Children learn a lot from the moment they are born. Research shows that very young children have the ability to simply absorb information around them. This makes it very easy for them to learn new things. Unfortunately, as they age the ability to simply absorb information fades, it takes more work and motivation.
At the same time, some subjects, such as math, can seem needlessly complicated. This creates motivational issues and you need to work with your child to get past these issues and encourage them to stay motivated. After all, education is important, especially when it involves basic skills like language and math which are useful in every stage of life.
The good news is that it is still possible to motivate your child to learn, they just need a little help.
1. The Right Setting
Your child can learn math at home and at their child care center, such as aspireearlyeducation.vic.edu.au. Both of these places need to have a common goal, to improve your child’s math skills. It is a good idea to chat with the child care center and see what methods they are using to teach math and how they are motivating the pupils.
Once you know this you can suggest techniques that may help them to feel motivated to learn. After all, no one knows your child better than you and you are most likely to know how to motivate them. But, the key to this being successful is ensuring they have a pleasant and comfortable environment to help them learn.
2. Practical Lessons
Instead of focusing on teaching math, you should focus on the times when math is useful in life. Start small, such as adding the shopping bill while shopping. You can progress to working out miles per gallon while driving or distances covered. When your child realizes that math has a practical application they will be more encouraged or motivated to learn math techniques.
The right practical lesson can make a big difference to how your child feels about math.
3. Reward Effort
If you want to motivate someone you need to praise them. Feeling good about something always makes it more interesting to do more, and hopefully, get additional praise.
It should be noted that rewarding effort is better than rewarding results. Results can sometimes be beyond the control of your child. If they don’t feel they can get a better grade they will not be motivated to try. But, if you reward them for trying their hardest they will be happy to try hard again and be rewarded again. Over time this can be a very effective way of encouraging your child to feel motivated to learn.
4. Progress Rocks!
Never underestimate how motivational it is to be told, and shown, how far you have progressed. This is particularly beneficial when your child thinks they have messed it all up and are not interested in trying it again. You simply need to sit with them and illustrate the difference in what they know today compared to what they knew last week. You may be surprised at how motivational this is.
5. Let them Know You Are With Them
When anyone is struggling to understand a concept they can feel like they are alone and the whole process is overwhelming. This is particularly concerning in children where they may not yet have the emotional maturity to deal with all these issues.
You can help by just letting them know you are on their side. Sit down with them and work out the solution together. It will help you to bond and motivate them to do more.
6. Be Organized
When you are about to sit down and do some math you need to make sure you have everything ready before you start. This will prevent distractions from occurring while studying math. Distractions are very effective but they won’t help you feel motivated to complete the math puzzles.
It is essential that your child realizes that they don’t need to progress quickly. Learning takes time and setting too difficult a schedule will encourage your child to fail and, therefore, de-motivate them. Instead, let them know there is no rush to grasp a specific concept. Instead, focus on understanding it and praising them for doing so.
8. Be Optimistic
One of the most effective ways of motivating anyone is to be enthusiastic about it yourself, even if you don’t really feel enthusiastic. If you have a positive attitude toward the math problem your child will mimic you. This will help them to be optimistic. As research suggests optimists are better at solving issues, turning our child into an optimist will help them to learn what needs to be learned.
It is also a practical skill to have throughout life.
9. Practical Application
We have mentioned bringing maths into the real world and showing your children how it is used in everyday situations. You can now take this a step further and start getting them to unconsciously do the math. For example, you have a pizza and you need to cut it up. You can tell your child how many people there are and that everyone needs two slices. Then, ask them how many slices you have to cut the pizza into.
They may not realize it but they will be doing math and you can praise them for doing so. As stated, there is little more motivational than praise. This encourages children to continue the activity and do it again and again.
Don’t forget that children do not learn at the same rate as each other and can be at different places in math without being unmotivated or ‘behind’. It is essential that you look at what your child is doing at the moment in order to decide which section of math will most appeal to them. The more appealing a subject is the easier it will be for everyone to be motivated about it!
If in doubt, ask your child what they would prefer to learn. You may be surprised by the answer and it will show you just how motivated they are.