It is that time of year when the excitement of back to school has worn off, but the anticipation for the holiday season and end of the semester has not set in yet. That is why learning How to Keep Students Motivated and Finish the Semester Strong is so important. The weather is getting cooler, and the daylight hours are shrinking. Some days are straight-up gloomy. Staying motivated can be a huge issue for students, which can lead to problems with getting behind or feeling stuck in a rut. Help your child stay motivated and on track with these helpful tips.
How to Keep Students Motivated and Finish the Semester Strong
1. Create SMART goals and action steps that are small and manageable.
Help your child stay motivated and on track with SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. The idea of creating SMART goals is to not overdo it by trying to achieve everything at once. It is all about progress, which is why the action steps need to be small and manageable. Plus, you and your child should be celebrating together when goals or deadlines are met and achieved. Scheduling small chunks of time consistently will help you to complete action steps and tasks needed for your child to reach their goals. Make sure that you brainstorm ideas with your child on how to measure progress and other action steps included in the SMART goal.
2. Give your child a sense of control by providing options.
Providing options to your child in each step of their learning process is helpful in many ways to them such as building confidence and giving them a sense of control. Allowing your child to choose what to work on first, where to study, or even how they will study gives them the options and sense of control they need yet gives you as the parent the reassurance that the goals are being strived after.
3. Take advantage of websites and apps that help with studying and planning.
There are a lot of different apps and websites out there that can be used to help your student with studying, staying organized, and planning ahead for due dates and test dates. Below is a list of 5 of my favorite study and planning websites and apps.
4. Make it social and fun by hosting a study group
Another great tip on How to Keep Students Motivated and Finish the Semester Strong. Helping your child stay motivated and on track by hosting a study group can be a lot of fun! It doesn’t matter if your student is in elementary school or college, studying with a group of your favorite people is always better! A study group can be beneficial for the students to learn and grow from one another, to give appropriate insight into the study topic by their peers, for encouragement, and can even make studying seem fun!
Have your child get a few other peers together that also need to study and get some of their favorite snacks, maybe play a game with the material being studied, and try to take the focus off of ‘getting an A on the test’ and on to them learning the content in a new, interactive, and fun way.
5. Model goal setting and time management yourself.
Setting some SMART goals for yourself along with your child is beneficial to you both! Setting a good example for your child by setting a goal, creating action steps, and managing your time shows your child they are not alone in the process. That this is not only good practice in school but for life as an adult as well.
If you create your own SMART goals at the same time that you sit down with your child to create theirs, it becomes something you are working together on and takes the ‘punishment’ or ‘negative’ feelings out of the process and turns it into more of a challenge or fun activity that you share.
6. Encourage and celebrate progress. Offering praise for hitting milestones and effort
It is all about progress! This is something we must remember and remind our children of if we want them to have success in meeting any goals in life, especially the SMART goals we create. Celebrating your child’s progress is crucial in keeping them on track and confident in their learning abilities. It also encourages them to keep going with setting new goals once their others have been achieved.
Praising your child for hitting milestones and showing effort to reach their goals is important. Everyone likes to be told ‘good job’ and your child could really benefit from the encouragement while striving to reach their academic goals.
Letting your child know that you notice their efforts, that you are proud of their hard work and their achievements, and that you are excited about their growth and all the progress they have made will go a long way. Your child will feel validated, appreciated for their efforts, confident in their progress, and proud of their achievements.
7. Change of study enviornment
A change in study environment helps a lot of students get out of their usual funk. Switching things up and changing their surroundings can actually help them concentrate more. However, you do want to ensure you are choosing an environment conducive to studying. Try to study in new places like a library, a coffee shop, a quiet park, or even just sitting outside in your own yard. The goal is to find somewhere new to study, that is free of distractions and quiet enough to focus.
8. Promote and share in self reflection.
Whether you and your child are doing this together or if you are simply playing cheerleader for your child, you want to be setting aside time to promote and share in self-reflection. It is an important step in the process.
Discuss with your child their progress, growth, and achievements. Some things you may want to discuss are what went well, steps that worked or didn’t work well, where you notice a growth, or where you notice struggling.
9. Hire a tutor.
There are specific benefits of hiring a tutor for elementary students but hiring a tutor can be beneficial for any student. Students of all ages and academic standings, not only students who are struggling can benefit greatly from working with a tutor one on one.
Having a tutor work with your child gives them consistent and dedicated study time in which they can ask questions and receive help. This is especially helpful to busy parents who need help with their child’s management of time and supervision while studying.
A tutor is able to recognize the area(s) in which a student struggles and excels. Oftentimes a student will study and focus on the things they already know or become so overwhelmed by what they don’t know that they become ‘stuck’.
This is why working with a tutor is proven to boost a student’s confidence in and out of the classroom.
Great Thinkers Learning Academy knows that hiring a tutor can be stressful to already busy parents, which is why we offer online tutoring options, so no driving is necessary!
Great Thinkers Learning Academy also values your time which is why we make sure to pair you up with the teacher that works best for your student, and we give you tips on how to make your tutoring sessions successful!
10. Focus conversations on learning rather than grades.
The final tip on How to Keep Students Motivated and Finish the Semester Strong simply telling a child to study harder or study more for a better grade, which rarely if ever, actually helps the child achieve a better grade and actually causes more harm than it does good.
Keep the focus of your conversations with your child on learning rather than grades. Often times children who are struggling will begin to allow the bad grade to define who they are. Adding pressure on them by being grade focused instead of learning-focused can cause them to get further discouraged, fall further behind, and they will be less likely to feel hopeful something can change.
Instead of focusing on your child’s grades, focus on asking them questions about what they are learning in class, what would help them in their learning process, or what areas they struggle with.
Show interest in their learning not just the grade of measurement.
We would love to hear from you! What other helpful strategies do you have?
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