Motivation to learn for elementary school children

You often hear from teachers at school or from parents that children don’t want to learn, have lost interest in learning how to create a compound sentence (if they had any). “Nothing helps,” parents complain, “no talking, no persuasion, no threats, no punishment!” Why does this happen? It’s one thing when a teenager stops learning, and it’s quite hard to understand why this happens to a younger student.

Does not want to go to school.
Here’s an example. One of my friends child before the first grade, categorically stated that he did not want to go to school. No amount of persuading, excursions to the future school did not help to change his mind. But he had to go to the first grade.

His acquaintance hoped that when he got to know his classmates, made friends, he would be interested. The first quarter passed and the situation did not change, on the contrary, it got worse. Parents didn’t know what to do. Lessons were interesting (mom was allowed to visit lessons and see how her child felt in class), but the boy kept complaining that he didn’t want to go to school, and every morning started with groans and entreaties.

Like any normal mother, my acquaintance tried to solve this problem with the help of specialists: she went to a psychologist, a neurologist and even a psychiatrist, but specialists unanimously told her that the boy’s health was fine. At our next meeting with her she shared her worries about this.

What had happened? Why had the participles example caused such an impression on him? What can influence children’s attitudes toward school and learning? Let’s try to figure out the possible causes, and then the ways to motivate him to study.

How it happens
Let’s turn a little to the psychology of the junior high schooler. Usually those who enter the first grade, the motivation to learn is great, children want to learn, go to school, meet with their classmates, they try to get good marks, praise from the teacher.

At this stage the teacher is a role model for them, the most important and intelligent person in the world, who knows everything and to whom you can tell everything. Even parents are not as authoritative during this period.

This continues safely for four years. The leading type of activity all these years is a game, so almost every lesson is in the form of a game, which leaves the children with positive emotions.

But there are exceptions. For example, the son of my acquaintance about whom I wrote above. I must say that the usual psychology textbooks do not describe such cases, but such children are not so rare. The reasons are different.

“School is something joyless.”
For example, talking to the son of an acquaintance (pre-prize and bribe him with ice cream), I learned that the child was indelibly impressed by the return of his mother from work (she worked several years before that as a teacher), who was “tired and angry”, “eating, and then long wrote something in his notebook.

Since then, the boy realized for himself that school was something joyless, where his mother disappeared all day long and came back angry. And now neither his classmates, who he says he likes, nor interesting lessons can change his mind.

I told all this to an acquaintance so that she could consult a psychologist, and together they decided what to do.

“I’ll be patient for a little while.”
In another family I knew, the child did not want to go to school because he had to get up early and do his homework. No matter how he was persuaded that learning would be interesting, there would be many kids with whom he would be friends – the boy refused.

He went to school and over time, he even got involved, he liked his studies, but when asked about his experiences at school, the boy sadly sighs and says: “I tolerate it, little by little.

It’s sad that it happens this way. And after all elementary school – it’s the brightest, joyful time of childhood, when you learn a lot every day, before so many discoveries, interesting, and there are your classmates, teachers and parents. And what happens next, if the child does not want to learn in elementary school? Further and the program is more complicated, and hormonal explosions that will not give rest. Many children are lost in all this, trying to escape from difficulties, because they don’t know how to do it any other way, they skip classes they don’t like, they don’t go to school. And all because the adults around just could not help the child find interest in learning, properly motivate him to continue learning.

What can I do?
What can be done to make a future first-grader or junior high school student change his negative opinion about school and learning?

Find a reason
For starters, just talk to your child. Not as a parent (or teacher) with a child (or student), but just as friends, as buddies. Don’t try to force your opinion – it won’t work. Figure out why he doesn’t want to go to school. Maybe he is afraid of something (teachers, staying in class without parents, bad grades, etc.), or maybe a friend or older friend told him that school was bad, and this opinion influenced your child, or someone in the class (school) hurts him. In general, deal with it without bias and pressure. And, based on this, start to act.

If your son or daughter doesn’t get along with anyone in the class or school, talk to the teacher and explain the problem – I think it will stop bothering the child soon enough.

Allay fears
If someone told you that school is a bondage, and thus frightened the child, try to dispel these fears at the root (for example, find videos from lessons or school holidays, events, and show your child how great students look at desks and on stage, draw his attention to it).

If the child is afraid of bad marks, just explain to him that not everything is possible at once, and any mark can be corrected, if anything.

But, dear parents, NEVER tell your child that you yourself did not do well in school, do not show your diaries or notebooks! Otherwise you run the risk of having a son or daughter who will not just get upset about bad grades, but will also tell you that his mom (dad) also studied with only C’s (F’s).

If the child is afraid to stay in class without parents, it is better for some time for someone from the family (if there is such an opportunity) to sit in the corridor while lessons are in progress. This usually happens with first graders, so it’s not hard to sit through three lessons at school. But then, when the child gets acquainted with classmates, finds friends, gets involved in the school mode, all fears will disappear, and everything will get better.

Don’t postpone
The main thing is not to hope that it will pass itself when the child is a little older, and that he will understand that he needs to learn, and start to act and find approaches to the child right away. Your child will grow up, and aversion to learning activities and school will not disappear by itself, but will only increase due to various factors in the learning process and in the child himself. So unite your efforts with the school and show your child that school, lessons and learning are a fascinating world.

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