1. Lead by example - kids love to be involved, and they hate being ignored. So if you are doing something exciting such as wrapping presents, get them involved too. Don't assume that the kids are too young to take responsibility. Give them a task related to a project you are working on. If you are planning a family vacation, then as part of the family it is important for them to be involved in the process. You might be surprised at the suggestions you get. So - let them find books in the library on the place you are visiting, get them on the Internet and help to organise the itinerary. Kids learn so much from us as adults. If they see that goal setting and achieving those goals are capable and they helped to make that happen, they will be able to translate those practical skills into their school years and into adult hood. If you are impatient with them, guess what - they'll translate goal setting as something to be avoided at all costs - like going to the dentist. So lead by example. If you are always on the go but don't give your kids the time of day, and then wonder why they are playing up, then it is time to see if they can help you achieve some of those tasks and goals.
2. Do not deal in double standards (see point 1) - kids have a nasty habit of seeing right through you and them. If you want your children to be fit, healthy, read books, eat healthy, nutritious foods, not smoke, swear or drink to excess then you need to lead by example.
----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: But mum I don't want to go to school...How to motivate children STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Motivating children to study CATEGORY: Motivating children DATE: 01/31/2007 05:32:52 AM ----- BODY:
First day back at school today for the not-so little people. My daughter goes up into Senior High School and gets to wear white shirts with her navy skirt. My son moves from juniors to the middle school - same colour shirts as juniors - but Navy shorts.... What I can't get over is the real class distinction at that age.
But that's not what I want to talk to you about today. No, today was the first day back after the long school break of summer. And it happened to coincide with a meeting I had to attend at Parliament House in Perth city. So my little people saw darkness for the first time in months. Boy are they going to be grumpy by dinner time tonight.
But what happens when it comes to motivating kids to do homework. How can you make sure they do what they are supposed to and not leave things to the last minute to get things done?
Well as we have discussed in other areas, you cannot deal in double standards when it comes to children. If you want them to do their homework before watching the television, you cannot in all honesty sit down with the TV remote in one hand and a pint of beer in the other.
So, lead by example. Make sure you have projects that you can do as the kids are doing theirs. Preferably paper type projects, or web based projects. My son will need to learn the art of research for the first time. I suppose he's quite lucky in a way - his mother (me) is a research librarian and I can teach him the best places to look aren't always on Google. Shock horror, but no, Google is NOT the only place for research information. But how do other parents cope with demands from their offspring that "I need information on..."
So if you want your kids to know how to write reports, handle conflicting time management issues, project management and the stress and strain of moving up another year, then I would suggest that you do not wait for the teachers to teach these vital skills. We use them all the time, and by passing on these life skills during their formative years, you can give your kids the head start they need.
Lead by example;
Don't deal in double standards;
Do your homework when they do theirs;
Discuss research techniques and how to break projects down, which will help them
Handle the stress and strain of transition into their next year.
Speak to you again soon
Elle GB xo----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Childlike enthusiasm STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Motivating children DATE: 02/08/2007 03:57:08 AM ----- BODY:
"Damon perhaps five years old, woke me early one summer morning shaking my shoulder with both hands. 'Wake up, wake up Daddy, it's the world's best day and guess what?' He leapt on me, 'Hooray! We're in it!'"
Damon Courtenay to his father Bryce; "April Fool's Day" p56
When was the last time you were so overjoyed to see the start of a brand new "best day" and be grateful that you could enjoy it?----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Motivating children to do homework STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Motivating children to study CATEGORY: Motivating children to do homework DATE: 03/14/2007 11:46:03 PM ----- BODY:
Homework, the scourge of children the world over, designed by teachers as an at home torture device i'm sure. As a kid I hated it, well some of it. And your kids are no different i'm sure.
Children will always do what they enjoy doing (much the same as everyone else), unfortunately most children cannot see the benefit of homework, to them it’s just a rude intrusion into their personal time. So where does that leave parents and teachers?
It’s not just the kids being tested:
As a parent I tell my kids that exams and tests are one of the ways that we can determine if the teaching methods being employed in schools is actually working or not. When my kids learnt that it was also the teachers being tested, they understood why they were important.
Everyone is tested every day:
As children we think we are being unfairly treated. However, as we pass through teenager through into adult hood we come to realize that learning, growth and development doesn’t stop. Therefore as parents we need to show our children that we all have to learn and we all have to be tested to see how much we have taken in.
But how can you utilize this to get kids to do their homework?
Discuss it (the homework that is):
When you get home after your respective days it is important to spend some time talking about what has happened, and what is expected of you/them on the next day/week.
One way to do this is to ask about the courses they have taken during the day. What was good, what could have been better. This tells you their level of comprehension on a subject as well as their enthusiasm for it. Today my son explained his homework in this way:
I had five words to write.
Five words? Cool which ones did you choose?
No mum you don't understand
So did you choose - Aardvark, Copernicus, beetle juice….
No mum, I had five questions I had to answer and each one was just a single word.
Oh – well that would be easy, Q – Do you like sweets? A – Yes; Q – Do you like brussel sprouts? A – No
The kids know it’s a game, but it makes life a little more interesting this way.
However, in discussing course work in a sensible manner (and yes we do that occasionally) I quite often admit “I didn’t know that” or “I don’t understand what you mean, let me find a book, or let’s find a website that can tell me more.”
The kids appreciate the fact that not all grown ups know everything there is to know. And they can spend time explaining to me that they know more than I do.
My daughter failed a science test, not once but twice. When I explained to her than MSN time would be cut if she didn’t take it seriously, she finally got serious about revision time. She decided that she would re-write the notes into flash cards, words on one side, and meanings on the other. But rather than testing her, I tested myself – out loud. Occassionally I’d drop a stupid answer into the conversation, which she was quick to point out to me. She passed the test the next time.
AS you talk to your kids about school and whether they have homework, when you get together in the afternoon/evening. Ask them to break down their assignments for you. When is it due? How many words? What format? What research do they need to do? What are they going to do today?
Whilst this could be deemed to be intrusion – I’m fine mum…. I explain then what I have to do with my own projects. Together we break them down, I show them how I manage the various projects that I have been given and when the work is expected. And then we sit down together (in various spots around the kitchen/family room) and we do some work on our various projects. The old adage “show don’t tell” is extremely important when dealing with children no matter what their age. If you don’t have a work related project you can do, then get out your goal list for home and work on that. Do anything to show that you are a serious student and that you are still serious about improving yourself and your situation.
It doesn’t matter what age your kids are, this is an immense time of growth and change for them. Teachers can only do so much, the rest is up to us.
Motivating children is possible. But there are some things to consider before attempting what can be seen to be an impossible task.
As a parent, one of the best things I have taught my kids is the importance of managing their time, especially when it comes to balancing homework with other things. Most kids would prefer to spend their "home time" not thinking about school, school work and especially homework. So as a parent it is important for us to teach them about the importance of not leaving things to the last minute. As you and I know, if we do leave things to the last minute AND we don't get reprimanded for doing so, we have started the process of letting our brains know we can procrastinate AND get away with it.
As children become students in higher education the work loads get bigger. More subjects, more in depth research required to complete the assignments. More reasons to party. Now I am not saying that you shouldn't party - but it comes down to balancing study time with social time, if you spend all your spare time down the local pub you are hardly going to get the grades you need in order to move on to the next phase of your career. Of course if you don't want an advanced degree and are going to be happy in a dead end job doing the same things for the rest of your born days, then stop wasting everyone's time and go and get a job.
I have seen so many cases whereby parents have spent their entire life savings on their children's education, only to have those same children party their entire time through university and college....and then think the world owes them a living when they don't get the grades...hint - it doesn't.
Now as a parent it is also important not to project your own educational shortcomings onto your kids...all you can do is offer guidance and support and as we have mentioned, the biggest thing you can teach your children, apart from respect for others is how to manage their time.
And you do a lot of that by example. If you spend all your time on social pursuits, watching the television, going down the local pub - and then rushing at the last minute to complete a project you are working on - it hardly sets the best example now does it.
At the start of each term and as the beginning of each week begins, it is important in the child's younger years to sit down with them and explain how they should structure their evenings in order to get their homework done on time, and still have time left over to do those other important things in a child's life.
One other thing you can do to ensure your child spends more time on homework and less time on the Internet is to give them a stand alone computer for their school work and only access to the internet when it is absolutely necessary (for research purposes) and after homework is completed. But we also know how hard that is to enforce. And if you can avoid doing so, then please do not encourage televisions and other electronic devices in bedrooms - game consoles for example. Children will say they are working on their homework, but you wander in to check how they are doing and sure enough they are "playing".
It can be tempting to offer to do your child's homework if they get stuck, but that is not going to help them when they have to sit the exam at the end of the year is it!
While you can give them some assistance, one of the best ways to get your child to understand the problem, is by asking them to explain the homework / problem to you and then ask how they plan to answer it.
"They" say you only truly learn about a subject if you try and teach someone else. So parents - become the student, and get the child to "teach" you. It really does help to imprint the information, and who knows, we may also learn a thing or two.----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Homework Planner: When you need to keep track of your homework STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Motivating children to study CATEGORY: Motivating children to do homework DATE: 04/17/2010 05:36:29 AM ----- BODY:
We have just added a homework planner for you to use to keep track of your homework.
Download your copy
----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Why playing is an effective method of teaching STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Motivating children to study CATEGORY: Motivate children CATEGORY: How to motivate children CATEGORY: Motivate kids DATE: 11/11/2011 05:31:07 AM ----- BODY:
I'm not a facts and figures person. I'm hopeless at math and don't for goodness sake ask me to recite the names and dates of kinds and queens of England (thank goodnes for Google these days) consequently I hated history lessons. But I remember one history lesson vividly, our normal teacher didn't appear :-) Instead we got a relief teacher, straight out of university by the looks of him.
Predictably though he started the lesson with the usual
"I want you to take your text books out"
"groan", was our collective response.
"....and I want you to sit on them".
We didn't see that coming.
"Today we are going to be looking at the Battle of ... "
"But how are we going to do that if we're sitting on our books, sir ?...", someone interrupted.
By this time, the teacher had our attention - and we were itching to see what was going to happen next. Wide eyed, he told us to stand up, then divided the class into two, drew a battle line in chalk on the floor, moved tables and chairs to make barricades and made us defend our positions. It was THE best lesson I have ever had. It was such a shame we couldn't keep hold of that teacher. Something tells me that he would have motivated any class he took if ours was anything to go by.
By making us participate in the story of the battle right there in the classroom, we became motivated participants in our own education. Even the shy kids got involved. Looking back on it now, it was a fascinating example of excellent teaching skills.
As David Kold would describe, years later, we learn by feeling, thinking, watching and doing.
"Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.
~ Confucius C.440 BC"