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10 Strategies to Motivate Your Child to Learn 

10 Strategies to Motivate Your Child to Learn 

If you want your child to be a stellar student, don’t limit learning to the walls of his classroom. Although the skills he’s learning there are crucial to his intellectual and social growth, your child needs your help to open up the world of ideas. His renewed joy in discovery will transfer to his schoolwork, so you’ll boost his academic achievement too!

Although it’s important for parents to take an active role in ensuring their child completes homework, it’s also important to not force your child to do it—there’s a big difference between forcing and motivating.

Encouraging your child to find motivation in a positive way is important for building habits that last. Forcing your child to do work can make him or her resent study time, making self-motivation much more difficult to achieve.

So what can you do when your child has no motivation to study? Check out these tips to help your child find the drive to get homework done.

Some kids are motivated by rewards; others need more structure. Whatever your child’s motivation style, here are 10 ways to help her learn effectively.

1. Make it Personal

Children often feel like they’re learning in a vacuum—that the joy of knowing the state capitals is simply preparation for a test, not something that can improve their future. Keep learning personal by focusing on the ways it can help them in their everyday lives. If your child loves sports, she’ll be more likely to remember batting averages if she knows they can help her make better choices at bat

2. Get Involved

When kids see their parents enjoying learning activities with them, like doing puzzles together or cooking a new recipe, they’re more motivated to continue exploring the topic on their own

3. Make it Relevant

When kids understand how what they’re studying might directly relate to their lives in some way—for instance, that understanding grammar will help them sound smart when they speak in front of an audience—they find lessons more meaningful and easier to learn

4. Let Them Pick Their Subjects

Everyone learns differently, and the same holds true for kids. When they get to decide what topics they want to study (or at least have some say), they feel like their interests are being respected and that learning is “their thing,” which boosts motivation

5. Keep it Fun

No one wants to sit in a classroom all day studying subjects she’ll never use—even if she knows deep down such knowledge will pay off eventually. By integrating fun activities every once in a while (like making up silly poems about grammar rules or watching an episode of MythBusters ), you can keep your child engaged in learning

6. Make it Concrete

When children clearly see how to apply new skills in real-life situations, they’re more likely to accept what they’re being taught because it just makes sense. For instance, if you’re trying to teach them the difference between “affect” and “effect,” have your child put her toy animals in order based on which word best suits their situation

7. Emphasize Preparation

No one likes feeling unprepared, so making sure kids are prepared for future learning boosts motivation. Whether it’s setting aside time for regular study sessions or letting them know how important it is that they listen attentively during class, children are more motivated to learn when they feel supported

8. Get Them Excited

The most enthusiastic learners tend to be kids who love what they’re studying—for example, a child interested in space may be eager to talk about constellations, while a child who loves animals might get excited when learning about new species. Make sure your child is able to pursue his passions by supporting his interests at school and in the community

9. Use Rewards Sparingly

While rewarding kids with stickers or treats for completing homework once in a while is fine, you don’t want them to learn that being rewarded for good grades is the only reason they should bother trying. Find other ways to motivate your child outside of rewards—for instance, helping him see how he can use what he’s learned in everyday life

10. Show Them You Care

Simply having fun learning activities around the house can make children feel more supported and less like their education is a burden. When kids know they can share what they’re learning with you and ask your advice about tough subjects, they’ll feel more motivated to continue studying

For more information on how children learn and the best ways to support their learning at home,