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How to keep children motivated

NumberWorksnWords maths and English tuition NW Aug 8

As parents and educators, we are privileged to witness the growth and development of children. We celebrate their milestones, from their first steps to their graduation. However, achieving these accomplishments requires consistent effort and persistence. While some children are intrinsically motivated and eager to learn, others may need external motivation and guidance from parents, teachers, and tutors.

In today's rapidly changing world, where technology and information are constantly evolving, it is essential to equip children with the skills and mindset needed to thrive. Motivation and focus are key components of successful learning, enabling children to adapt, persevere, and excel in various aspects of their lives. By instilling effective strategies for motivation, parents and educators can empower children to navigate the challenges of remote learning, embrace continuous growth, and develop a lifelong passion for learning.

In this article, we will delve into proven techniques that not only help children stay intrinsically motivated, but also a few ways to support kids to foster their resilience, autonomy, and high intrinsic motivation and self-motivation. By implementing these strategies, we can support children in realising their full potential and set them in the right direction on a path of lifelong learning and achievement. Interested in learning more about how you can build motivation in your child? Check out our tuition services or find a centre near you to see your child reach their full potential.

Setting Goals to motivate kids

Goals not only provide a clear roadmap for children to follow but also establish a sense of structure and routine in their learning. Regular check-ins and discussions about progress allow parents to provide support and constructive feedback, offer guidance, and offer praise for their child's efforts. 

It is important to strike a balance between challenging goals that push children to grow and attainable goals that provide a sense of accomplishment. By gradually increasing the complexity and difficulty of the goals over time, children can develop resilience, perseverance, self-determination, and the motivation to tackle more significant challenges.

In addition to the goals themselves, it is crucial to celebrate each achievement along the way. Acknowledging and praising your child’s progress and celebrating accomplishments no matter what reinforces their motivation and fosters a positive learning environment. This can be done through verbal recognition, certificates of achievement, or small rewards that are aligned with your child's most motivating interests or specific accomplishments. 

By celebrating your child's behaviour and efforts, you can not only boost their motivation but also cultivate a mindset that values hard work and continuous improvement. Ultimately, this structured approach to goal-setting and celebration helps children stay focused, motivated, and engaged in their learning journey.

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Personalised Goal Setting

Children's frustration and perceived lack of success can significantly impact their motivation. To counter this, it becomes crucial to transform their negative attitude into positivity by empowering them to set realistic individual goals. These goals can be short-term or long-term, depending on the child's specific needs and aspirations.

By breaking down these goals into manageable steps and creating a detailed plan, children acquire essential skills such as time management, problem-solving, and organisation. This structured approach not only provides them with a sense of direction but also instils the intrinsic motivation needed to do difficult tasks, navigate obstacles, and progress towards future success together.

When children actively participate in setting their goals and designing the roadmap to achieve them, they develop a sense of ownership and autonomy over their learning journey. This sense of ownership fuels their intrinsic motivation and empowers them to take responsibility for their progress. By encouraging children to reflect on their achievements and adjust their goals accordingly, parents and educators help them develop resilience and adaptability.

They learn to view setbacks not as failures but as valuable opportunities for growth and learning a new skill. Through this process, children cultivate a growth mindset and self-esteem that support their continued motivation and foster a lifelong love for learning and personal development.

Rewards and Praise

Every achievement is an opportunity to reinforce good behaviour and motivate your child towards success by celebrating and rewarding their accomplishments. The rewards or recognition should align and motivate your child's intrinsic motivation well with the achievement. 

For instance, completing a daily reading goal might warrant a small reward or heartfelt praise, while a major accomplishment like earning a top grade or certificate at school or tutoring could be celebrated with something special that motivates them and motivates your child to strive for their goals.

Celebrating Achievements

No achievement or success in school should go unnoticed, and celebrations make hard work worthwhile and motivate your child further. Whether your child wins a school award, passes a class test, or achieves a high grade on an exam, it is important to recognise and celebrate these milestones. 

By celebrating and acknowledging these achievements, children will be motivated to continue striving for academic success. When your child accomplishes something they are proud of, take the time to celebrate and recognise their efforts and hard work.

Recognising Effort and Encouraging Progress

As parents, our approval and support mean the world to our children. They thrive on encouragement and praise, and every accomplishment and effort is an opportunity to reinforce positive behaviour. In addition to setting goals and recognising their effort, it is important to provide positive reinforcements such as rewards and incentives.

These tangible rewards can come in the form of certificates, engaging activities, free time, or material goods. If you notice that your child is working hard to succeed, offering something special as motivation to encourage them to continue striving and achieving their goals can have a significant impact.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Children thrive on encouragement and praise. Ensuring they feel supported and secure helps them feel confident when tackling new challenges and setting ambitious goals. Having the confidence to try new things, enrol in extracurricular activities, or participate in tutoring programmes with other students is made easier by a supportive environment and safety net. 

Not every goal will be achieved, but by providing support, we can encourage children to try their best and maintain the positive energy and intrinsic motivation within, even when they don't achieve the desired outcome.

The learning environment plays a crucial role in nurturing children's motivation and focus. Creating a supportive and inclusive atmosphere where children feel safe, valued, and encouraged is essential. This can be achieved by establishing clear expectations, fostering positive relationships, and promoting collaboration and peer support.

When children feel supported by their parents, teachers, and peers, they are more likely to take risks, explore new ideas, and persist in the face of challenges. In addition to social interaction and peer pressure, providing a well-organised and engaging physical and virtual learning environment can enhance a child's intrinsic motivation and focus. 

Ensuring access to necessary resources, incorporating interactive and hands-on learning experiences, and effectively utilising technology can all contribute to a child's interests by creating an environment that sparks children's curiosity and intrinsic motivation to learn.

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Encouraging Autonomy and Ownership

Another important aspect of promoting children's motivation is to foster a sense of autonomy and ownership over their learning journey. When children feel a sense of control and agency over their education, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged. Encourage them to take an active role in setting their learning goals, making decisions about their study methods, and reflecting on their progress.

Providing opportunities for independent exploration, problem-solving, and decision-making can motivate kids to cultivate a sense of responsibility and ownership. By empowering children to take ownership of their own choices in learning, parents and educators can instil in young kids a sense of intrinsic motivation and a lifelong love for learning.

Positive Role Models and Extra Support

The examples children see at home and in the classroom can either hinder or help their motivation. If your child is struggling to stay focused on their math homework, engage with them and learn alongside them to help motivate them. If you lack proficiency in the subject they are struggling with, find a role model who can provide motivation and support their learning.

This might be a family member who excels in mathematics or an after-school tutor who can offer guidance, professional advice, support, and positive role modeling for older kids. 

NumberWorks'nWords, specialise in math and English and act as positive role models and mentors for younger students. Witnessing an older student tackle complex equations and emotional problems with ease helps children see their potential and motivates them to overcome their limitations.

Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation

While external motivation and rewards play a significant role in keeping children motivated, it is equally important to cultivate intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal desire and drive to engage in an activity for its own sake, rather than for external rewards. To foster intrinsic motivation in children, it is essential to create a learning environment that is stimulating, engaging, and relevant to their interests.

Encourage kids to learn through their curiosity by using new knowledge and providing opportunities for exploration and discovery. Allow them to pursue projects or topics during the school year they are passionate about, giving them a sense of ownership over school work and autonomy over their own choices in learning. By emphasising the joy of learning and the satisfaction of personal growth, children are more likely to develop a lifelong love for learning and remain motivated even when faced with challenges.

Building Resilience and Overcoming Setbacks

In the journey of learning and achievement, setbacks and failures are inevitable. It is crucial to teach children how to bounce back from setbacks and maintain their motivation in the face of adversity. Help them develop resilience by reframing failures as learning opportunities and emphasising the importance of perseverance. 

Encourage them to reflect on their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and set new goals to keep moving forward. Teach them that setbacks are not indicators of their worth or abilities but rather stepping stones towards growth and personal development. By instilling resilience in children, they will be better equipped to navigate obstacles, maintain their motivation, and ultimately achieve their goals.

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Developing a growth mindset

One important aspect of fostering motivation and resilience in children is cultivating a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort, perseverance, and learning from mistakes. Encouraging children to embrace challenges, view setbacks as opportunities for growth, and believe in their ability to improve can have a profound impact on their motivation and achievement.

Parents and educators can promote a growth mindset by providing specific feedback that focuses on effort, progress, and strategies employed rather than simply on good grades and praising innate abilities. By using negative consequences and emphasising the value of hard work, resilience, and a willingness to learn from failures, children develop a mindset that fosters their self-confidence, self-doubt, internal motivation, resilience, and a lifelong love for learning.

Exploring After-School Tutoring Programmes

Seeking additional support and outside help is always a good idea. After-school resources, such as tutoring programmes, can offer vital support and motivation when a child is struggling to stay on track. Tutors specialise in helping and motivating children to succeed in their school studies by acting as positive role models, mentors, and motivators.

They empower children to become confident, self-motivated, and diligent learners by using positive feedback and setting an example through their behaviour. If you believe your child needs additional support and self-motivation.

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At NumberWorks'nWords, we understand the importance of motivation for kids and strive to build resilient, motivated learners through rewards, celebrations, and recognition. To discover how NumberWorks'nWords tuition can motivate students and build resilient learners, contact your nearest centre or book a free assessmentOur friendly team and expert tutors make learning fun and rewarding, using a results-based approach that builds confidence in young learners.

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