How to Keep Kids Motivated the Entire School Year
Sarah Lyons, contributing writer
Packing lunches, doing nightly homework, studying for spelling tests, and scrambling about during the morning rush: The thrill of a new school year has worn off and kids start to drag their feet a little more on school mornings as they gear up for the second half of the year. How do you keep kids motivated to finish out the last months of the school year strong?
It’s important to let your child know you have high expectations for them throughout the year, not just the first semester. Work with your child to set goals for success and reward them for meeting their goals. Some kids may need an academic goal, while others need goals such as no tardies for the quarter or turning all assignments in on time. Communicate with your child’s teacher to come up with some beneficial goals for your child. Rewards could include a special outing as a family, going out for ice cream, picking out a special toy, or extra screen time.
As parents who are tired of packing lunches and reminding children to put their shoes on for the fifth time in one morning, it can be hard to stay positive. However, a positive attitude can go a long way for both parents and kids. Focus on the excitement of learning, seeing friends, and upcoming events to encourage your child that school is still as fun as it was back in August. Your positive attitude will become contagious and your child will start to get excited about school again too.
SHOW AN INTEREST
One thing that can have a huge impact on your child’s excitement about school is their parents’ interest. When your child returns home from school, ask them about their day, their friends, and the highs and lows of the day. Listen attentively and ask questions. When it is homework time, be available to help and answer questions. When parents are excited and interested in the goings on at school, kids will be too.
Kids who are involved in school activities tend to be more excited about school. Encourage your child to join clubs and after-school activities where they will be around school friends. Parents can also get involved at the school to break up the mid-year blues. When kids see their parents working at the school, it shows them that you value their time there. Check with your school to see what volunteer opportunities are available.
CONTINUE HEALTHY HABITS
Encourage your child to get a good night’s rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and focus on good study habits. An after-school routine to complete homework and chores will help your child fall back into the school schedule after winter break. Set aside time for free time as well. Host a playdate, have a movie night, go to the park if weather allows, and schedule time for fun and relaxation so kids don’t get too bored with their routine.
If the mid-year blues are still getting to your child, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher to discuss a plan to get your child back on track. Soon enough the days will begin to get longer, the temperatures warmer, and school will be out for summer once again.