Over the last year, parents have turned into teachers, who have been supporting their children both emotionally and academically. It can be difficult to juggle parenting with teaching- especially if you have children who don’t always enjoy doing school work! You want to be a nurturing, understanding parent but you also need to lay down the rules when it comes to completing homework and studying. This balance is hard to get right for anyone. If you’re struggling to motivate your children with school work, this article will give you the best tips for supporting your child during a pandemic (and beyond!).
Give them rewards
Every child will respond well to rewards. If your child is struggling to do their school work or is experiencing low self-esteem, you should consider creating a rewards system. Rewards don’t have to be large, you could maybe use stickers, sweets, cuddly toys or even a weekly takeaway. You should establish requirements that your child needs to meet to receive their reward, this will motivate them to complete their work and help them to feel accomplished when they receive their prize. Schools will often use reward systems of their own which are proven to be effective. Rewarding your children for the hard work that they put in is a great way to maintain a positive relationship with them, whilst making sure that they do their work.
Make a nice study space
Many adults find it easier to work in a dedicated office space and, this can often apply to children too. Having a clear, separate study space will help children to focus on their work and will bring structure to their day. There are many online stores that sell great children’s desks. Cabin beds have a high sitting mattress that provides ideal space for a home learning area beneath. You could create your child a mini-classroom of their own in their bedrooms. This will help children step away from TV and toys and will encourage them to do their work, just like they are in school. To make the study spaces even better, you could consider decorating them with informative posters and educational tools that will inspire your children to learn.
For children, the biggest circumstance of lockdown is the huge lack of social interaction that usually comes from attending school. Your children are probably missing their friends and any frustration felt by not being able to socialise, may show itself in stubbornness towards doing school work. You should try to organise virtual playdates for your children so that they can speak to their friends. Doing this even just once a week will make a huge difference to their mental health. You could encourage them to talk to their friends about any school work that they are struggling with- at school many pupils will ask their peers for advice when they struggle with work. Asking a peer is often less daunting than asking an adult so, letting them speak with their friends may motivate them to do school work that they have been finding difficult.
Make learning fun
Learning from home can be confusing for children. Usually, children will use their homes as a break from schoolwork in which they will relax and play. Because of this, it can be hard for children to get into the right mindset that is needed for doing school work when they are at home. If this is the case, learning may be more effective if it feels more like a fun activity. You should try to make learning fun by creating educational games or using educational toys. There are many online resources that you can use for free which offer hundreds of interactive educational games for children. Just because it’s fun, doesn’t mean that it won’t be effective. During the pandemic, any learning is better than no learning at all.
Children’s lives have been turned upside by the pandemic and they are bound to have thousands of questions about what is going on. Whilst it may be tempting to sugarcoat to make them feel better, it’s important that you are honest with your children. Explain to them exactly what the pandemic is but, tell them that it won’t last forever. Your children may have read some worrying facts online, you should try to explain that not everything online is completely true. Instead, tell them exactly what you know and keep everything clear. This will help them to feel safe during the pandemic. Knowing that it won’t last forever will motivate your children to do their school work- it may seem pointless if they think that this will never end!