For students, motivation can't be taught
(NC) By October, back-to-school enthusiasm has waned and bad school habits may be rearing their ugly heads. After the sheen of excitement about the new school year has worn off, students may need some extra encouragement to maintain their goals.
So how can parents motivate their child? How can they encourage children to keep up with homework, study diligently for every test, and remain engaged and on-task in every class straight through to June?
According to Dr. Nick Whitehead, the CEO of Oxford Learning Centres, we can't motivate our children completely; they have to learn to motivate themselves.
“As much as parents want to, they cannot provide motivation for their children. Children are already motivated by their desire to understand their world. They lose motivation when they are expected to do things that do not appear to be important to them.”
Telling a Grade 7 student that failing a math test may mean he doesn't get into university, is ineffective. While adults may know the consequences of poor grades, an elementary school student (and even some high school students) can't see what is beyond this year, this month, or even this week. That's why it is important to make learning relevant to the child.
Take a look at these tips for encouraging young students and for fostering a love for learning:
• Help your child set academic goals that follow the CAM rule. Goals should be Clear, Achievable, and Measurable.
• If a child does not want to go to school, or learn to read and write, they have a reason. What is it? Their reason may appear strange but your challenge is to discover it. It explains why they act as they do and allows you to bring more understanding into their world.
• Communicate at your child's level. Make sure expectations, goals, and issues are all clearly understood by your child.
• Respect the fact that children are capable of logical and rational thought, but that they may lack the experience to properly and cogently use this skill. Be patient and listen to what they are saying (and not saying).
• Celebrate successes and effort, not intelligence. If your child worked hard for a B, make him or her proud of it. It will only encourage further effort to get those As.
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