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How to Motivate Your Child in Homeschool

Written by Nicole Krempasky on Tuesday, 26 October 2021. Posted in For Parents

Woman and child looking at laptop screen.

Motivating children to study is a regular chore facing parents but finding and maintaining that motivation for children learning from home can present a unique set of challenges. Check out these tips from James Madison High School to help you help your student do their best.

How to motivate your child in homeschool

Finding ways to stay motivated is a problem we all often face. It’s sometimes an even more difficult challenge trying to get your children motivated in their studies. It’s not productive to constantly heap praise on them, but it’s also unproductive to punish them when trying to motivate. Students learning in a traditional, brick-and-mortar environment sometimes have it a little easier when it comes to finding a balance. They have regular face-to-face contact with teachers and guidance counselors to advise and encourage them, as well as friends and peers with whom they can work to help find academic inspiration. This can prove to be a little more difficult for students who are homeschooled. They don’t regularly have in-person interactions with faculty, guidance counselors, or fellow students. However, there are effective ways to motivate them at home! Check out a few of our tips.

  • Get organized. A cluttered workspace, or no designated workspace at all, can make learners feel overwhelmed, leading to giving up or not trying. Dedicate a workspace for schoolwork only. It will stay neat and tidy, as well as free from distractions. It will also help your child associate that space with their academic responsibilities. With organized supplies and materials, your child will be less likely to waste valuable time and less likely to get frustrated.
  • Set a schedule. Make sure your child stays on track by setting a schedule for them. Being left to their own devices can cause studies to take a backseat to other things they prefer to do. If possible, try to set this as a specific, regular time each day so it becomes a habit.
  • Allow for breaks. Taking a break to allow the brain to relax and reset is important. If your child is forced to complete schoolwork for hours on end, they’ll become tired and disinterested. This is especially important if you see them struggling with something. Give them the opportunity to step away, clear their minds, and come at the problem with a fresh outlook.
  • Avoid negative motivation. Everyone struggles from time to time, so it’s important not to make your child feel bad if they don’t understand the work or don’t do as well as you’d expect on an exam. Yelling, threatening, or punishing your child will only make them doubt themselves, especially if they’re trying their best.
  • Create rewards. You don’t want to bribe your child to study or pass exams but showing them that hard work pays off is important. Set a few goals for them to meet, and upon completion reward them for their achievements. Extra TV or video game time, extra time out with friends, or making their favorite meal are simple rewards that can positively reinforce good habits without creating a sense of entitlement.
  • Listen. Knowing what is frustrating, interesting, or difficult for your child is key to keeping them motivated. If you don’t understand where they’re coming from, you won’t know how to help them resolve any issues they’re having. Encourage open communication so they have the security in knowing they’re not in this alone.

Get motivated with James Madison

Motivation is a key element to accomplishing tasks. We’ve all had our moments of just not feeling the inspiration to do much or tackle that specific thing on our to-do lists. That’s ok, but we need to remember why motivation is important if we expect ourselves or others to regain it. Motivation is an important part of forming good habits. It makes the process of whatever you have to do more fun, helping you reach your goals. This is particularly important for children. As they take on more tasks and responsibilities, finding and maintaining motivation will be fundamental to their success.

Start your child on the path to earn their diploma with JMHS

Making sure everyone has the right tools to succeed is a goal of James Madison High School. All classes are online and self-paced, so there’s no reason anyone has to feel overwhelmed or frustrated by taking on too much or not being challenged enough. You decide when, where, and how much you study so you can stay motivated to continue your studies. To learn more about high school programs on your terms, call our Admissions Team at .

About the Author

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky earned a BA in Communications with a minor in Art History from Arcadia University. Just finishing her MA in International Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, she is putting her writing and research skills to use as Penn Foster’s Marketing Coordinator. Nicole enjoys baking, traveling, and British TV.