A whopping two thirds of high school students say that they are bored at school every day. With large class sizes, teachers teach at a pace that reaches those in the middle, but is too slow for advanced students and too fast for those who are struggling. Students who are not being engaged in a comprehensive way in the classroom have trouble retaining what they have learned. At high school, most students can’t see the real world value and application of subjects they are learning. They are also forced to study subjects for which a natural interest or aptitude is lacking.
Students who are motivated and involved are successful students. High school students tend to shy away from participating as the risk of embarrassment at failure increases. Parents of high school students tend to be less of a motivating force than they were in elementary school as children become more independent.
Students will be motivated if they are happy in their schools. In order to excel, students need to feel secure in their environments. Schools should encourage participation and discourage bullying; aiming instead to build confidence and bolster self esteem.
The biggest motivator is success. Doing well and achieving goals encourages students to try harder. Studying subjects for which a student has a natural interest will also encourage them to stay motivated and committed to their studies. Talk to your child about how they feel about school. Allow them to have some say in the institution they attend and the subjects that they study; personal involvement in these choices will help them to take responsibility and feel empowered.
There are many other ways to help your child stay motivated:
· Take a special interest in their school work and follow their progress. Where appropriate, participate in school activities in a constructive and positive way.
· Respect study time and set up a place where your child can study without distractions.
· Discuss projects and homework with your child in and caring and positive way. Children learn best when they are an integral part of the teaching experience.
· Offer rewards and set realistic goals. Set goals that your child knows they can achieve if they apply themselves. Setting unrealistic goals will only make children feel like failures. Discuss and agree on rewards that provide a real incentive for your child to try their best.
· Show an active interest in your child’s school life, listen to their stories about school and get to know their teachers and the names of their classmates. Getting involved helps to show your children that school is important and that you care about their progress.
· If your child still has trouble staying motivated, consider hiring a tutor. A tutor can help struggling students to catch up, build confidence and challenge students who excel to keep pushing their limits beyond the school curriculum.