It’s now officially Term 4 - the home stretch of the school year - and while kids may be excitedly winding down for summer holidays, unfortunately there’s still a little way to go before the final bell rings. Arguably, Term 4 is the most important of the year, but with Christmas looming around the corner it’s understandably tough to get students motivated to achieve their learning goals. Luckily, there are a few sneaky tips on boosting enthusiasm to do work (which might help some parents getting through the final leg of the working year too!)
Make sure your child has a suitable environment to study. A separate room is ideal, but if that’s not possible then a working space that’s clean, clutter-free and relatively quiet will ensure the best opportunity for success. The right set-up should be also be personalised with their favourite stationery and decorations, or situated in front of a window, to help boost inspiration. Having a permanent place to return to and work after school that’s free from distractions will do wonders in the long-term.
Stick to a schedule. Often homework gets put on the back burner if we have other commitments going on, but writing up a timetable and following through with it will ensure that all their learning goals are met. And if your child knows that free time is coming straight after they finish their homework, they will be more inclined to get it done.
This blog has previously mentioned the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, and this is also an essential way of boosting motivation. When the pressures of school and the anxiety of a much-needed holiday coming up is almost unbearable, taking the time to unwind and observe their breathing and feelings is a naturally calming and attention-training technique. By focusing on the ‘present moment’, kids will find it much easier to hone in on their schoolwork and overcome any challenges.
Positive reinforcement and rewards systems are recommended only for short-term goals, but if your child is struggling with some tricky maths homework, a little treat can give them the edge they need to get through it. Give a reward like a sticker or some screen time for every few questions they complete, and watch them blitz through their work in no time. Make sure to not get them too reliant on it though. By acknowledging achievements and celebrating the things they have done well, the satisfaction they get from finishing a task successfully will eventually become their main motivator.
These are just some of the ways to get your kids performing at their full potential over the last (and seemingly endless!) term. But getting into good study habits now will have your child kicking goals in their future years of study, and beyond. I don’t know about you, but I think I need to put some of these tips into practice myself!
Lauren is the owner of MPT, a primary school teacher, tutor and Mum to a nearly 2 year old son.