Overview: A child who is not motivated to learn can be really frustrating, but there is one simple fix that can motivate your child to learn quickly.
Children are natural born learners.
It’s how they learn how to crawl, walk, pull themselves up, eat, and all those other wonderful skills they learn in the first year without a single formal lesson taught to them.
So why do we start to formally teach our children and expect them to learn certain things at a certain time when they get older?
It’s completely backwards.
That natural curiosity doesn’t just disappear when they reach a certain age. It sticks with them.
What causes a child to lose their natural desire to learn is the environment in which they are expected to learn in.
Have you ever heard the saying…
When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which is grows, not the flower.
Alexander Den Heijer
The same is true for children.
When a child isn’t motivated to learn, we tend to start reward systems, doubt ourselves, and even punish our children.
But the reason your child isn’t motivated has nothing to do with those things. It’s all about the environment in which your child is learning in.
Change the environment and you’ll see changes in your child’s motivation.
5 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Learn
There are a few simple tweaks you can make to your learning environment that will bring dramatic results to your child’s motivation.
1. Keep it Simple
Your child doesn’t need the fanciest learning materials. A simple rock and stick can teach your child many skills, especially in the early years.
Keep the activities you plan simple and child-led. Your child should be in charge of how the learning happens within each activity.
I’m a huge believer in less is more.
2. Follow Your Child’s Lead
Follow your child’s lead in what they learn, how they learn it, and when they learn it.
Your child is highly motivated by their interests. When we use their interests to our advantage, their motivation will increase and their learning will be quick and deep.
Every child learns in a different way. Take time to figure out how your child learns best and the types of activities they interact with the most. Keep these in mind when you’re planning.
Use your environment to encourage your child to learn the skills you want them to learn. Click here to download our getting started guide to learn how to use your environment to teach.
3. Focus on Building a Strong Love of Learning
When your child loves learning and knows how to learn, no challenge can stop them.
We get so caught up in the what to teach that we forget that our children naturally love to learn.
Our job is to nurture that fundamental love for learning.
Related: How to Cultivate a Love of Learning
4. Teach Your Child How to Learn
But a love of learning isn’t enough. Your child needs to know HOW to learn.
When they love learning and they know how to learn, your child will be naturally motivated, especially if learning that skill stands in their way of learning about something that interest them.
If your child loves cooking and is highly motivated to learn how to cook, but doesn’t know how fractions work, they will be motivated to learn fractions, so they can learn how to cook.
Same goes for reading. Using the cooking example again, if your child needs to be able to read recipes to learn how to cook, but they can’t read then their interest in cooking becomes a motivator to learn to read.
5. Trust the Process
Trusting is the hardest part of this whole homeschooling journey. If you want to truly motivate your child to learn, you must step back and trust the process.
Most of us were not trusted with our own learning experiences as kids, so we feel compelled to take charge of our children’s learning.
Put an encouraging environment in place, and let your child lead the learning journey. Be a guide to their learning and challenge their thinking.
Then sit back and watch for those little learning moments.
The ones that totally throw you off guard, which happened to one of our Learning Through Experiences mamas, Annie, a few weeks ago…
We had a huge learning breakthrough yesterday!!! My 4 year old (5 next week) hasn’t had much interest in letters. He has shown interest in reading, so I have been trying to teach him letters. He grasped a few of them, but always seemed to struggle. This week HE invented a game to help him learn the letters, when HE was ready and he is blasting through them! He mastered the few I had previously introduced and added 3 more in just a week! CHILD LED learning when THEY are ready makes such a huge difference!!!!
You control the environment.
The environment controls what is learned.
Your child controls when and how it is learned.
If your child is not motivated to learn, it’s as simple as changing the environment.
Ready to get started? Click the image below to grab our getting started guide.
Hey Beautiful Mama!
I’m Amanda! With over 11 years of teaching experience, I quit my dream job to homeschool my kiddos. Now I’m sharing our days and my experience, so you can raise a child who is confident, independent, and most importantly loves learning.
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