own? Buy books that you think might suit their interests; the genre doesn’t necessarily matter as long as they are reading and learning. If they’re not interested in reading alone, you could sit with them and read aloud together. 

Monitor Technology Use

Child technology

Many children spend more time playing video games, watching television and browsing the web than they do completing their school work. Be sure to monitor their leisure time and offer some suitable alternatives when you think they’ve spent too long on their technological devices. You could introduce some educational board games to encourage learning in a group environment. Monopoly is a great way to introduce and develop money maths and Scrabble has been known to enhance vocabulary and English skills.

Ask your child about their day

When you see your child at the end of the school day, ask them lots of open-ended questions about their lessons and what they learnt. Talking about their school day will help them solidify what they learned, and it will show them that you’re interested in their school development.

How to help a child with anxiety at school

If your child has shown symptoms of stress at school, but they seem fine at home, then there may be something that they’re not telling you that is hindering their development at school. It’s important to note that, like separation anxiety, school anxiety is not connected with behaviour or poor parenting. Your child’s worry is a cry for help, and it will often be dressed up with being ill or causing tantrums, which may look like bad behaviour. Don’t get tough on them and tell them off, instead find out first if the anxiety isn’t coming from bullying, problems with friends or their schoolwork. Speak to the teacher and ask them if they’ve seen anything out of the ordinary that may be causing this anxiety at school. Chat to your child and ask them if there is anything concerning them. Keep an eye on your child’s behaviour and empower them by saying that you are on their side and whatever is happening you will help them. If they don’t want to talk, you can’t force them, but soon enough something will slip, and you will eventually find out what is causing the anxiety at school. It’s essential to tackle this issue as soon as you possibly can, as it may be inhibiting your child from doing well at school.

How to motivate children to study

Practice makes perfect and the sooner your child develops this work ethic the better they will be at school and, ultimately, at work when they’re older. You’d be one of those rare lucky parents if your child turns around and says they want to study instead of going outside to play. However, if your child isn’t like that – and most children aren’t – the critical point to note here is that you don’t want to force your child or use any negativity linked with studying, for example, don’t punish them with studying. Studying should be a welcome addition to enhanced learning and your child should want to be better and work harder at what they want to achieve. But, ‘How do I teach my child to study?’ you frantically ask yourself? It’s a long process if your child puts up a fight, but developing good study skills is vital, and so you should put in the long fight. Start with getting organised and designating a certain study time and place every day or select times in the week. Establish goals, so the child understands what they need to do, and they don’t become overwhelmed with the workload. Then keep encouraging and motivating your child to keep going. Congratulate them on their work ethic more so than whether they get all the answers right. Praising a child for how hard they work goes so much further than telling them they’re super smart and doing well – of course, that also helps too. But, you don’t want to set high goals for them that they feel they can’t achieve.

If you want to help your child do well at school then be there for them – a parent’s love and attention trump anything else you can offer them. A happy child is a successful child.

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Leyla Preston (590 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/