How to Motivate Kids to Learn?

To find the answer to the question, How to Motivate Kids to Learn? is what most parents and teachers want. By educational research and my personal experience, kids who are not doing very well in their school are usually due to lack of effort rather than low capability.

“Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire” — William Butler Yeats

Motivate Kids to Learn

Kids are curious and they learn from everything they do. A good study habit starts early, so helping little kids form good attitudes about learning is so critical for parents and teachers to Motivate Kids to Learn. Kids like to explore and discover naturally because they can have a joy of fulfillment and achievement. Young kids who receive good guidance, support and encouragement will be life-time creative and adventurous learners.

Intrinsic motivation

Littlie kids do many things simply because they want to do them. Selecting a toy is the result of “intrinsic motivation.” In this case, kids make their own choice and achieves satisfaction from both the act of choosing and from the opportunity to play with the toy. Since the activities are generating the motivation, they are mostly self-sustaining for as long as the kids want to continue the activity. Therefore, taking advantage of kids’ intrinsic motivation to Motivate Kids to Learn is the most effective way.

Extrinsic motivation

Kids also engage in some activities because parents or teachers tell them to. These activities are “extrinsically motivated.” When a kid is extrinsically motivated, the driving factor comes from outside the kid by someone else. and the extrinsic motivation has to be continually given for the kid to remain motivated enough to continue the activity. It is more difficult for kids to sustain extrinsically motivated activity because of this reliance upon some outside force.

Since intrinsically motivated activity is more rewarding in and of itself, kids learn more from this sort of activity, and they retain that learning better. Intrinsically motivated kids are more involved in their own learning and development. In other words, a kid is more likely to learn and retain information when he or she is intrinsically motivated. Parents can build on this sense of confidence by guiding their kids’ play and activities while still giving them a range of options. This unstructured play is an essential element of the kids’ motivation, learning, and development, because it can help kids find their intrinsic motivation, which is the best way to Motivate Kids to Learn.

10 Ways to Motivate Kids to Learn

In order to Motivate Kids to Learn, parents should support the development of kids’ motivation appropriately for kids’ better educational growth. Parents should be very cautions about the use of many extrinsic rewards, since this can severely interfere with the kids’ motivational development. Praise for an accomplishment is appropriate, but be sure that your child is doing a task because he or she is interested, not because he or she thinks it will bring praise from you. We think praise for effort is better to motivate kids to learn and to achieve.

For example, some parents use rewards such as candy, money, excessive praise to Motivate Kids to Learn. Kids then begin to feel successful only if someone else rewards them for accomplishments. They will lose their intrinsic motivation and may only feel success when someone else judges them as successful. In such situations, kids may not develop feelings of self-worth, and will judge their own value by someone else’s standards.

Here are 10 ways parents can use to help you Motivate Kids to Learn.

  1. Provide an age appropriate environment through toys, activities, etc. to allow your kids to explore freely.
  2. Allow your kids more time when working to allow for persistence. When children are deeply involved with an activity, make sure that they can finish without interruption. Resist the natural urge to help.
  3. Respond to your kids’ needs in a consistent, predictable manner, but allow them to be as independent as possible. This does not mean let your kids do whatever they want. All kids need clearly defined limits. Playtime, however, need not be structured and organized.
  4. Provide many opportunities for your kids and you to explore together and interact directly. It is important for both kids and parents to be working together on an activity. This lets you observe, model, and encourage your child.
  5. Provide situations that give your kids an acceptable challenge. Activities that are slightly difficult for your child will be more motivating and provide for stronger feelings of success when accomplished. This may take some trial and error at first.
  6. Tell your kids and what you’re doing, especially if you’re assigning something repetitious and tedious. For example, your kindergartener will work harder at his or her handwriting if you sit down and tell him or her it helps building up his or her finger muscle strength and write clearly.
  7. Establish a study routine. This needs to be the same time every day. Let your kids have some input on when study time occurs. Once the time is set, stick to that schedule. Kids thrive on structure. It may take several weeks for the routine to become a habit. Persist. By having a regular study time you are demonstrating that you value education.
  8. Help your kids build time management skills. Help them learn what it means to prioritize by the importance and due date of each task. Teach them to create an agenda each time they sit down to study. Help them experience the value of getting the important things done first.
  9. Give your kids opportunities to evaluate their own accomplishments. Rather than stating that you think they have done a good job, ask them what they think of their work.
  10. Do not use excessive rewards. They tend to undermine kids’ ability to value themselves. Praise and rewards should be based upon your kids’ effort and persistence, rather than on the actual accomplishment.

How to Motivate Kids to Learn? Each parent may have different opinion. We believe that the 10 ways parents can use to help your kids remain more fully intrinsically motivated and achieve better learning results. Allow your kids to explore and discover their world to grow their minds. Give them a small amount of direction and a large amount of freedom, which help your kids find their intrinsic motivation, the best and most effective way to Motivate Kids to Learn. It is not necessary to praise and reward your kids for their own actions as they attempt to control their environment. The feelings of accomplishment they gain from results of those actions will be reward enough. Providing excessive praise and rewards is unnecessary and can actually be harmful to your kids’ motivation and desire to learn. Help your kids build good study habit as early as possible because the habits and attitudes toward learning that are formed in early years set the mood for all future learning. Help you kids build the self confidence and let them know that they can solve a problem, which motivate your kids to learn and to accept other new and challenging situations leading to greater learning.

12 thoughts on “How to Motivate Kids to Learn?

  1. I think that there are a lot of problems on education. I am a professor in a university in Japan, teaching bookkeeping theory. Many students in my class do not study hard, I am wondering that the students themselves really want to learn or not, or just want to graduate and get that degrees. “A student did not attend my class and exam either, while came to my office ask me give him a good grade!” A colleague of mine said. To motivate students to learn is the responsibility of teachers only?

  2. I have a solution. Actually, there are probably dozens of solutions.

    Stimulate desire or Stimulate pain

    If kids don’t know how to do it, parents have to be able to help them.

  3. Some parents only rely on schools to motivate their kids, this is not good. Parents should work with teachers to motivate kids together.

  4. Hi AlbertWesker, I think “corporal punishment” is definitely wrong way to educate kids. However, like a country’s laws need enforcement. For some kids at some situation, education needs some enforcement as well. Thanks, I think this could be a very good topic; I plan to address this issue shortly.

  5. Very insightful opinion! A child, who has set up a big dream at early age, studies hard and learns actively. It is also true that to help children to get interested in learning will stimulate learning and improve efficiency.
    I think that parents get to know each child’s physiological and psychological characteristics; to perform a personalized education is the key to modern family education.

  6. I totally agree with what you said, personalized education is the key to family education. Parents should know their children best. For personalized education, parents play an important role.
    I think this is a very good topic. We plan to write an article on this and continue to discuss on this issue.

  7. I totally agree “kids learn more from this sort of activity, and they retain that learning better”.
    My experience has been that the best way to motive kids to learn is, from them imitating my desire to learn and from making learning fun. I have used books, games, tv, songs – I even wrote a book for my children. All in an effort to motivate them to learn and do.

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