Parents of teenagers are constantly having difficulty trying to get children who are reluctant to study to actually study. This also applies to teachers – it is even harder for them to motivate an entire classroom of teens.
However, there are certain strategies and techniques that can help the parents and teachers succeed in motivating students to care about their education. In this article, we will discuss how to find out what inspired your child to care and how to motivate teenagers to do better in school. Let’s get started!
Motivational Strategies for Students
1. Apply less control.
- For parents: As a parent, you should understand that your child is already experiencing enough control from teachers at school, so they would appreciate if you let them steer a little when it comes to homework. Having more control over their studying process will allow teens to feel more responsibility and thus become more willing to study.
- For teachers: Remove control from your classes by gradually switching to a learner centered approach instead of a teacher centered approach. In a learner centered approach, the teacher acts like a moderator of the students’ discussions and activities and knows how to motivate students.
2. Help teens discover their own learning styles.
Learning styles are based on how people perceive information: via pictures, sounds, words, touch, etc. They can also be based on the child’s temperament. For example, a student can prefer working alone to working together with someone, and so on.
- For parents: If your child is introverted, help them organize a quiet working place where they can do their assignments without being bothered by non work related things. If they need help, they will ask. On the contrary, encourage collaborative learning for extroverted children so they can do their homework together with siblings or friends. Allowing a teenager to study at his or her own pace is one of the great ways to motivate students.
- For teachers: Organize classroom activities to tackle all learning approaches, because your class is very likely to have groups of students for each approach. Incorporate the listening, speaking, reading, writing, lab research activities etc. in your lessons and see how students respond to each activity.
3. Encourage a love for reading.
Reading helps children enrich their vocabulary and creates new neural connections in their brains. It is the basis of studying any subject, including the technical ones.
- For parents: Your child should see reading as a fun and engaging process, not a torturous or boring routine. Therefore, if your teen has already developed a love for books in childhood, then you did a great job because reading is crucial for learning new things. One motivational technique that may encourage a love for reading is to dedicate at least 20 minutes a day to family reading time, where everyone spends time reading together.
- For teachers: Organize a non-obligatory reading club for book lovers where your students can discuss their favorite books.
4. Consider a summer enrichment program.
A summer camp is a motivating and fun way for teens to learn something new and exciting.
- For parents: At JKCP, we know how to motivate students to learn new things and thus offer a unique Enrichment program for high school students. Within this program, the participants are free to combine two classes that they want to study. The classes vary from arts, cooking and fashion to sports and engineering, so even the most demanding souls will be satisfied. The camp is on campus at Villanova University, which means that the teens will be immersed in a modern college environment. A summer program is a great place to meet new people and make new friends, which is crucial for a teenager as well.
- For teachers: Give your students information about summer camps and programs. You can present it verbally or hand out flyers and leaflets. If your class has a Facebook group, you can also share this information on Facebook.
5. Reward children for their efforts and achievements.
Recognition of achievements is a great way to motivating students to learn.
- For parents: No matter how you choose to reward your child, either verbally or by giving them a special treat, this will make them feel special and motivate them to achieve greater results. But do not forget also to remind your teen that you love them just for what they are, not for their achievements and grades. This will help them build confidence and actually feel their own value.
- For teachers: In addition to grades, you can create your own reward system for your classroom in the form of bonus points or something else – it is up to you to decide what is appropriate and applicable.
6. Encourage communication that is clear, sincere and open.
- For parents: Encourage your teen to express their feelings regarding the educational process. Make sure that your child is comfortable with expressing their opinion, even a negative one or the one you disagree with. Letting your child know that his or her opinion is valued is a great way to motivate your child for school.
- For teachers: Create a friendly and supportive atmosphere in your classroom. Accept the mistakes of your students and do not put them down for those mistakes.
7. Gamify the learning process.
Active engagement with a game helps the students experience the pleasure of learning a new system. As a result, they perceive learning process as fun and pleasant activities. This is what motivates your children to learn new subjects.
- For teachers: There is a wide variety of games that you can use in a classroom: bingo, jeopardy, taboo, guessing games, yes/no games, charades, and so on. Feel free to choose the one that fits your classes and your subject best. Game-based learning helps the students develop non-cognitive skills and teaches them to work in a team.
- For parents: If your students love classroom games and study best through those games, you can repeat them at home to consolidate the learned material.
Remember, Motivate But Don’t Pressure
No matter if you are a parent or a teacher, you can now use these strategies if you are not sure about how to motivate students for school. It’s important to keep it all positive and progressive, and don’t put unnecessary pressure on them.
A huge key to motivation is to introduce students to different kinds of learning. Check out some of JKCP’s summer camps and programs to see if anything interests your children or students.