Hi, I’m Laura from youngwritersworkshops.com
and I want to talk about motivating kids to do well in school. A really big step towards
motivation is to put more autonomy, put the emphasis back on the child and their experience.
Not as much one person telling another person what to do. And when possible making the way
that you talk about school, keeping it as opportunity, something fun and less about
a chore that has to be done, gotten out of the way before you can do other fun things.
Now, this sometimes can be hard to do because there are times when you really just have
to get something done for a deadline, but to the extent possible, even the way that
you phrase talking about homework time can really make a difference. I have found that
really involving a student in their work in a way that makes it fun for them so that it
feels like an opportunity for them to learn about something can really make a difference.
Giving them more autonomy with still some structure but freedom within that structure
to decide how to get it done and when to get it done, changes it so it’s a lot less of
drudgery to get work done. Motivation to do well can be supported by praise that’s really
specific. So, instead of saying, “You’re a great student.” Say something really specific
like, “You really got, that paper looks really neat.” Or, “Your imagination really comes
out in that.” Or something really specific that honors that piece of work for what it
is, as opposed to labeling the child with a very vague thing that may end up provoking
anxiety. Approaching your child with respect is really an important part of this, so respecting
their own autonomy of how they’d like to get things done. Respecting that they do have
things that they’re curious about and they want to learn about and then supporting them
with specific praise can really help to increase and keep their motivation alive without letting
them lose some of that structure that they need in order to keep doing well.