by Amy Spoon
It’s easy to spot the things that your child enjoys. Kids are naturally motivated when they have a passion for an activity or truly look forward to a project. Think about your own work life — when you are assigned a project that excites and motivates you, you want to work on it all day long. When you have a task you consider dull, tedious or uninteresting, the work may sit on your desk for a week (or longer).
Just as you had to train yourself to tackle the projects that you’d rather hand off to the office intern, your child has to learn how to complete schoolwork even when she’d rather do anything else. This is especially true for students who receive an online education — the flexibility and freedom provided by the digital learning environment can be a double-edged sword if procrastination becomes a regular problem.
Motivation isn’t always easy, though. We’ve compiled some strategies for you, as a parent and learning coach, to use when your child seems less-than-engaged with the day-to-day responsibilities of an education.
6 ways to get your child motivated today:
1. Switch the Routine.
Nobody enjoys getting stuck in the same routine every day. For many students, a rigid schedule can be one of the biggest drawbacks of traditional schooling. Luckily, online education allows your family to have a great deal of flexibility — take full advantage! When the brain gets a change in its routine, it feels more stimulated, challenged and open to taking in information. Something as simple as switching the order of subjects or where you review a lesson for the day can work wonders.
2. Use the “When You” Rule.
The “when you” rule is a concept that all kids can grasp. Adults know it all too well because we get paid by the “when you” rule — when you put in a week’s work, you get a paycheck.
You can teach your child that she can earn rewards for doing well in school. For example, you can motivate a child to study by offering them the opportunity to do something fun after school — when you finish your math lesson, you can go spend time with your friends.
3. Small Things Can Lead to Big Successes.
Encourage your child to break their tasks down into small, doable parts. For example, if your daughter has to read an entire chapter of a textbook, you may encourage her to break it up into a page at a time. Adults have found that the Pomodoro technique is very effective in getting business work done — that’s when you use a timer to break the day into periods of work followed by short breaks — because it breaks up heavy concentration into small segments at a time.