Wouldn’t it be great if our children loved reading books more than playing video games? It would be nice if we didn’t have to nag at them every single time there was homework to be done. While naturally curious and eager, children are also easily distracted by the fun and games that could be had instead of being stuck in their room, reading for class. If you want to know how to help your kid do well at school and find their love of learning, there are many ways you can do that. Regardless of whether your child is just starting, or going back to school, we offer a few tips to motivate kids that will help any parent shape their child into someone who’s excited about education.

Start early

The best way to get your child to love school is to teach them how to enjoy knowledge long before they even start their classes. There’s no need to “spare” your child and put off their education, because that way they’ll come to think of education as something unpleasant and difficult. It will also make the transition a lot harder because they won’t be used to studying and paying attention in class. Knowledge is a remarkable thing, and if you introduce it through play, your child will learn to love it.

Never make learning a punishment

If your child does something bad, don’t send them to their room and make them study to punish them. This will make them resent school like nothing else, because they’ll come to associate it with a terrible time. Instead, every time your child does something well, try rewarding them with a new book. Depending on their age, it can be something as simple as a picture book, a fairytale, or even their first novel. Show them that there is no greater gift than the gift of knowledge.

Provide the help they need

Even the smartest child will stumble and be unable to grasp a lesson at school sometimes. It can be very frustrating both for the parent and the child, but you need to have patience and help them through the rough patch. They need to know that not understanding something is nothing to be ashamed of, and that they can always ask more questions. Some countries have very good approaches to education, so you’ll find that tutoring in Australia is quite a common practice, and in Europe there is a learn-through-play kind of system in place.

Not every child will be well-adjusted to standard school methods, so you need to be ready to provide extra help. One-on-one tutoring is extremely effective for anyone who has issues with subjects such as mathematics or English, and if your child feels nervous and stressed, relaxing them through a more playful approach is a good idea. Why not take them to the park and enjoy the sunshine while you help them catch up on their reading? Create a soothing environment where they can take their time to grasp the subject.

Cultivate their interest

We all hope that our children will become something great and very often we tend to push them towards a certain path, regardless of whether they enjoy it. This can actually turn them away from learning, because they won’t feel like they have anything to gain from it. So, let your child explore and help them cultivate their interests. If your kid is into superheroes, then tell them how each superhero had to work hard to become so powerful. Even the most mundane things have a hidden lesson in them, and encouraging interests will give them one of the most useful skills they can have – imagination. Imagination helps the cognitive development of children and it’s essential for problem-solving skills. So, next time your child starts babbling about Batman, listen carefully. This will also help you have better communication with your kid.

Be mindful of their schedule

There is absolutely no need to sign your child up for every single extracurricular activity there is. They don’t need soccer, piano lessons, dance classes, and French all shoved into one day. It’s a very quick way to drive both you and your kid insane. If your child cries every time you want to take them to a class, then you’re just stressing them out and it’s unlikely anything they learn there will stick. Sign them up for the things they are enthusiastic about and let them have some free time to themselves. They, too, need to rest and recuperate.

Children are really great when you provide them a safe environment, tools to learn with, and then just let them explore and find their own way. They may stumble, but that’s a part of the learning process too. Provide structure, give them a routine, but leave some place for freedom of expression and creativity. Most importantly, teach your child to love books, and you’ll teach them to hunger for knowledge instead of shy away from it.

Read More: The importance of play in early childhood


Tracey-ClaytonTracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

Read More from Tracey: https://highstylife.com/women-you-should-admit-men-are-better-cooks/