In this article, we give practical tips on how to get your child interested in learning.
Why it’s essential to get your child interested in learning
How to get your child interested in learning – a question that probably every parent has asked themselves. Procrastination and laziness are common to all from time to time, and it’s okay if it’s a one-time thing. Sometimes, your child just needs you to help them to “write a paper for me” and have some more time to have fun. But what if a child is uninterested in the school program, does not want to learn, and is trying to slip away from the “homework” under any excuse? How do you get children interested in lessons?
Rigid control and “cramming” from under the can are not solutions. Sooner or later, the child will start to cheat, and relationships in the family can be damaged. No one likes to be constantly forced. Moreover, such an approach can permanently cause an aversion to education. This should not be allowed because the world in the XXI century is changing rapidly, and to keep up with it, you must constantly evolve.
A sure way to get your child interested in learning – is to create motivation. It can be external and internal, as well as positive and negative. Let’s take a closer look at these types.
Types of learning motivation
External motivation is connected with circumstances from outside, for example, a reward or, on the contrary, a punishment. External motivation, in turn, can be positive – when a child gets a new phone for good grades at the end of a quarter – and negative – if the child finishes the year with a “C” and does not go camping.
Intrinsic motivation relates to the activity and what it means to a person.
Positive intrinsic motivation is when a child tries to get “A’s” to do well in exams, to get into their dream field of study, and to work for what they want.
Negative motivation is when a child understands that if they do not study well, they will not be able to get a scholarship.
The most productive motivation is intrinsically positive. It is the source of all outstanding actions, realized projects, and accomplishments. People who have achieved a lot in life and their business are, first of all, people with high internal motivation. But the external, according to psychologists, will not help to interest a child in learning at school. So, Alfie Kohn, author of the popular book “Punishment by Reward,” argues that when trying to motivate by “carrot,” that is, external encouragement, the child is not looking for a creative way to do the task but for the easiest and safest way. Hence the cheating, the cheat sheets, and the googling of homework. What difference does it make how to get a result if the main thing is not knowledge but a new phone?
So the best advice on getting your child interested in learning is to make it so that they are genuinely in love with the educational process. It is not always easy, especially if the school has authoritarian teachers, the atmosphere in the classroom is spoiled, or there are conflicts.
How to get your child interested in learning: tips from psychologists
Tip 1. Create a Learning Mindset
If you have a hobby – say, playing the piano – you are unlikely to sit down at it when hungry, tired, in a bad mood, or when you have a headache. It’s the same with studying.
The child should sit down to lessons calmly, rested, and full. You can attract them to classes and help them to tune in to their studies by making them an ideal workplace: with an organizer, stickers, a comfortable chair, and suitable lighting. It also helps to get them in the mood to look through the notes from previous lessons before preparing homework.
Tip 2. Support your child’s hobbies
Encourage anything positive that falls on your teen’s interest radar. If they love astronomy and the stars, take them to a lecture at the planetarium, and buy a map of the starry sky and a colorful encyclopedia. If interested in reading, visit literary places and open poetry evenings. Try to participate in all activities about your child’s interest, and afterward, be sure to share your impressions.
Tip 3. Be inspired by great people
As mentioned above, people who have been successful in life are walking volcanoes of inner motivation. The centenarian generation loves the success stories of businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and technological innovators. Read with your child the biographies of Jack Ma, Elon Musk, etc. Each of them is an example of constant self-learning. Jack spent many hours talking to foreign tourists since childhood to learn English, while Ilon studied from scratch books on astronautics, physics, and rocket science and became a great professional. Their success stories are sure to get children interested in learning.
Tip 4. Answer all questions
Don’t turn away, no matter how naive or unhelpful you think your child’s questions may be. Telling everything in detail and with pleasure, you form a habit of being curious, analyzing what is happening around him, thinking critically, ask questions of yourself and others. And then you won’t have to force your child to learn. They will do it with great pleasure.
Tip 5. Form the right environment
The lack of interest in learning among peers often discourages a teenager from learning. The right environment can help foster a love of education. Friends in clubs and sections, classmates and mentors, older brothers and sisters, buddies from competitions and contests – any person whom the teenager respects can set an example and interest him in learning.
Tip 6. Study with your child
Show that you, too, are interested in learning new things. You can watch webinars with your child at home when you have a free minute. Educational videos and documentaries on YouTube are also suitable.
Games are another excellent way to learn together.
Tip 7. Praise and proper criticism
Proper feedback is one of the most effective motivational tools. Praise your child for their interest in learning, creative solutions, and disciplinary successes. Criticism is also necessary, but not in the form of value judgments (“You didn’t prepare well!”) or emotions (“I knew you would let me down again”). Sit down with your child and analyze what worked and could be improved next time.
Do not evaluate your child: “You’re brilliant,” “Well done, you did better than anyone else.” So the child will always be waiting for the evaluation of their actions and will become dependent on your opinion of them. It is better to say how you feel because of their actions. This will evaluate the activity, show that you care and are sincerely worried, and teach the child to talk about their emotions. For example, if they did the task correctly, say, “I’m delighted you did so well on this topic.” Better yet, ask how the child feels about overcoming the difficulty.
Tip 8. Free your child from unnecessary things
It is impossible to know everything about everything. If a teenager is not interested in chemistry, it is not worth forcing the child to study and achieve perfect results – it is enough to know the certification minimum. Or if your kid has no interest in writing essays – just find your best essay writing service and free your child up from these tedious assignments. They will graduate and forget about valence and chemical formulas, and an in-depth course in their favorite subject can play a decisive role in admission. Let them focus their energies on the topics they’re really passionate about. There are individualized learning paths where more hours are devoted to the subjects the student needs.
What you shouldn’t do to make your child study
Comparing with the “son of a friend”
Competition, of course, can be a source of motivation, but only for adults and yet – not each one. And if you constantly compare a child with other children, it, on the contrary, demotivates and does not help to interest the child in learning.
Getting to the point of personality
No matter how upset your child is with their latest display of slovenliness, do not insult them. Words hurt a lot. Remember that one phrase can be remembered forever and become an attitude that will hurt a person’s whole life.
Why do something when adults have already put a “label” on you? If you keep repeating to your child that they are stupid, slobbery, slovenly, and other unpleasant things, they won’t even have the desire to try to fix it. It is better to appreciate the child’s efforts or the result of their work. For example, say, “I saw how hard you worked on that test. I’m proud of you!”
Overloading on learning
In 1965, American elementary school teacher Barbara Scheel conducted an exciting experiment with her class of 36 troubled teenagers. She announced that everyone could do whatever they wanted during the day. The next day she did it again, but now she helped the students make a plan for the day. Then she explained that there was a specific curriculum for the week, which had to be completed. The result of the experiment was that all the kids became intrinsically motivated and much more successful.
Don’t put education at the center; encourage hobbies, sports, music, and creativity. Leave time for hobbies and socializing with friends. According to the best writing services, you need breaks for other activities, even when studying becomes a favorite activity.
Keep going to regular school
If you feel the traditional school system reduces your child’s intrinsic motivation and natural curiosity, consider changing the education format. And then you won’t have to think about how to get your child interested in learning. Every year, more moms and dads choose family education, where they can individualize the learning process and find professional support. They will learn with pleasure.
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