As school districts continue online learning, many kids aren’t motivated to do the work. If it doesn’t count towards their final grades, should they even do it? A lot has been occurring in the world from the social distancing to online schooling. Children you think might not understand what’s happening, but they do. It is already hard enough to get them up in the morning to get them ready for class. So help yourself by helping motivate them to be excited for a day of learning. Here are a few tips you can use to help motivate your kids in hard times during school.
Focus on one thing at a time
Set aside a reasonable amount of time for your child to practice focusing on a specific task. Young children (age 4-5) can usually concentrate on somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the task—less time with novel and challenging tasks, and more time with those intrinsically enjoyable activities.
For some kids, particularly those in middle and high school, are wondering if their online lessons will count in their final grades. And this can create some problems for parents. And if it’s tempting to let your kids not finish their schoolwork, it’s better that they do. Your kids have made a commitment to their education. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or in class. You don’t get to arbitrarily choose if you complete the work. The academic lessons help keep your kids up to date on the curriculum and serve as building blocks to the curriculum next school year.
Motivate with rewards and praise
As parents, we already know that praise and reward are better motivators than punishment. If you celebrate your children who engage responsibly with online learning.
The more excited they will be considering they know or think they will get a reward. Here are some strategies for praising and rewarding online: Create a virtual reward chart or ‘gold star’ system. Positive feedback messages that use fun videos, GIFs, and images. For older teenagers, you might even reward online engagement in the form of a mark or grade. This is already done extensively in higher education, and it works as a powerful extrinsic motivator
While parents can play a vital role in keeping students motivated, keep your expectations realistic. Parents will not be able to supervise their child for the length of the school day, or coordinate activities
Fun Work desk
You don’t want your kid to take a class from the bed. Prakash Nair, an expert in the design of modern learning spaces, suggests setting up a desk with room for a laptop, writing area, and comfortable ergonomic chair. Parents can also help kids decorate their space with their favorite photos and posters.
Start a socially distant study group
Your kid might be missing their 30-person history class now that many in-person courses are online. Try replicating the socialization experience of school by gathering five or six kids from the neighborhood to take their online classes together. They can sit six feet apart outside on the front lawn, or social distance indoors in a large living room. Don’t let them forget their masks.
Back to school shopping
Even though they are doing all their work from home, it is still good to help inspire and keep them on functioning and familiar schedule. Invest in some cute new fall looks to motivate your kid to get out of bed and change out of their pajamas.
“If your kids prefer structure or seem to do better with a morning routine… buying back to school clothing and supplies is for you,” says Heston. She adds that it’s fine if your child wants to wear pajamas for a more easygoing learning environment.
Show a Positive attitude
Your attitude will influence those of your children. Calderwood encourages parents to adopt a positive outlook in the morning, even if it seems impossible during these uncertain times.
“We have fresh opportunities daily to model the behaviors we want to see in them,” she says. “We are our children’s first teacher.”
There are so many ways to help your child feel more comfortable and motivated to do their online schooling. While it may feel unfamiliar and strange to adjust to your children working from home. Remote learning may be a blessing in disguise. Enjoy learning alongside your children and discovering things you hadn’t before. Reflect on how you are developing a close and loving relationship with your child as you spend more time with them.
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