How to motivate children to study

Some tips on motivating children

Our Travelling Family, the Binedells, are volunteering around Europe. Here mum Karen talks about how to motivate children to study.

In this month’s article we tackle the ‘Big M’ – MOTIVATION!

This is an area every homeschool parent and child will have to navigate at least once. How to motivate children to study, stay ‘on track’ and focused when they find themselves in a position with a lot more freedom and plenty of distractions.

Since our last post we have travelled to Limousin, France and volunteered at an organic nursery where we learnt about the benefits of permaculture and how best to care for plants. We stayed with the loveliest French/Belgian family and were lucky enough to be there to celebrate a 40th birthday as well as a 10th wedding anniversary. As you can imagine our children are faced with many distractions, over and above what you may experience at home. Below we have compiled some of our top tips for keeping your son or daughter motivated.

Our Travelling Family, the Binedells

Sebastian, Aiden and Ella homeschooled with Wolsey Hall Oxford for 18 months while they travelled around Europe in a caravan.

View some student videos

Homeschool motivation

Homeschool motivation

homeschool organisation

Homeschool organisation

Chase is homeschooling in South Africa

Homeschool schedule

Making a timetable helps toin how to motivate children to learn

Top tips

1. Structure -The transition from mainstream schooling to homeschooling can be overwhelming to start with. No teacher to tell you what to do or when to do it and the freedom to choose which subject to focus on, on any given day.

We encouraged our 3 children to create a timetable to help guide them through their coursework.

Nothing is set in stone but when they wake up on a Tuesday morning, they look at their timetable and know they will be concentrating on Science, French, English and History for instance.

2. Weekly Planning– A little planning goes a long way! We suggested that they have a rough idea of what they would like to accomplish for the week. For example;

-Work through Spanish Module 2

-Submit History assignment

-Complete third Maths quiz

-Read four chapters of ‘Cry the beloved country’

Having small, manageable goals which they can easily achieve and ‘tick off’ gives them a great sense of satisfaction and helps tremendously with motivation. I would recommend supporting your child with this initially and  asking regularly how they are doing, what they plan to work through that week and whether there are any areas where they feel they need extra support.

Creating a schedule helps with how to motivate children to learn

Stay positive and relax!

3. Positive reinforcement

This is a big one! Regularly reminding your child/children that they are doing a great job, that you realise it can be difficult at times and that you are proud of what they are accomplishing as independent learners. Luckily for us the Wolsey Hall team excel in this department. Our children are genuinely thrilled to receive an email saying their assignments have been marked. And regardless of their result there is ALWAYS positive feedback and detailed advice and explanations on how to improve.

4. Relax

In our experience motivation, or lack thereof, comes in waves. Accept that it is completely normal, do what you can to help, revisit these tips when you need to and trust in your choice to homeschool.