Academically, June is normally the toughest time of the year to inspire and motivate pupils. The weather is improving and most pupils are already dreaming of their summer holidays. This year, as the majority of pupils are still learning from home, it may be increasingly tough to motivate your children to stay engaged with their school work, especially as all the fun activities they normally do during summer term have been cancelled.
Whilst you’re also trying to stay on top of all your child’s work, it is easy to experience ‘motivation fatigue’ too, but it is important to maintain your expectations in regards to your child’s education. Remind your children of these expectations when it comes to their work. Let them know that until the very last day of school, you anticipate them taking their work seriously. They need to complete the set work with the same energy they would have if they were in school, remind them that their teacher will still be seeing what they are achieving and that you also are interested in their work. Most children, especially younger ones, want to please their parents and so showing an interest in their work and letting them know how impressed you are with their effort will really help with their motivation.
Another way to increase motivation is to introduce rewards. Earning rewards may have been a constant during your home schooling journey, but it most cases they are effective. Whilst schools are still giving out house points, adopting a home version could really help get that school work completed. Children love to earn rewards and some sort of reward chart could mimic the system they have at school. With younger children, a gold star can be awarded for most things for example, concentrating really well for half an hour, for working out a tricky question or just getting a task completed. Then at the end of the day or week, their gold stars amount to a treat such as a dinner or film of their choice. Working towards something, in this case collecting gold stars, will really spur them on to complete their work. With teenagers, the incentive of extra screen time normally works in motivating them to finish their work.
Children aren’t used to doing all their lessons in the same setting, so could be finding it hard to complete all their different subjects from one room. It may help if they go into the garden or local park to complete their science work for example, and the fresh air will probably do everyone good. Being creative and finding different ways to aid their learning may also help. By now they may be fed up of Mum or Dad trying to help, so why not rope in a family member or a friend to discuss a topic. Grandparents to help with a history topic or a friend to help with a language for example. You could even finish the week with a ‘performance Friday’, have them showcase what they have learned throughout the week or act out a scene from a book they’re reading in English.
If your child is really struggling with motivation, go through their work with them and review their progress and accomplishments. Look back at all their work from the term and praise them for their efforts. This will remind them of what they have achieved and hopefully encourage them to continue to produce good quality work for the last few weeks of term.