Six Tips to Keep Kids Motivated During Distance Learning

Student video conference e-learning with teacher and classmates on computer in living room at home.

With school either being all or partially online, it can be especially tough to stay focused and motivated. It’s important (and sometimes challenging) for students to stay on task let alone motivated. Here are some ideas and insight to help you get the new year off to a good start.

This article from Common Sense Media gives families tips and techniques to encourage and motivate your children to stay engaged with virtual lessons and learning from home in what promises to be a very unusual school year.

  • Establish structure and routine
    Sticking to a schedule provides the stability children need to keep plugging away. Plus, it minimizes their instincts to go rogue. When expectations are set, it’s more likely they’ll be met. You can try digital tools like to-do lists, site blockers and screen-limit settings when kids need help staying on task.
  • Praise effort
    Maybe they got a problem wrong but asked the right questions. Maybe they breezed through the day’s reading assignment when yesterday’s was tough. Now, more than ever, taking notice of and commenting positively on how your child is growing and progressing can really give them forward momentum.
  • Break up the day
    If you have some control over when they do the work, break things up a little. Let them have a slower-paced morning and do their work after lunch. Make an agreement in advance: “If you take the morning off, you still have to get your schoolwork done before you can play online with your friends later today.”
  • Check in regularly
    Children may be motivated by different things this year than they were last year. Don’t make assumptions on what’s going to work. Instead, ask questions: See how they’re holding up, ask how they feel, determine what they want to accomplish and figure out what you can do to support them.
  • Be willing to experiment
    If a child is struggling with reading a book, turn it into a read-aloud or get an audiobook. If math is “too boring,” do the problems on a whiteboard or outside using sidewalk chalk. A change of scenery can do wonders for a kid’s motivation.
  • Adjust expectations
    If we’ve learned anything during this crisis, it’s to expect the unexpected. Empathize with your kid’s feelings and move on. Allow yourself a moment to gather your strength and recharge. Celebrate the little victories and start tomorrow with fresh eyes.

    Read the full article.