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Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Motivate a Child Who is Struggling with School

How do you motivate a child who is struggling with one subject in school? This is the question that was posed to me from Circle of Moms blog. I find it to be a very challenging and insightful question. However, I have come up with an answer that will, hopefully, help those experiencing this struggle.  Before you pull your hair out and scream in frustration, step back and observe, while you think:

  1. Is this a new frustration, or has your child always struggled with this particular subject?
  2. What is it about the subject that frustrates the child?
  3. Consider the child's learning style.  Does he need to be moving while he learns?  Does he need to hear the topic being said out loud?  Does he need to see a more colorful presentation of the lessons?  Does he need some interaction - to touch and feel what he is learning?
  4. Interject the child's learning style into teaching about the subject.
  5. Be patient and willing to try and fail, over and over, before reaching a happy spot.
  6. Offer a reward system when the child reaches certain milestones within the subject.
  7. Don't abandon the child.  It may take a lot of time on your part, but be there through the duration.
  8. Schedule the difficult subject at a time of day when your child is his freshest.  Does he wake up well?  Make it the first subject of the day?  Does he perform better after lunch?  Move this subject to after lunch.
  9. Sometimes a child just doesn't see a good reason to learn.  Find a way to make the subject meaningful in his everyday life.
  10. Make the subject interesting.  For instance, history can be very boring to a child.  However, most kids enjoy the movie, "Night At The Museum" which brings history to life.  Take the subject your child is struggling with and bring it to life.

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