Motivating Kids: How to Get Them Excited about School


By Jessica D Festa

Wondering how to motivate kids in school? Motivating kids isn’t always easy, but with the right strategies, it’s possible—and can even be fun!

There are several reasons your child may be lagging behind in their studies. The good news: It’s likely they aren’t unmotivated people. Instead, they just need some inspiration and guidance, which you can offer through the following tips.

1. Throw a Party

When thinking about motivating kids early in the school year, it’s helpful to consider back-to-school anxieties. For many children, the fear of not being able to make friends can keep them from staying focused. To help, try getting a list of classmates before the semester starts and plan a back-to-school party.

Bonus: You can help your kid get their creative juices flowing by letting them design the invitations—Walmart has a fun Make Your Own Cards Kit—and by planning the activities. Did someone say Emoji Emojinal Selfies Prop Kit?

2. Design an Office

Okay, so maybe your child isn’t old enough to get their own office; however, if you’re wondering how to motivate kids in school, giving them a study nook is one solution. Find a corner of your home they can use to do their work, and help them decorate it. Start with a functional Latitude Run Turrella Wall-Mounted Floating Desk from Wayfair, which folds into the wall when it’s not being used. The piece has small shelves where children can keep pens, paper, and other accessories.

Recommendation: This Owls Graphic Art on Wrapped Canvas is perfect for motivating kids, as owls symbolize wisdom.

3. Make Shopping an Experience

When considering how to motivate kids in school, add an experiential shopping trip to your list. Don’t make it a chore; instead, get kids excited by helping them pick out some fun school supplies (Crayola 30 Count Twistable Colored Pencils, anyone?) and back-to-school clothing. Make a day of it, starting with a breakfast made by the whole family—let your kids help with the menu—and letting everyone give input as to what stores you’ll visit. Let them be a part of the planning process for their school year.

Bonus tip: Encourage your child to pick their first-day-of-school outfit, and commemorate the day with a photo. Make it clear it’s a special occasion worth documenting. After a few years, you can make a collage of their first days.

4. Gamify School Work

Putting a reward system in place is a great idea for motivating kids. You can give points for good grades, finishing homework before dinner, positive comments from the teacher, reading books, and taking part in extracurricular activities. This means they’re getting recognition for both success and effort. When your child reaches a certain number of points, let them pick an afternoon activity or dessert for that night or offer them an extra 30 minutes of playtime before bed.

Keep track of their progress with a rewards chart. Kids will love marking their score when you use Walmart’s Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalk Board (because hey, who doesn’t love writing on the walls?).

5. Create Structure

If you’re having trouble motivating your kid to study or do their homework, create a schedule that factors in that time each day. Going back to the idea of rewards, tell them they can play video games or go for a bike ride once their schoolwork is done—and you’ve gone over it with them—so they associate these positive outcomes with work completion.

6. Bring Lessons to Life

It can be tough for the words in your child’s textbooks to really make sense to them. Help them bring lessons to life with experiments, museum visits, movies, games, or even reenactments if your child likes to act. It can be a fun way to learn while bonding as a family!

These six tips will not only motivate your kids this school year, but will set them up to succeed for the long term.

A functional wall-mounted floating desk from Wayfair gives your kid their own study nook!


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