School / Speech Therapy
by Kara Butler
It’s back to school week! Some of us have already begun, and some may be anxiously waiting for the “first day”. It’s an exciting process for both parents and their children. For parents, although summer was a wonderful time to spend with each other, it’s time to get back to business. For kids, it’s exciting to get back to learning, recess, seeing friends, going on field trips, etc. Notice homework, studying, and papers were not included in this list. Unfortunately after all of the excitement has settled in, keeping your kids excited about school can be a struggle.
Of course, each age group and personality requires a slightly different range of motivators. Younger kids are much easier to motivate with rewards. Older kids, need a bit more push and tug to motivate, especially without the glorious attitude that comes with it. For kids with special needs- you might need to get creative!! We’ve compiled a list of ideas we feel revolve around motivation:
- Unplug. You might have already picked up on our intense believe in a screen free lifestyle atleast 80% of the day. Er , yes this means no ipads, tvs, or computers. This alone, will encourage other activities including homework.
- Did we mention screen free? We strongly discourage using a screen as a “reward” for doing homework. Screens are already so abundant, they really don’t need to be a reward for good and wanted behavior. If you must, find an app that incorporates learning. (i.e., I have an app that works on vocabulary with digital flashcards. Great for papersaving).
- Offer help! Even if you’re no rocket scientist, maybe the assignment is just too difficult for them to tackle by themselves. A little help goes a long way.
Rewards are O.K.! In fact encouraged. We are human, we love to be encouraged, and reinforced with something positive.
- Edible rewards are a hit, otherwise known as treats. This can get a little tricky on a daily basis however-especially if you’re family is already big on snacks.
- Piggy Banks-add a dollar each night homework/studies are complete. At the end of the school year/semester let them treat themselves to something fun.
- Charts- stickers, stamps, or drawing.Great way to track and visualize success- bonuses and milestones can be a fun way to encourage kids to keep working hard!
- Verbal encouragement! Take the time to review your kids homework, and praise them for their good work.
- Set ultimate goals: camping trip, trip to the movies, ice-cream outing, sleepovers, hike, surf, trip around the island, beach day. Make sure to set a goal that can be met!
Check out this link to “The Child Whisperer” blog- that identifies in depth some strategies that target different personality types and their corresponding motivators!