Parents: 5 Ways to Motivate Underperforming Students

It can be frustrating when your child just doesn’t seem to care about school or how they do. You know that they are capable of doing the work, but they don’t put in the effort. In all likelihood, they probably do care, but maybe they don’t find the material interesting, or it’s a concept they’re having trouble understanding, so it’s easier to shirk it off. Teachers do a lot of heavy lifting at school, so it’s up to parents to do their part at home and help keep learning going.

Here are five ways you can support your child with their school work and turn their attitude around.

1. Get Involved. This doesn’t mean do your child’s homework for them. But you can ask about what they’re learning, help create practice questions, quiz them on material before a test, and actively listen when they’re brainstorming for a project or report. Show them that you care and are interested in what they are doing so they’ll want to share more with you and be excited about it too.

2. Create a Routine. Lack of structure can contribute to their slacking off too. Set a schedule for what happens each day after school, whether that means homework, then eating dinner, or a bit of free time, then dinner, then homework. Figure out what works best for your child, but make sure you put the right expectations in place. If they know that they must have X, Y, Z done by a certain time (like before practice or time with friends), it can get them into the habit of doing it every day. Plus, kids like to know what to expect and what is expected; structure and routine are a good thing.

3. Be a Cheerleader. Keep things very positive. Celebrate their successes and reward their effort. This is not to say that everything should be, “You’re amazing! You’re the best! Rah-rah-rah!” Sometimes it might be, “I like how you went back and tried a different strategy when the first one didn’t work,” or “Great job double-checking your answers before putting it away.” Mistakes happen, but acknowledge that they are trying and making progress. Remember not to compare one child to another — everyone is different, so recognize them for their own abilities.

4. Make it Fun. Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom or over an open book. Find out what your child is interested in and incorporate that into their learning. Take a trip to a museum, let them do science experiments at the park, or set them up to shadow someone at your work because they have an interest in that type of career. Show them how what they’re learning can be applied in many different ways. Fractions may not seem interesting now, but when they’re used in baking or building, it’s a whole different story.

5. Get Help. Sometimes what your child is learning in school may be over your head because it’s been a long time since you’ve done it. Or maybe you don’t know a different way to explain something. Tutoring can be a great way to get your child the help they need and focus on areas where they may struggle. The strategies and skills they learn can be used across different subjects too.

Crafting Scholars identifies your child’s strengths, areas for improvement, and learning style in order to create a customized plan to meet their needs. Whether it’s concept mastery, study skills, organization, or test prep, Crafting Scholars can help them unlock their potential. Contact us today to learn more!