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Motivation is a funny thing. It can be hard to find, even for adults, so it’s little wonder we sometimes struggle to inspire it in our kids. After all, how many times have you thought about cleaning out your closet or strapping your trainers on to go for a run and ended up putting it off for another day? The current quarantine situation is presenting an even bigger challenge for parents. Stuck at home all day, away from their friends, out of their normal daily routines and with everything feeling like it’s in limbo, motivating your kids to learn can seem even harder. They may be struggling with concentration, and for parents trying to also juggle their own jobs working from home and covering off all the childcare without any outside support, it can seem impossible sometimes. So, what can you do to keep your children engaged and learning as lockdown stretches on?
Stick To A Routine
It might have seemed like fun to let your kids stay in their pyjamas all day and start the morning off with YouTube videos at the beginning of lockdown, but as the weeks have worn on, lack of routine has become a major sticking point. Routine gives children the structure, boundaries and sense of normality that they need – so it’s very important to work out a fixed schedule with set times for learning, play and exercise, and stick to it. Creating a daily learning schedule will help ingrained habits you want your kids to have, but you also need to lead by example. Setting a schedule for yourself is the best way to show kids that it adds a lot to your life. Without routine, we can become a little overwhelmed and struggle to stick to a learning plan, so write one out, stick it to the fridge or use a scheduling app so that everybody knows what they should be doing and when.
Switch It Up
Although it’s a great idea to work with a routine to begin with, that doesn’t mean that you can’t switch it up occasionally. Make sure that you’re adding fresh things into the mix, like using private tutors if they are struggling. It’s a good idea to set little challenges and if competition is motivating for your children, then bring in an element of reward as well. It’s a good idea to involve your kids in this process – if they help to dream up new goals for themselves, that in itself can get their creative juices flowing and spur them on.
It’s natural for children to have some anxieties about the situation – after all, all our worlds have changed beyond recognition lately. Help them to manage that by talking openly and honestly about the situation, allowing them to feel heard when they express their fears and encouraging them to find ways to make themselves feel better, such as arranging a Zoom call with their friends or writing a journal. It can also help to download a mindfulness app and do some sessions together. Keep their worries in check and it will likely improve their focus.