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Five ways to motivate your child for the new school year


The lazy days of summer are coming to an end. As the freedom and fun of the season give way to structure and homework, it can be tough for children (and parents) to jump into the new school year feeling motivated. Here’s the good news: going back to school doesn’t have to be a struggle, especially if everyone has a positive attitude and is mentally prepared for what’s coming.

Children often mirror the attitudes of their parents. If parents can take the lead and exemplify excitement and positivity, the transition from summer snooze to school-time focus can be successfully accomplished. Here are a few tips to help you motivate your child for the new school year:

  1. Get Back Early – Don’t wait for the first day to force your child to focus on school. Throughout the summer or a couple weeks before school starts, have them do some school-related work—pick up a math or science workbook so they can review and remember what they have previously learned. This will give them confidence and help prepare them for the next lesson. Another way to get your children back into a routine is to set aside reading time and allow your child to explore new worlds and adventures without the pressure of an assignment. 
    Doing Homework
  2. Be Social – Most kids look forward to seeing their friends again. Consider getting your child involved in an activity that interests them, such as sports or performing arts, so they can be eager for the social aspect of school.
    Children Playing Soccer
  3. Discuss Benefits – Whether young or old, kids need to be reminded of why school is important. For young kids, highlight the importance of activities like learning to read, participating in the science fair or understanding fractions. For older kids, help them see school as an important step toward other goals, whether that’s college, a technical school or other career outcomes—make sure they see that school is the way to make their dream future a reality.
  4. Learn Together – Set an example and learn something new together. Read the same book, learn about fractions through baking or visit a museum. If parents set the example that learning is a fun and life-long tradition, children will be more receptive to seeing the positive benefits of school and education.

    Parent Reading With Child
  5. Show Excitement and Support – Have an open and honest discussion with your child about school and their hopes for the year. Tell them you’re excited for what’s to come. If your child is challenged by a subject, create a plan of attack and let your child know that you’re there to support them. Set realistic grade goals and follow through with your homework assistance or a tutor. If you’re dreading the routine and express dissatisfaction with school, your child is going to feel that negative energy and reciprocate.

Going back to school doesn’t have to be a shock to the system. Remember to have a positive outlook, as attitudes are contagious. Learn something new with your child and prepare them early for what’s ahead. With proper motivation, going back to school can be a highly anticipated and welcomed event.