Motivating your children in the new school year can be a challenge for many parents and teachers. Children often enter the new school year with holiday memories, unable to focus on lessons.
Professional motivational speaker Godfrey Madanhire shares some of his tips and ideas to motivate your children in a practical way.
1. Connect the dots
A child’s outlook at the start of the school year can often be linked to the frustration they feel at not being able to understand the future use of a lot of lessons. Try to link learning directly to the world around them. This will stimulate a new interest in school work and in their environment, as well as connect school with the larger world. So unplug the TV and take them on an outing. Here are some ideas:
- Take a stroll to a large bridge. Talk about why the bridge would have been necessary, how it couldn’t have been designed and constructed without using maths.
- Ask them to point out a building they like. Explain to them that in order to conceptualise the building, someone had to draw it, and that’s why art is important.
- Ask them if they could own a shop, which one would it be. Let them point it out and maybe go for a visit. Explain to them that to own a shop means you need the skills they’ll be learning in commercial subjects, and if they couldn’t do maths, it would be very difficult to run a business.
- Show them something interesting that works with electricity or gas and explain that scientists are the people who found out how to control things so that we can use them, and that’s why we learn about science.
- Tell them stories that show how something has changed in your life time and why it is better now than it was then. This could be a lesson in why knowing history — even recent history — is important, because we learn from it.
The most important thing about these journeys of discovery is they need to be fun. This way kids will be able to ‘connect the dots’ and retain what they learn. The outcome of these trips will help stimulate learning and inspire and motivate.
2. Broaden their horizons (and yours, too)
No one who has ever existed knew everything, and that includes you. Use this fact to your advantage and expand your knowledge with your children. Before taking these lessons on, remember it has to be interesting for all ages.
Book yourself into a painting course with your children and learn how to use oil colours like an artist. Or learn a new language together! There’s no better way to motivate your children positively for the new year than exemplifying the idea that learning is fun.
3. Question everything
Children love asking questions. It’s all part of learning, often beginning the minute they learn to speak themselves. Take a page out of their book and start posing questions to your children. The objective is to encourage them to think and motivate them to solve problems, even if they’re just simple questions.
Link these questions to their interests — the better you can connect the questions to your children’s interests, the more motivated they’ll be to find the solutions.
Does your child have a passion for a specific hobby? These hobbies are important as they form a good basis for learning. Every skill they’re willing to learn from a young age is an advantage for them in the long run. Whether it’s ice skating, model plane building or go-karting, motivation for the new school year can be generated by linking these interests to subjects at school.
Let your children discover that by throwing themselves into these linked subjects at school, they’ll improve at their hobby of the moment.
5. Don’t forget peer interaction
Most children look forward to seeing their friends when they get back to school. As parents we must remember that school is more than just lessons taught in a classroom, it’s also about learning to interact with others. Peer interaction can provide another important motivation tool: competition. A little competition can be healthy when it’s cultivated towards improving marks…
Remember, all children are unique individuals and take differently to certain motivation methods. Just remember learning is better when it’s fun. If your children take this idea to heart, they’ll be ready and motivated for the new year, all year long, every year.
About Godfrey Madanhire: Godfrey is a professional motivational speaker, who strongly believes in helping other people significantly change their lives. Godfrey has helped individuals grow, families unite and organisations prosper through his seminars, workshops and presentations.