As children get beyond the preschool/ kindergarten stage, many of them lose the joy in learning that is the characteristic of those early years. They may have had challenges in the classroom, or have been exposed to older children and heard some of their “school is boring” comments. The savvy parent can help to counteract this behavior by encouraging children to develop their interests and hobbies and by finding out more about the things in which they ARE interested. One method of motivating students to learn is by using articles in magazines or newspapers.
If you get a daily newspaper, teach your child to use it. There is no doubt that they will be motivated to learn to decipher the television and movie listings, but what else do you take for granted? All local newspapers have “Around Town” sections – draw your child’s attention to articles of importance to him. If he is a railroad buff, let him read about the model train show coming up next week. If he’s interested in space, read to him about the latest from the Hubble telescope.
Magazine articles are another good motivation tool. You can find whole magazines dedicated to your child’s hobby, whether it’s rock collecting or dance. If your child loves dinosaurs, reading about a little boy just like him who grew up to be a paleontologist can be very rewarding. Someone who loves animals will be motivated to learn all they can after reading about veterinarians.
One thing that motivates almost everyone is money. If your child is fascinated by reading about the lives of people whose salaries make them able to travel, drive expensive cars and live in luxury, perhaps he will be motivated to get a great education and get rich himself. Even People Magazine can be useful in motivating students to learn!