By Justine Pitt, Centre Manager of Oxford Learning London North
It’s easy enough to recognize a student who isn’t motivated in school—there is forgotten homework, misplaced assignments, poor test performance, and frequent complaints about disliking school.
An unmotivated child is not a happy student.
Not surprisingly, school dissatisfaction usually goes hand-in-hand with poor grades.
When we’re asked by parents to help their child get better grades, one of the first things that we look at is how motivated the child is to learn. That’s because motivation is key to improving grades. Without motivation, students have no personal drive to improve.
Parents can become frustrated by what they may see as apathy in their child. What is difficult to understand is that motivation is an inner drive, so attempting to explain the importance of school is often ineffective in helping children develop an interest in school.
While telling a child that strong reading, writing, and math skills are important to be successful in life, it rarely means much to the average ten-year-old. Yes, learning, achieving, and succeeding are qualities adults recognize as important, but children need to understand the importance of these things in ways that make sense to them in the context of their lives. Each child is unique and the motivating reasons will be as individual as each child.
All children are capable of possessing great amounts of motivation. Give any 10-year-old a new video game and they have the drive to get to level 5 without much prompting or coaching. In fact, in life one of the greatest learned feats is the acquisition of language. Babies begin to learn language because they are driven to understand and to make sense of their world. It’s a huge accomplishment that requires a large amount of motivation. It is also a great example of how, with a little motivation, any goal can be achieved.
Children can be taught to read. They can be taught how to count. They can be taught how to create the most complicated sentence structures and the tricks to solve the toughest algebra equations. But without motivation, they are just being taught. They are not learning, nor are they thinking actively.
We help students of all ages tap into what excites them about learning. Whether it is hockey, art, dance, history, or space travel. Our programs help students develop better thinking and learning skills so that they get better grades. It’s no surprise that with improved marks comes the motivation to get even better grades.
We love being able to help students become excited about learning!
For more information about how Oxford Learning’s programs can help students become motivated, contact your closest Oxford Learning Centre:
Oxford Learning London North 519.654.0651
Oxford Learning Byron 519.472.3321
Oxford Learning Southwest 519.473.0375