How to Help Your Kids Get Out of Their Study Slump
As parents, do you often struggle with keeping your children interested in learning? It is no surprise since kids are bombarded with distractions in the form of games, social media apps, and many other interruptions that might keep them away from studying.
Their loss of interest in studying can be attributed to many things, including high pressure from parents, monotonous study routines, difficulty in keeping up with peers, excessive distractions, and feeling of hopelessness in achieving academic success.
Nobody likes the feeling of being left behind in the classroom, especially when kids are often compared to their classmates by their own parents or even teachers. As upsetting as this may sound, this is quite a common recurrence in schools which results in heightened insecurity from pupils of all ages.
Of course, depriving your children of all fun things is not the solution as it will increase resentment towards studying in general, but how can you set boundaries with them and ensure academic success for your kids’ future?
In this article, we’ll look into the why and the how of tackling your children’s study slump in order to get them motivated for the school year.
Key Things to Identify
Before lending a helping hand to your loved ones, it is imperative to know the reasoning behind their lack of engagement and strategize smartly to tackle the issue. As mentioned previously, your children’s loss of interest in learning can be due to a number of reasons, and as parents it is important to start recognizing these signs in order to apply the logical solutions and get those learning hats on.
Dull Learning Routine
When it comes to studying, oftentimes the routine is as follows: attend classes, have one-on-one sessions with tutors, spend hours on homework, and repeat. This cycle of rinse and repeat can quickly become monotonous to children, not to mention the additional pressure for academic achievement and competition with peers that can lead to eventual burnout.
Children are naturally curious beings filled with endless questions, so we know the curiosity is there. It’s just a matter of how we can foster and reignite their desire to learn. Seriously, ask how many times parents get asked starting with the word “why” in a day – the answer is, plenty.
Another way to see this from a different perspective is to think about how we are as adults and how boring repetitive work routines can become.
Emails, calls, meetings, and then back to the cubicle the next day. (If you need a visual reference, take a look at the scene from SpongeBob where Squidward repeats the same regime everyday as his smile fades away with each frame, realizing he’s lost the initial spark he had). While some may enjoy this stability, this cycle frequently leads to lack of interest resulting in burnout. This same principle applies to children as it does to adults.
Pressure for Academic Success
It is safe to say that some people enjoy competition, and some simply do not. However, most can agree that no one likes to be put in a position of constant pressure to the point you start comparing yourself to others.
As parents, it is natural to want your kids to strive for academic success, however, be wary of setting unachievable standards and constantly comparing your loved ones to their classmates. While many parents opt for this method of disciplining their kids, it would often backfire and cause low performance in the classroom.
When it comes to setting goals for your kids, always bear in mind that everyone moves at a different speed. And that is not a bad thing!
While some kids may take two lessons to master basic fractions, some others may require longer time than that, and that is okay as everyone absorbs information at different rates. By identifying their strengths and weaknesses, you can also tailor special learning methods that work according to their needs based on this information.
Lack of Purpose
As adults, when completing certain tasks, do you often ask yourself the question “why do I even bother with this?” Meaning, our decision making is usually based on whether we deem that activity to be useful or beneficial for us.
Similarly, kids also operate in the same way where they would put activities that they find useless at the lowest priority. Of course, as adults we are aware of the importance of studying and academic success as it will greatly contribute to our future career path, therefore it is important to inform children how education greatly contributes to our lives.
So you might think, how can I get them to understand the importance of reaching high scores? Well, put it in a way that is simple enough for them to understand. Instead of urging them to study so they can get straight A’s, encourage them to see the value in each learning lesson.
Gently explain to them how mathematics can be used in helping them make real life decisions when trying to choose the best deal at the grocery store. Or how biology can be used in order for your children to understand their body more and how to take care of it. By emphasizing the application of these lessons in real-life scenarios, your kids will soon realize that there is in fact more to studying than just getting good grades.
What Can You Do Instead?
Now that we have some idea of the “why,” let’s get to the “how”’ in increasing your children’s interest in learning.
Children are active beings, and more times than not they would probably prefer to do learning activities than simply sitting on a desk and listening to lessons.
This would be a great bonding activity for parents to explore with kids and lets you know what sparks their interest! Here are some fun learning activities you can implement:
Educational games are perfect for when traditional methods with paper and pencil are simply not enough to keep the little ones engaged. In addition, they are also a great tool when trying to teach children about logic, critical thinking, and many other soft and hard skills.
A popular method that has been implemented in many classrooms would be Kahoot quizzes. By using this platform, kids are able to join through their gadgets and there is no pressure on being shamed if you get an answer wrong as students are able to join using fun nicknames that do not give away their identity thus creating a safe space for making mistakes.
In addition, there are a wide selection of applications and websites that educate people on the subject of mathematics, science, history, health, geography and many others. Usually, the game instructs the player to solve a mathematical equation or answer a history trivia in order to proceed to the next round or level up. This is a great method to keep kids engaged as they are just excited to play games, not realizing that along the way they are picking up useful skills.
Sitting in a room for hours while trying to absorb new information can be a downer for most people, especially kids. By doing so, this can really weigh down on a child’s excitement to learn and honestly can we blame them?
Many schools nowadays incorporate outside learning where teachers and students go over learning materials in an outdoor setting. By implementing a slight change in scenery, students feel more refreshed and less slumped in digesting new learning materials. Try doing the same with your kids and take your tutoring sessions with your kids in the backyard or a public park to boost your kids’ learning spirit.
A great example would be heading outside to teach your kids about different types of rocks and soil for a brief geology lesson. If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean with rich marine biodiversity, take the time to take your science lessons outdoors and look out for different types of sea life such as anemones, school of fishes, seashells, and more.
Similar to the previous point, scheduling field trips with your kids can boost learning interest as it takes the learning outside of the classroom, which can eliminate boredom.
Perfect for history lessons, going on a museum trip can spark interest in learning about past events, important monuments, artifacts, and paintings. This is highly beneficial especially in children who have shown interest in the fields of art, literature, and history. While it is not ideal to implement field trips everyday for children, it is important to remember to treat them once in a while to get them out of that study slump.
Think of it as adults, we oftentimes get so tired of the same four walls of the cubicle and repetitive routine. A business trip or an insightful work conference for bettering our knowledge can be a nice treat in the midst of a monotonous work regime. The same applies for children, and can help rekindle their learning spark.
Bite-Sized Learning Material
Lastly, learning can be an intimidating process, especially when kids see the amount of materials that they have to master within the span of one semester. Minimize their anxiety by breaking up learning materials into several pieces that will be easier to manage by them.
For example, when it comes to learning mathematics, instead of stressing on the entire counting system, take each learning lesson to really focus on comprehending each subject into bite-sized pieces. Make sure to incorporate fun games related to addition such as puzzles, treasure hunts, and other varieties to avoid boredom and motivation loss. Remember as mentioned earlier, kids are simply excited to play games, that they don’t even realize they’re gaining knowledge in the process.
Use all of these tools strategically by keeping them organized in order to keep your children engaged and focused on the material at hand.
Things to Keep in Mind
Now that you have all of these resources at your disposal, make sure to utilize them to boost learning efficiency and avoid motivation loss during the learning process. As parents, getting your children to sit down and study can be a hard task, however, by implementing a variety of fun activities and stimulating tasks, this can help them stay on track and reduce lack of interest in learning.
In addition, it is also important to recognize that there is also a good amount of trial and error that comes with finding the right study routine for your little ones. Therefore, it is important to be patient not only with your children, but also with yourself as you navigate through this journey. After all, finding a study plan that works is a learning moment within itself.
Lastly, value the time in taking a break from studying and exploring other interests that your children might have. Sometimes, all it takes is a little breather from the books to rejuvenate your kids and prevent fatigue from studying.
As parents, this would be a great opportunity to explore their interests outside of the classroom whether it be sports, music, cooking, and many more. Here at Timedoor Academy, we offer a variety of lessons surrounding coding that can be a fun learning addition for your kids. Our curriculum allows students to learn the fundamentals of computer science and accomplish fun projects such as creating their own games, websites, and mobile applications.
To get started, head over to this page and our teachers will be more than happy to get you and your little ones started on their coding journey.