How to Motivate Your Homeschooled Child

To keep your child motivated to do his or her schoolwork, it’s best to plan ahead. Traditional classroom teachers use external rewards to keep their students on track, and incorporate techniques to foster internal motivation, as well. You can use the same methods with your homeschooled child to help him or her achieve success.

External Motivators

External motivators are those a child receives from others such as prizes and gifts. Some effective rewards include:

  • Sweet treats: When your child completes a big assignment, let him or her choose a healthy sweet treat
  • Superhero day: As a reward for a job well done, let your child dress up as his or her favorite superhero or super-heroine. Costumes are fun and can be powerful lures for good behavior. 
  • Coveted games and toys: Does your child love to do puzzles or connect blocks? Give him or her an extra hour of block or puzzle time as a motivating reward for working hard. 
  • Field-trip pass: If your student has been studying all week, give him or her a Friday off to go on a field trip. Take him or her to the park, the zoo, or a ball game. 
  • Prize jar: Having a jar of prizes can be motivating. Fill your jar with inexpensive toys from the dollar store or folded notes with extra privileges written on them, such as “an extra fifteen minutes at recess.” 

Intrinsic Motivators

For your homeschooled student to be motivated internally, it’s important to foster his sense of self-worth. Intrinsic motivation comes from inside your child due to his or her interest in the subject matter, self-confidence, or potential satisfaction in a job well done. Some of the ways your can foster this in your child include:

  • Praise: You can keep your student encouraged by giving positive feedback when he or she has done a good job. Focusing on the positive progress your child makes can encourage perseverance. 
  • Make the subject matter interesting: If your child has to write an essay, let it be on a topic that interests him or her. The goal is to learn to organize a paper, not to write on some arbitrary and dry topic. To teach a youngster to count, let him or her count objects such as plastic bugs or seashells, which are far more intriguing to touch than counting plastic disks or dots. 
  • Certificate of recognition: Giving your kid a certificate or award can build confidence. 

To keep your homeschooled child motivated, give him or her a variety of external and internal rewards. Both tactics can help your student achieve success.

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