How to Keep Your Child Motivated for School?

an Asian mum monitoring her son doing homework

For most parents, getting your kid motivated to do their homework can seem like an upheaval task — so to speak, let alone keeping them motivated for school. There are several reasons why your child may not be motivated for school, including learning issues, social challenges, emotional and attention problems.

These challenges can make a child less interested in academic activities. However, as a parent, showing interest in your child’s academic life can be essential for his commitment to work. Get involved by doing his homework with him, let him know that you are there to help answer his questions.

When he gets back from school, ask him what he learned, and generally engage him academically. When you do these, you are subconsciously letting him know that school can be exciting and interesting.

If your kid goes to an international school in Penang, make extra efforts to visit your child’s school to see what happens during schooling hours, talk to his teacher about his lack of motivation, and see if you can come up with a solution.


1. Keep Your Child Organised

Some of the techniques teachers deploy in the classroom can also be used at home. Some kids may get less interested in school after staying at home for a long time, making them less motivated when school reopens. The techniques teachers deploy are planning goals and keeping tasks organised to know what to do and when.

Parents can also keep their kids engaged with school activities while at home. Set reasonable goals for them and the time you expect them to complete it. It can be reading a book or give them a simple test based on what they are taught in class.


2. Don’t Nag or Yell

As a mom, dad, or caregiver, it is understandable for you to get upset when your kids aren’t showing any motivation towards school. However, approaching them from a place of negativity will backfire. Nagging or yelling can only result in two of the following: they work temporarily to make you happy, or get angry and rebel. With these, there’s no lasting change in their motivation levels.

Also, if their lack of motivation is due to an underlying difficulty, they would be less likely to open up to a visibly angry parent. They may be feeling ashamed to tell you that they are finding it difficult to succeed in school, going through a bullying situation, hence their lack of motivation. You want to be as calm as you possibly can. Make them feel comfortable around you so that they can come to you for help.


3. Make the Task Relevant to Your Child’s Interests

Kids tend to care more about schoolwork when you connect it to something they find interesting. Find out something that motivates your child, for example, a fun activity they love, and seek creative ways to connect their schoolwork and what they find fun.

For instance, if your kid loves soccer, tell them that soccer players love schoolwork. Or, if they are already talking about what they aspire to become, like becoming a doctor, explain to your child how working hard will help him achieve his future goals.


4. Use Positive Reinforcements

You may or may not realize it, but your approval means a lot to your child. When you see him trying his best to succeed, be extravagant with your praise, hugs, gifts, and high-fives. You may be surprised how a little positive reinforcement will go a long way in improving your child’s attitude towards school activities.


5. Give Your Child Virtual Rewards or Real Gifts

Sometimes, kids, especially younger kids, get motivated when you give them gifts for a job well done. While it may be impossible to give your child real gifts from the mall all of the time, you can also give him virtual rewards using several learning apps that are available online.

Take advantage of the apps that allow you to assign rewards for students, or give them real gifts when you can. Some kids need that extra gift to motivate them towards school.


In a Nutshell

Sometimes, to keep your child motivated for school, you need to put in that extra effort, like those mentioned above. Also, you may need some outside help, like finding an ideal after-school program that offers the appropriate support for your child’s needs.

There are international primary schools in Penang, Malaysia, such as Straits International School, where your child can get all the support to get him motivated. For more enquiries, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly and professional school counsellors.