Students may need some time to adjust at the beginning of a new school year. Summer vacations typically lack the structure of the school year, and it might be unfair to expect kids to seamlessly slip back into their more regimented lives as students.
While some early school year sluggishness might be normal, that should wear off pretty quickly. If not, and students appear to be struggling to get motivated for their schoolwork, parents can try various strategies that should help reignite youngsters’ passions for learning.
• Make your home more school-friendly. Summer is a relaxing time of year when parents have a tendency to relax rules around the house. But come the school year, parents must make sure their homes are as conducive to studying as possible. Resist the urge to turn the television on each night so students are not distracted from their studies. Keep the home quiet so students are motivated to focus on their studies.
• Encourage participation in extracurricular activities. Various studies have examined the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance. A 2002 study published in the journal Sociology of Education found that participation in extracurricular activities is associated with improved grade point average, increased college attendance and reduced absenteeism. The link between participation in extracurricular activities and improved academic performance is still in need of study, but such participation may help children acclimate to the structure of the school year more quickly than they might if they do not participate in such activities.
• Encourage curious youngsters. Kids are curious, and fostering that curiosity can be a great way for parents to get their kids excited about learning. Whether it’s during the school year and part of their curriculum or on summer break, encourage kids to engage in subjects that interest them. As kids learn more about the topics and subjects that interest them, they may develop a passion for learning that they can then take with them to the classroom.
• Express an interest in the subjects children are studying. Another way to motivate students at the dawn of a new school year is to express an interest in the subjects they’re studying. Ask questions about their studies and encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions. Engaging students about the subjects they’re studying can motivate them to explore those subjects more deeply than they otherwise might.
Motivating kids to be excited about their schoolwork at the dawn of a new school year can sometimes be difficult. But parents can employ various strategies that can help their children re-adjust to life in the classroom and motivate them to perform to the best of their abilities.