Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn [Without Bribes]

Last updated: 11-02-2020

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Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn [Without Bribes]

Are you wondering, “What motivates children to learn?” One of the most important aspects of nurturing a life-long learner is extending learning beyond the classroom. There is no question that the skills students learn in school are important for both academic and social growth. But, learning goes beyond the classroom as well and children must be open to the larger world of ideas and learning as a life long pursuit.  Here’s how to motivate your child to learn and to love learning without bribery.

What motivates a child? Well, many different things can motivate a child!

What motivates a child to learn? Usually, curiosity is the best, most natural motivation to learn.

What motivates a child to do well in school? Often, the desire to please you coupled with the belief that they can.

If you learn how to how to motivate your child to learn, they will naturally do better in school. In fact, the following ways to motivate your child to learn are likely to increase academic success and the desire to engage in life-long learning.

Demonstrating the importance of reading is one of the key ways to motivate your child to learn. Children cannot comprehend why they need to learn how to read if their world is devoid of reading materials. In addition to books, magazines, and newspapers, consider other venues for print at home, such as posters and placemats with words on them. For younger children, establish a regular read-aloud time and give them the opportunity to choose many of the selections. For older children, establish a family book club when everyone reads together silently and/or discusses his or her current reading selection.

You will have difficulty finding ways to motivate your child to learn if you do not consider his or her interests. For example, a child may not be interested in reading or writing until he or she realizes that reading and writing about trains, for example, is a possibility. Seek out opportunities for children to further their interests whenever possible, and the learning will come naturally. You can help them start fun journal projects about their interests. A nature lover may enjoy a educational project like a tree journal for instance.

Children learn in different ways, many of which begin with playing in different ways. The key to many of these playing/learning opportunities is unstructured time. Children are not able to develop their problem-solving skills and creative forms of expression unless they have this unstructured time on a regular basis.  You should support your child by offering various learning styles for those that may be visually inclined or more verbal.

One of the best ways for both children and adults to become excited about learning new information is to have it modeled for them. Children are more likely to get excited about their own learning pursuits when they see how excited their parents are about what interests them. For example, take the time to discuss how you have been learning new gardening tips from a friend and how your new knowledge has improved the family garden this year.  Think back to your favorite teachers, I bet they were the ones who were excited about the topic and shared their love for it.

When you ask your children how school went to today, ask them about what they learned instead of only focusing on grades and test scores. Children appreciate your interest in their learning and benefit from the chance to review their newly acquired information.  This is especially important if your child is struggling with grades.  You don’t want to make them apprehensive about grade checks or let them feel that you don’t think can do well.  You want to show them that you are proud of what they are learning and encourage them in a positive way to learn more.

When you consider ways to motivate your child to learn, seek out opportunities to reward with genuine praise. Give positive reinforcement for both small and big accomplishments to keep your children motivated to keep learning and challenging themselves.

Children need strong organizational skills to be successful life-long learners. Since parents or teachers cannot oversee all of their school work, give children the tools they need to organize themselves and provide support as needed. Make sure they have a way to record their homework assignments and mark them done. It can be an agenda or a homework sheet but they need to have a system. Ask if you can see theirs and help them develop one if they don’t have a system that works.

While it is inevitable that children have areas of academic weakness that require extra work, it is important to praise and focus on their strengths to avoid discouragement. Even when a child gets a low score on an English test, you can still praise his or her high math quiz score. Take it one step further and consider opportunities for him or her to take on new math challenges, such as an after school club or summer camp.

There is no shortage of ways to motivate your child to learn through daily activities. From writing a grocery list to calculating miles per gallon when filling up the gas tank, your child keeps learning naturally throughout each day.

Learning about mindsets will help your child see the importance of attitude and help them think about learning in a positive way. Having a growth mindset will allow them to see that challenges are not bad and to be avoided but rather an opportunity to learn.

I hope these 10 tips on how to motivate a child to learn help answer your question on, “What motivates a child to learn?” There are so many things you can do to encourage your child’s success. Which of these tips do you think will be helpful for motivating your child to learn?

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