15 Ways to Motivate and Inspire Your Homeschooled Child
You can motivate your child and inspire your homeschool with fresh activities thanks to this creative list!
Keeping a child motivated in their studies is tricky. They may know what they should do and may even agree it’s the best thing for them. But there are plenty of reasons for a child to lose motivation—and, luckily, there are plenty of ways to overcome this, too!
Keep reading to learn how to motivate your child, what intrinsic motivation is, and how you can promote it with your child.
Let’s dive into these 15 smart ways to motivate and inspire your homeschooled child!
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How To Motivate Your Child
Homeschooling is an extraordinary experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. A parent’s biggest challenge is finding fun and fresh ways to keep their kids motivated throughout the year.
At home, studying every day can become tedious and monotonous if you don’t come up with creative learning experiences and inspiring projects.
However, not all the responsibility is on the parents’ end.
Students should also be able to motivate themselves and keep their enthusiasm up while homeschooling.
The key to accomplish this is to tap into their intrinsic motivation.
What’s Intrinsic Motivation?
Homeschool motivation means your child should find a way to enjoy homeschooling for the opportunities it offers. You must help your child develop an inner drive that propels them to pursue homeschooling “not for external rewards, but because the action is enjoyable.”
The keyword is “enjoyable.”
Focus on making your homeschooling experience as enjoyable as possible for your child and it will help build intrinsic motivation through excitement and rewards.
Want some great ideas? Well, here are 15!
15 Smart Ways to Motivate Your Homeschooled Kids
There are many ways you can inspire your child.
You can create or suggest some, while others should come directly from your child. Let’s learn some useful ideas to help you motivate your homeschooled kids!
1. Change of Scenery
Sometimes all you need is to go out and do your same work in a different place. For example, visit your local library, spend a day or a week working there, or spend a morning at a quiet coffee shop with a good internet connection.
A simple redesign of your working area can also do the trick—keeping the motivation up is hard when everything looks the same.
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2. Set a System of Rewards and Consequences
I know I’ve just talked about intrinsic motivation being the best type of motivation, but that doesn’t happen overnight. So let’s start by taking baby steps first.
What catches your child’s attention?
Maybe their electronic devices, or perhaps they love field trips. But, first, you must find out how you can reward your child after they finish their homework.
Think of ideas like, “if you finish this project by Friday, we’ll go to that museum you want to go to.”
That would be a reward and a consequence.
A consequence can be “no devices today until you finish today’s work.” Depending on your child’s age, you can create a system of colored stars, fake money with which they can “buy” stuff from you, or include some house chores as part of the consequences.
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3. Free Time!
Nothing motivates a bored child more than the promise of extra free time.
Use this motivation wisely and sporadically, only when the topic at hand deserves that extra effort from your child. Otherwise, you’ll risk them expecting spare free time every day.
4. Make It Fun
As a teacher, I can tell you that making the lesson fun goes a long way in keeping your students focused and motivated. I spend a lot of my time looking for ways to make my classes fun for my students.
Look for ways to learn through games, fun and relatable videos, and projects that require them to use their creativity and imagination.
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5. Positive Feedback
It doesn’t matter how your child’s progress is going; always give them positive feedback.
You should always start with a positive comment, and then, if needed, you can add something like “now we are focusing on taking that next step.” Nothing is more demoralizing for a child than getting negative feedback from an adult, especially if that adult is also one of their parents.
6. Give Them Space
I find this strategy quite useful with middle and high school students. Set rules and expectations, and allow your child to work independently.
If your child knows what’s expected from them and when it’s the deadline, they will start finding that intrinsic motivation.
Freedom and independence are very appreciated at that age. Know that if they discover that they can keep their independence by doing their work, they will engage with you in this practice.
Besides, you’ll also be developing skills in your child that will be useful in the future.
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7. Ask for Their Input
From the very beginning of your homeschool journey, ask your child for their opinion. Ask them what they think about it, what kind of desk they want to use, or which curriculum they like the most.
When a child is involved in their learning process, they own it. This way, they can also feel pride in their achievements.
The same thing when planning a new unit, designing a project, or organizing a field trip. Make your child part of the decision-making process, and you’ll see how their level of commitment and motivation grows.
It’s a perfect way to promote intrinsic motivation in your child.
8. Track Progress
An excellent way to motivate a child is to keep track of their progress and review it periodically. Children have a strong competitive spirit and want to beat everyone and themselves.
You can design a graphic system where your children can track their progress. Keep it up to date and always have a new goal they can achieve quickly.
You might like: 8 Essential Apps for Busy Homeschooling Moms (Like Me)
9. Theme Days
This one is great for small children.
If they’re working well and their progress is constant, ask them to come up with ideas for theme days. For example, think of superhero days or space days.
You’ll have to get costumes for your child and yourself and make the day about that theme. But it will motivate them to keep up with the good work, and you’ll have a great memory together.
10. Daily Schedule
The first thing I do every morning when I get into my classroom is to write the schedule for the day on the right side of the board. I always try to plan something special for the end of the day. So they will look forward to it and stay focused while working.
Share the day’s schedule with your child and see how it affects their enthusiasm during the day.
11. Set SMART Goals
This one’s particularly useful with teenagers.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Sit with your teenager and set your homeschooling SMART goals together. Again, involving your child in the process will make them more committed to the whole process.
You might like: 12 Awesome Hacks to Meet Your SMART Goals
12. Invite Friends Over
One of the main criticisms of homeschooling is that children lack socializing opportunities.
You can solve that by inviting other homeschooling children over to work on a collaborative project. This way, you’ll get out of the routine, bring a new, exciting element to the lesson, and set the stage for future collaborative projects in different homes.
It’s a win-win-win situation!
13. Challenge Your Child
Whenever a student loses motivation at school, I check if the content we’re working on isn’t too easy for them. If a student isn’t challenged by what they’re studying, it’s easy for them to get distracted and lose interest in the topic.
Make sure that what your child is learning is challenging for them. If it isn’t, push the difficulty level a notch or two.
14. Let Them to Listen to Music
Sometimes I explain a project and ask my students to work independently.
Invariably, my teenage students will ask me if they can listen to music while working. They still get surprised when I say, “yes, as long as you finish your work on time.”
I treat them like grown-ups, and they respond positively to that. So make sure your child knows what they have to do, and if they want to listen to music while doing it, why not?
This is one kind of intrinsic motivation. They’ll get the work done, and you’ll get a better attitude.
15. Listen to Them
All the time, and not only to their words but also to their attitudes, moods, and behavior. Homeschooling is all about your child—you’re in this for them. So, make sure they’re happy with the whole idea and how it’s going.
If you listen to your child, you can make changes before they lose motivation.
Inspire Your Homeschool and Motivate Your Child
There are many ways to motivate your child and inspire positive homeschool attitudes. Choose the strategies discussed above and find the ones you think will work better for your child.
Remember that the most important thing is for your child to enjoy learning!
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