It’s easy for kids to lose interest in school when the year is almost over. The thoughts of summer fun and not having to wake up early is enough to make them want to slack off.
It’s a common occurrence, and parents find it harder and harder to motivate their kids as they grow older.
Mums and dads, we feel you. We’ve had our share of kids getting distracted and not even wanting to do their homework! Such a headache!
So, what can we do to stop them from slacking off?
Ideally, at the beginning of the school year, you and your child should set a goal to achieve.
This can be achieving a bigger grade than the previous school year, or learning appropriate skills such as reading, public speaking or sports or just being able to manage their time better and efficiently. Whatever the main goal is, there are necessary steps to take before being able to achieve the main goal. Remind them that they have done a good job so far and always appreciate their efforts to achieve their goal, especially during this time of the year.
Nothing beats the feeling that your efforts are being acknowledged, especially for children. It’s hard to remember to do this for parents when busy, in a hurry or angry, but, this it’s an effective way of encouraging your children and a habit parents should practise.
Check in regularly and consistently
Make sure the kids know you are consistently checking in and that you aren’t looking forward for classes to end, too. Kids are observant and they can easily copy our attitude. If we can’t wait for classes to end then they will definitely think the same!
Let them know that up to the last day of classes, we hope that they are still studying and doing their homework seriously. Be firm with study/homework time, too! Don’t be lenient and let them slack off just for a little bit as this can be where they start feeling uninterested.
Don’t lose interest, too!
Parents can make the mistake of actively checking in on their children’s studies when the school year starts but not knowing what’s going mid-year. Don’t lose interest, too! Make sure to spend an hour a day checking in on them, asking about how school went and helping them out with their homework. It is a must. You and your child are a team!
Make Them Look Forward To School
If your child seems uninterested to go to school, there could probably be an underlying reason and it may not just be about the school year ending. Perhaps, they fought with a classmate, was scolded by their teacher or something major as being bullied. As parents, it’s important to know our child’s environment because it will greatly affect their interest to learn.
If in case they’re just distracted, it’s not too late to involve them in after school activities such as sports or arts that they are interested in. It’s also important to let them enjoy the time or days they aren’t in school. Too much of studying will make them bored and lose interest!
Make It Fun
Most kids abhor study time, so you’ll have to put in more effort to make it fun. If they have siblings, you can have them beat one with the other. You can play a memory card game or create quizzes about history or science – there are a lot of options for this one and will just need some pre-planning on your end.
This strategy has been proven effective and if you’re organised enough you won’t hear them complain once in a while.
Another idea is to give them real-life problems to solve. For example, when you’re grocery shopping, have them add the prices of goods you shopped for without a pen and paper then let them come up with the total amount on their own.
If you are a parent with one or two kids going to school, it’s going to take a lot of pressure off you if everything is organised. You don’t want an assignment or test sneak up on you! It pays to know schedules of quizzes and tests months in advance. You can also create a system that the kids can work with. You can create a calendar or use sticky notes for reminders. As for making homework fun, pre-planning means creating material that you and the kids can use for study time.
Aside from organising a system, organise a schedule for studying and homework and be strict about it! Make it a family affair. No TV, no phones, no visitors. Making this a daily habit will teach children the discipline to study whether there’s a test or not, whether it’s just the start of the school year and even if it’s about to end.
Positive reinforcement works so much better than punishment when kids do something wrong. It always works! Make it work for you by rewarding the efforts your children make when it comes to their homework.
Just for promptly taking out their books (without you having to yell at them) when it’s time to study, rewarding the kids with something so small works wonders. For example, you can end study hour 15 minutes early!
You can also do this with material things, like a small toy, or with experiences, like getting to go to the movies after two weeks of completing assignments on time. The reward system should be used moderately, though as kids may feel entitled to receive something every time they think they deserve it. This is a hard habit to break later in life.
Plan an Awesome Summer
It’s hard to be a parent when you know what your kids need, but also understand how they feel. After all, we were also their age once!
The holidays are really so enticing!
So, as a parent, don’t be afraid to emphatise. It’s a great way to connect and communicate with your child. Make them feel that you understand how they feel and plan an awesome summer WITH them. That way, they will actively work towards the school year’s goals because they’re know they’re going to have an awesome summer and reap the benefits of their hard work!
Finally, to all the parents out there, keep going! You’re almost there. Your hard work will pay off soon!