- Reseller Login
11 Tips to Stay Motivated with Schoolwork
Posted July 25th, 2018 By Kris Powers
We all experience moments of feeling utterly unmotivated. For students, especially those juggling family, work and school obligations, staying motivated to complete schoolwork can be one of the toughest challenges when faced with so many demands for your attention. But don’t get discouraged! Here are a few simple ways to keep motivated, even on your toughest days.
Pick your most productive time
According to New Republic , studies have found that the two hours right after you wake up are the most productive. If possible, set aside this morning time to tackle your schoolwork. If you are more of a night owl; plan on completing an hour or so of work every night; either right when you get home or when the kids go to bed.
Set up each study session for success
When you start your study time, don’t log into email or social media sites. If you are serious about your studying, then be serious about the time that you are dedicating to it. Create blocks of time where you turn everything off. This includes shutting down your smartphone, Internet, and anything else that can interrupt you. Closely guard this time to completing school work and you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done! For me, the temptation to check email and Facebook is too great for me to resist. Better to just keep them turned off/logged out of until my work is done.
Take small bites out of your workload
On days when motivation is lagging; set a small goal for yourself to study for 15 minutes. Complete one assignment. Take a practice test. We recently wrote about the Pomodoro Technique . Give it a try - we can all do anything for 15-minutes! Every small goal you successfully complete will keep you motivated to do more and more.
Set goals with milestones
When you sit down to draw up your weekly to-do list, be sure to ask yourself: "What one task should I complete to make me feel like this week was a success?" These milestones act as important markers on our way to reaching our goals. If your goal is to write a term paper by such-and-such a date; set the milestones for outline, first draft and so on along the way. You will feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing each milestone, and motivated to reach the next milestone on your plan to reaching that goal!
Don’t allow negative self-talk
When things get tough, it’s easy to say, “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this”. This inner voice can seriously get in the way of our motivation . Taking breaks, practicing meditation, and getting fresh air can help to quiet that inner voice.
Change your location
Sometimes a change in location is just what we need to stay motivated! Pick up your materials and go elsewhere. A local coffee shop, library or the park can all be great places to reignite our enthusiasm for studying.
We’ve written before about the benefits of living a more grateful life . What are you grateful for? Making a list of things you are grateful for can have an amazing effect on your state-of-mind and your motivation to succeed.
Find your inspiration
Pictures, poems, quotes – these can all provide a much needed pick-me-up when our motivation is lagging. What inspires you? Perhaps it’s a card from a friend congratulating you on taking this step, or a drawing from your child. Inspiration can be found in many things. Find what works for you and keep it close by!
Create a vision board
Creating a vision board is a great way to keep motivated. What are your goals and your dreams? Use the inspiration pieces from the step above and find more to represent your hopes for the future. This focal point can serve as a source of inspiration every day!
Celebrate your accomplishments
Take a moment at the end of every week and look at all that you’ve completed. Even if there are more things left to do (and there usually will be), take this time to acknowledge and celebrate what has been done. The sense of accomplishment and pride that you feel can help you stay motivated for the weeks to come.
Eat right, get enough sleep, do some form of physical activity every day. Taking care of your body and spirit will make you feel more energized to face your day!
Being a student is hard at any age. There will be days when you feel that this is impossible, and you aren’t sure that you can keep plugging along. Before you give up, think about the consequences. How would quitting make you feel? How would it affect your dreams for the future? Conversely, what will life be like when you achieve your goals? How will furthering your education benefit your future and your family?
Once you start to think about the effects, we hope you’ll remember why you started this process and envision the pride that you’ll feel once you reach your goal. Igniting the passion behind the process will motivate you to get back to work!
Ed4Career makes it easy to pursue your personal learning and career training goals. We have valuable resources built into our programs and curriculum to help ensure student success. We also have skilled Educational Consultants on staff, and we offer an Online Student Center as well as Career Coaching. Visit us today to learn more about the Ed4Career difference!
Sign up for our Newsletter!
Here’s How to Get Motivated to Do School Work
Treat studying like a profession, and thrive!
For better or for worse, it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Your happy, comfortable retirement will most likely be dependent on success in your professional life, as it will earn you some degree of financial stability. And your professional life is very often predicated upon success in school.
Even though the idea of retiring is a long way off, it’s important to understand that staying motivated and doing well in school now will have consequences that reverberate long into the future. So if you require academic assistance, you need to spend time thinking about that now, rather than later and begin working smarter as soon as you can.
Do You Require Academic Assistance?
If you start taking your education seriously, you can create the pathways for a successful life early on. And a huge part of taking your education seriously is doing your homework, and doing it properly.
After all, your future boss will be sort of like a teacher. They will expect your input at meetings, and after them. They will need to know that you are reliable, and will expect you to finish the tasks you are assigned, with only yourself as your motivator. If you need to create a powerpoint deck and present them later, then your work “homework” will likely involve editing slides and making sure everything is prepared so you don’t look silly and unprepared in front of your colleagues later on.
You can start that now by holding yourself responsible for your academics. So stop procrastinating! Today is the time to study for tests, spend the time on papers and projects, memorize the materials needed, and do all your homework. Once you’re done, then you can enjoy some fresh air outside!
A Few Reasons Students Fail to Complete Homework
Students that find they are having trouble finding the motivation needed to do their homework, shouldn’t be too hard on themselves. Instead, they should be ready to first identify the issues preventing them from staying on task with school work. Later you can figure out ways to stay on task with your studies.
Here are a few reasons you may be off task with your homework.
1 – Time Management Problems
Often students find themselves in charge of their own schedules for the first time in their lives, and that can make it hard to plan when exactly to schedule in homework time.
Planning your days is indeed a skill that takes practice and that does not come naturally to all people. To plan home tasks effectively, meaning slotting in time for homework along with all the other non-scheduled parts of your life, is something to devote real time and thought to. One key here is knowing that proper management of your study time also involves taking breaks and taking care of physical needs like eating healthily, exercising, and resting.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by how long the homework will take, instead make a plan that makes it work – more on that below.
2 – The Teacher Doesn’t Check the Homework
If your professor does not check to confirm that you and your fellow students are completing homework assignments, you may start to see each assignment as optional. This is the exact wrong approach, though.
In fact, when your teacher is not checking homework completion, he or she is trusting you and the other students to hold yourselves accountable. That means your homework assignments provide two chances for learning in one: a chance to learn a school lesson as well as a life lesson.
No good teacher assigns homework without feeling it has importance and validity, so don’t skip it just because you can get away with doing so – you’ll only hurt yourself in the long run.
3 – You Feel You Just Don’t Need the Homework
Maybe you are taking a class where things just come easily to you. You have an innate grasp for the material, you do well on tests and papers, and all the homework seems to do is take time, not hone your skills or add knowledge, eh? That’s no reason not to just get it done.
Even homework that’s easier for you will still serve to reinforce the material, help you avoid easy mistakes, and keep you sharp. Remember, even the most naturally skilled athletes still practice, the best musicians still rehearse, and accomplished writers churn out drafts and edit them time and again.
A Few Tips to Help You Stay on Top of Homework Assignments
So you are committed to getting your homework done, but you’re not quite sure how to change things up so you can stay on task and keep consistently completing it on time? Here are a few homework tips to mull over.
1 – Set Aside a Specific Time for Homework
You’re good about going to each class on your schedule, right? Not to mention showing up for the doctor’s appointment, lunch with a friend, or other event on your calendar, right? Treat homework just the same way: schedule a time, be it daily or a few times a week, that you can set aside to study, write, edit and proofread, and whatever else your assignments entail.
By making a specific homework time, it will seem less like an added burden and more like a routine part of life which, while you’re a student, it is. And remember, breaks from homework matter.
2 – Treat Homework the Same as Other Academic Tasks
You would never simply not show up for a test or not turn in a paper, but when it comes to homework, it can be a slippery slope if you allow it to be. But when you treat homework as simply one part of your larger school responsibilities, it’s easier to see it as a must do, not a should do.
3 – Take Advantage of Academic Assistance
Homework is the time you can afford to get it wrong, so to speak. Tests and papers and labs get grades that can impact your academic life overall, but when it comes to homework, making mistakes or not fully understanding concepts can be a great thing, not a problem.
That’s because you can learn where you need some additional support and instruction and you can use the resources your teacher or school offers in that regard. Don’t feel embarrassed to get help, feel empowered, because with help, you will develop into an ever more successful student.
4 – Find Like-Minded Students
Sometimes homework assignments are best completed alone with all your attention and focus on the work; at other times, working with other students is a great way for you to stay motivated and interested in the work. Forming a study group can help make homework more motivating and enjoyable, and your peers can offer knowledge and insight that helps you master material that’s a challenge for you, just as at times you can likely help others better grasp various academic concepts as well.
5 – Don’t Do Homework at Home
There are a myriad of reasons why doing homework literally at home can be a bad idea. If you live in a dorm or apartment with friends, the home space can be loud and filled with distractions. Even if your home space is quiet and calm, everything from chores to that Netflix account to your comfy bed can be an all-too-easy distraction from homework.
Find a place that sets you up for focus and success. That can be a school library or dedicated study hall space, a coffee shop or diner, your parent’s house, a park bench, or whatever works for you.
Set Goals for Your Academic Career to Keep Your Studies on Course
Motivation can be hard to come by when you think of it in terms like that: come by. Or find. And so on. Getting motivated is not something that just happens, it’s a choice you make. You don’t find motivation, you create it.
And the first step toward creating motivation is the creation of goals that will help inform your academic practices. Goals are not hopes or dreams or aspirations, they are specific, logical targets you set yourself up to accomplish through diligence, focus, and, of course, motivation.
Setting goals sets you up for success – this is as true in your academic life as it is for working professionals, for athletes, for artists, and so on. A businessman may set a target goal for the amount of increased revenue he hopes to generate for his company in a given quarter and then dive deep into the data that will help him plan how to do it. An athlete may plan to shave an entire second off her 400-meter dash within a three-month timeframe and will make a training plan that will work incrementally toward her speed goal. An author may commit to writing at least 5,000 words of fiction daily in order to complete a draft of a novel in a six-week timeframe.
All of these goals may sound lofty when glimpsed without an appreciation for the focus and the logical process each of these individuals can use, but with planning and motivation, more earnings, faster speeds, and finished novels are not lofty aspirations but smart goals.
Setting SMART Goals is a Pretty Smart Thing to Do
And when you work toward smart goals , as many successful people do, your chances of achieving academic success are much greater. Just remember that a “smart goal” is not to say an intelligent or clever one, but a “S.M.A.R.T.” goal, with SMART serving as an acronym for the words Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Think on each of those terms a bit as you formulate a plan for prepping for that final exam, plotting out that term paper, or ensuring you break down study of a large, dense topic into a manageable form and the final results will almost assuredly be good grades and better mastery of the material, and that’s indeed called academic success.
Looking at the Big Picture Can Help You Stay Motivated
When you are in the middle of the school year, it can seem never-ending and exhausting. And that’s to say nothing of being in the middle of the school career. Maybe you start with a year of preschool, so that’s 14 years of education just to get you to high school graduation.
Add in a four-year college degree and that’s 18 years in school. A two-year master’s program? Three years of law school, maybe four in a medical program? You may be facing some 22 years of education, and with those years comes a lot of homework.
But your school years will end. And provided you remain in good health you will spend a good three times more years of your life without homework as a part of your days. The hard work you do while in school will have a direct impact on the whole of your life, a life that’s largely to be spent beyond the bounds of academic responsibilities.
So stick with it, stay motivated and on task, and one day you’ll find yourself enjoying the benefits of your efforts instead of bemoaning the tasks.
Steven John is a writer based near New York City (after 12 years in LA, four in Boston, and the first 18 just outside DC). When not writing or spending time with his wife, son, and daughter, he frequently jogs and bikes, sometimes gets in a kayak, and occasionally climbs mountains. He writes for several major outlets, and his novels can be found on his website stevenjohnbooks.com
99-Year-Old Woman Becomes Brutally Honest About Her Secret to Living a Long Life
Man Is Forced to Sell His Car to Pay For Wife’s Treatment – Is in Disbelief When He Finds Out What His Family Has Planned for Him
Jennifer Love Hewitt Today: How The Former Teen Idol Feels About Her ‘Sex Symbol’ Status — 44 Years Later
6 ways to build motivation to do your schoolwork now that you’re forced to learn online at home
Assistant Professor of University Studies, Middle Tennessee State University
Ryan Korstange does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
View all partners
Even in normal circumstances, it can be hard to get motivated to do your schoolwork . But these are not normal circumstances.
The switch to remote instruction caused by COVID-19 has been unsettling. Patterns have changed. Habits have been disrupted . Remote classes are simply different from classes that involve face-to-face instruction.
As a researcher who looks at what it takes to get through college , I have a few tips that could maximize your motivation and productivity when you’re at home going to school online.
1. Guard your time
You do not need large amounts of time to be productive. Instead, be intentional and focused in short blocks where you can work without interruption. Protect these open times by setting up your workspace to minimize distraction – including silencing notifications on your cellphone or laptop. Communicate your boundaries to friends and family and make sure to identify times when work and socialization can happen.
2. Determine how much work is needed
Write down the work you need to accomplish, because there is a limit to how much information you can recall and process at one time. Examine the remaining projects, including research and written assignments, and estimate the amount and type of effort that each requires. Identify any tests and quizzes that are scheduled and determine what preparation is necessary.
3. Break large projects into smaller ones
Breaking big projects into smaller and more manageable tasks allows you to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness .
Your assigned tasks should follow a logical sequence. Some tasks are basic, like locating articles in the online library for a research paper. Others, like proofreading, are best left to do later in the process. Work steadily, and record your progress as you do, because you get more done when you can actually see the progress you’re making.
4. Set goals
When you set specific and difficult goals for your work and make them public in some way , it can boost your performance and enhance your motivation .
Setting generic, vague or easy goals is less helpful. Set goals related to effort. For example, plan to spend three hours one day studying for a certain class. Also, set goals related to the completion of specific tasks or products. For instance, give yourself a deadline to read and take notes on a specific article for a certain paper you must write.
Further, make time in your plan to deal with any interruptions and challenges that may occur. For example, when my 7-year-old gets bored or needs some attention and interrupts me in my work, I plan to spend 20-30 minutes doing something with her. We take a walk or a bike ride, or create some art. Then I can return to work. I even set a timer to keep myself honest.
5. Identify the rewards
It pays to clarify the rewards at stake this semester – whether those rewards are internal, such as the feeling of accomplishment that comes from understanding a difficult concept well, or external, such as getting a good grade.
Many universities are adopting pass/fail grading systems in the short term, so the external reward course grades provide will likely be different. Learning is what matters now. Focus on the course learning outcomes and make sure that you’re meeting them, because these skills will be the ones required of you as you progress toward your degree.
6. Be flexible and go easy on yourself
This is an unprecedented crisis, and we are all scrambling to make it work. You didn’t expect to spend these months at home, learning online. Some days won’t go as planed - and that’s alright. Forgive yourself when you don’t do your best, then move forward and overcome the setbacks .
When the pandemic passes
Eventually, this pandemic will be over. Face-to-face classes will start again, and this semester will be but a memory. The good habits you build and the strategies follow now to manage to learn and work independently will bear dividends in the future.
[ Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter .]
- Online learning
- Online education
- US higher education
- College students
- Learning motivation
- Higher ed attainment
RMIT Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellowships
University Secretary and Director, Governance and Risk
Tutor/Senior Tutor in Media and Communications (Multiple Positions)
Associate Dean (Strategic Partnerships and Enterprise)
Head of School, Tasmanian School of Medicine
How Can I Stay Motivated and Finish My School Work?
Dear Lifehacker, Recently, I've been too bored or unmotivated to do my school assignments. No matter how hard I try to actually focus on it, after a half hour, my mind tells me, "No more! Let's take a break!" I'm not sure why these productivity techniques aren't working for me. Is there a way to actually get past this "not wanting to work" mentality?
Sincerely, Fun Motivated
Dear FM, A lack of motivation to finish school work (or just work in general) is a tough nut to crack, and there are all kinds of possible reasons why you might struggle with staying motivated after you start. A lot of different things can kill your motivation, so let's take a look at a few possible ways to diagnose and fix the problem.
Take Care of Yourself
Before we say anything else, we're going to say the obvious: get enough sleep and eat well. This isn't anything new, but we know students are particularly bad about these points (we were students once too), and they can really wreak havoc with your productivity.
The good news is that you don't necessarily need more sleep, you just need better sleep . Once you get that, the rest falls into place nicely. Likewise, you also need to eat well. Chances are you don't have a lot of money to do that, but it's possible for just a $1 a day and learning to make a few dishes at home can save you a lot of money. Even if you hate cooking, you have options for healthy foods .
Recalibrate Your Daily Routine
We all have a limited amount of willpower and once that's used up, we have a hard time staying on task. If you're trying to study and finish school work after a day of classes or a job, you might need to change up your schedule so you can work on homework during a time when you can concentrate.
Your body has optimal times throughout the day where you're more focused and able to work than others. The trick here is to figure out when you're most productive with schoolwork and then program your day around that . When your day is scheduled properly you should be able to focus on your work a little easier.
It'll likely take a little trial-and-error before you're comfortable with your schedule, so don't expect it to work overnight. We're all a little different, so your most productive times of the day might not be what you expect. Once you've figured it out, you can schedule your classes and study times a bit better.
Change Up Your Learning Styles
At some point in your career at school, you're bound to get a little too comfortable with your learning or note taking techniques.
We've talked before about the importance of knowing how you learn best and that transfers over equally to working on your homework. You want to make sure the work you're doing is relevant to your interests (as much as it's possible in school) and try to learn by doing whenever possible.
If you're struggling to get through your homework, it might simply be because you're not making it worthwhile to yourself. For example, if you need to write an essay, make sure you choose a topic that really matters to you. If it's not working, don't be afraid to ditch it entirely and try something new. Doing so should help motivate you a little more.
Likewise, knowing exactly how you learn can help you find new methods to try to motivate yourself. Change up your style based on the class, subject, and even assignment until you find a method you can really focus with.
Play Around with Different Productivity Methods
There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all productivity system, but if things aren't working out for you then it's beneficial to keep messing around with different productivity systems until something clicks . You don't necessarily have to adhere to one method specifically, but remixing your own system is easy to do. Since you're having trouble concentrating for longer than 20 or 30 minutes, the Pomodoro technique sounds right up your alley . It uses a timer and gives you short, 25 minute bursts to work through. When you finish, you take a short break before starting again.
The real trick here is to avoid wasting time on over hacking everything . Find the tools and tricks that work for you, and stick to them. In your case, nothing is working, so you'll need to keep searching until something clicks. Don't be afraid to try completely different things. If working from home isn't doing the trick, try a coffee shop or even outside .
Assess Your Level of Burnout
If you're feeling unmotivated to do everything and it's not just a few homework assignments here and there, then it's a good idea to think about potential burnout. We've talked a lot about burnout before and while it seems like a lazy complaint, it's a very real problem that you have to consider.
Burnout can come from all kinds of sources. From school itself to a move into a new dorm room, you're going to get exhausted at some point. If there's an obvious source of the problem, do your best to eliminate it. If not, try and pinpoint where you might be getting burned out from. With something like school, you don't have a lot of options to change the situation, but you can at least acknowledge that you need to take a break in some way.
For a student, burnout comes from all kinds of places, and it's hard to really pinpoint the problem. US News has a number of great tips for dealing with study burnout , including scheduling in socializing, finding alternate sources of income, and finding classes that fit your schedule better. However, their big takeaway is that most students really need to know when to call it a day:
While the correlation between sleep and productivity is different for all, a consistently low baseline could catch up to you at some point. Far from a night owl, Galvin notes that once 10:00 p.m. hits, he's reached his limit. "If you're going to be doing work that's very important on very low sleep, you're going to be careless," he says.
So, if you're feeling overwhelmed and burned out with school, it's probably time to take a break of some kind. As counter-intuitive as it might sound, the more distance you give yourself from your school work the more productive you'll be in the long run.
Essentially, you need to accept the fact that things aren't working for you, and try something new. Whether it's a new learning style, a new notes system , more sleep, or a whole new productivity method, you're in need of some kind of change. Unfortunately, it might take a little while before you figure out exactly what you need, but once you do you'll hopefully settle back into a productive schedule. You're already getting past the hardest step, which is just getting started . Now you need to keep that momentum going.
Good luck, Lifehacker
Photo by Andry Shadlin (Shutterstock), Mike Coughlin , wouldpkr , Sadie Hernandez , Deb Stgo , and Andy Roberts.
- SUGGESTED TOPICS
- The Magazine
- Managing Yourself
- Managing Teams
- Work-life Balance
- The Big Idea
- Data & Visuals
- Reading Lists
- Case Selections
- HBR Learning
- Topic Feeds
- Account Settings
- Email Preferences
How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It
- Ayelet Fishbach
Motivating yourself is one of the main things that sets high achievers apart, and it’s hard. How do you keep pushing onward when your heart isn’t in it? In her research, Fishbach has identified some simple tactics: Set goals that are intrinsically rewarding, and make them very specific. If a task isn’t satisfying, focus on aspects of it that are or combine it with pleasant activities. Reward yourself in the right way for getting things done. To avoid slumps, break objectives into subgoals; look at how much you’ve accomplished until you’re halfway there; and then count down what you have left to do. And use social influence: Let high performers inspire you, boost your get-up-and-go by giving advice, and keep the people you want to succeed for front of mind.
Four strategies for motivating yourself.
Motivating yourself is hard. In fact, I often compare it to one of the exploits of the fictional German hero Baron Munchausen: Trying to sustain your drive through a task, a project, or even a career can sometimes feel like pulling yourself out of a swamp by your own hair. We seem to have a natural aversion to persistent effort that no amount of caffeine or inspirational posters can fix.
- AF Ayelet Fishbach is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Tips for Staying Motivated Ahead of College
Learn about yourself and your options..
How to Stay Motivated in High School
1. prioritize assignments.
The key to success in school is staying focused on your coursework. Make a list to get an overall picture of your workload before you start to tackle any of it. Then, make a plan.
It's best to prioritize your more challenging and time-consuming assignments. Although it’s tempting to work on the simplest tasks first, you'll be able to manage your schedule better if you start with the ones that take more time and effort to accomplish.
To determine what your priorities are, rank your assignments in order of importance. Then, rearrange your time and devote more energy toward those assignments that have the greatest impact on your overall coursework and your grades. For more involved projects, you'll need to plot out work time over several weeks.
For example, even though all homework assignments are important, studying for a midterm exam takes priority over writing a paragraph for English class. As you complete each task, think of it as another step on your way to success in college.
However, don't let a task fall through the cracks just because it seems "less important." Remember that all assignments must be completed regardless of the impact on your grades.
By tackling your more difficult and time-consuming studies first, you’ll find yourself feeling more motivated to complete the easier assignments that lie ahead. Think of it as descending from the peak of a mountain rather than struggling to scale one.
2. Set Attainable Goals in Smaller Chunks
If you're having trouble writing a 25-page paper for class because it seems like such a big task, stop focusing on that final page count. Break the paper down into its subsections, and focus on each one individually.
It’s much easier to stay motivated and stop procrastinating by setting goals in smaller, more attainable chunks. It’s also a lot easier on your mental health.
3. Create New Challenges
Changing your approach can help you stay interested in what you’re doing. Some high school assignments tend to feel formulaic after a while, and you may end up feeling like you’re just going through the motions. This can cause you to feel demotivated and drained. Change things up to challenge yourself.
For example, if last semester you wrote a narrative piece in your creative writing class, maybe try writing a poem this time. If you wrote a book report on a biography last time around, try picking another subject you haven’t tackled, such as history.
If your eyes are hurting from staring at your math textbook all night, go online and try to find videos from lively instructors who take another approach to solving math problems.
4. Find a Social Support Network
You are surrounded by people who want to see you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! Mentors can be teachers, family friends, or even your school counselors. They are there to help you reach your goals and can help you create a study plan that works for you.
Try reaching out to your friends and peers in school as well, and see if you can all bring together a focused study group. Sometimes, it can even be healthy to vent your frustrations to others as a way of clearing your head.
5. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
Praising yourself for the things you’ve accomplished is a great way to spark motivation. Give yourself a quick reward when you complete an assignment or task. Perhaps you can turn your phone off and only turn it back on once you’ve completed your work. Or reward yourself by taking a walk or getting a snack—whatever works for you. Then move on to the next project.
How can I make studying fun?
There are many ways to make studying fun. For one, you can reward yourself every time you attain a study goal. Did you memorize all of your biology notecards? Time for a slice of pizza. Did you finally hammer down that complicated math equation? Call your friend to talk about it and celebrate.
Probably the most fun way to study is by forming a study group with your friends and classmates. You can bounce ideas off each other and help each other better understand concepts. But be warned: This can be a double-edged sword. If your group doesn’t create a focused and concrete plan for the study session beforehand, you may end up procrastinating more than studying.
How can I stay motivated to complete homework?
Break down your study goals into smaller, more attainable chunks. Instead of panicking over the final page count for a long essay, take on each subtopic in the essay individually, and overcome them one by one.
Another way to stay motivated to complete your homework is to tie a carrot to the end of the stick, so to speak. For example, you can tell yourself, “Once I finish this assignment, and only when I’ve finished this assignment, I can hang out with my friends or play video games.”
Of course, you can also motivate yourself to complete your homework by thinking about how your accomplishment will positively benefit your future. You can think along the lines of, “If I stop procrastinating on this homework assignment and finish it now, I’ll get a better grade in class. If I get a better grade in class, my overall GPA will be higher, and I will look better on my college applications!”
Why do students lose interest in high school?
Students tend to lose interest and motivation in high school for many reasons, including feeling that they're not in a supportive environment, feeling that they’re just going through the motions, or simply feeling burnt out from everything they're doing in their busy lives.
The best way to combat all these negative emotions is to re-spark your love of learning and your motivation to do well. Refer to our five tips for staying motivated in high school when you need help fighting back against discouraging feelings.
Home / Expert Articles / Child Behavior Problems / School & Homework
10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Do Better in School
By debbie pincus, ms lmhc.
How do you motivate a child who doesn’t seem to want to do his school work?
As parents, we are invested in our child’s academic life because we know how important it is for their future. Unfortunately, our kids don’t always seem to share our concern about their future. We know this because they continue to prioritize watching YouTube, gaming, and hanging out with their friends over their school work.
Why aren’t our kids motivated to do well in school? After all, it’s in their self-interest to do well. Why don’t they want to succeed as much as we want them to succeed?
Here’s the problem. School is an aspect of life that requires discipline and work, and kids need to learn to buy into the value of doing well. Your child must own the importance of doing well himself. Motivation can’t be forced. And if you try to force your child to be motivated, it almost always makes things worse.
Nevertheless, there are positive steps that you can take to help your child motivate himself to do better in school. Most of these steps involve setting up a structure to enable him to have better discipline and follow-through. This structure improves your child’s chance of success, and the taste of success is often what drives motivation.
In my work with parents and kids over the years, I have found the following 10 tips to help put your child in the best position to succeed and be motivated in school.
1. Stay Positive
Keep a relationship with your child that is open, respectful, and positive. Remind yourself that you and your child are on the same team. This will allow you to be influential, which is your most important parenting tool.
Punishing, preaching, and threatening will get you nowhere and will be detrimental to your relationship and their motivation. Your feelings of anxiety, frustration, and fear are normal and understandable. But reacting to your kids out of these emotions is ineffective and makes things worse.
Remember, your child is not behaving this way on purpose to make your life miserable. When you feel yourself getting worked up, try saying to yourself, “My child is just not there yet.”
And remind yourself that your job is to help him learn how to be responsible. If you get negative and make this a moral issue, then your child might become defiant, reacting to you instead of thinking through things himself.
2. Incorporate the “When You” Rule
One of life’s lessons is that we get paid after we do the work. So start saying things like:
“When you finish studying, you are welcome to go to your friend’s house.”
“When your homework is completed, we can discuss watching that movie you wanted to see on Netflix.”
Enforce this rule and stick to it. If your child does not yet have the necessary discipline, this will help to create it.
Indeed, by enforcing the “when you” rule, you are helping her learn how to do what her brain is not yet equipped to do, which is to be disciplined and to delay gratification.
3. Create Structure for Your Child
If your child is not studying and his grades are dropping, you have a right to get involved, whether he wants you there or not. Again, you’re not there to do the work for him. Instead, you are there to help set up the structure that he cannot create for himself.
The structure might include scheduled study times, having the computer out in a public place in your home, and saying, “No video games or electronics until after your homework is done.”
You might decide that he must devote a certain amount of hours to study time. During this time, no electronics or other distractions are allowed. You might make the rule that even if he finishes all his homework, he must complete study time by reviewing, reading, or editing.
Some kids do better listening to music while they study, and that’s okay. But keep in mind that this can be tricky because their music is usually integrated with their phones. This means YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and instant messaging will all be at their fingertips.
If you can’t effectively keep them off those apps, then no phone and no music until their work is done. Just say:
“You can listen to music when you finish your homework.”
Think of it this way: schools don’t allow phones in class, and neither should you.
Understand that this structure is not a punishment. Rather, it is a way to help him to develop a good work ethic and to focus on his school subjects.
4. Meet With the Teacher
If your child’s grades and work habits are not up to par, you can set up a plan by sitting down with him and his teachers.
Have your child check with his teacher each day before coming home to ensure that he has all his homework assignments.
Also, you can ask him each morning to ensure that he brings his homework back to school. For me, nothing was more frustrating than my son doing his homework but then forgetting to bring it to school.
Once your child gets better at managing his time, completing his work, and getting organized, then it’s time for you to back off. Let him do it on his own. Only step in if he is consistently having a problem.
5. Identify a Study Spot
Your child may need a quiet location away from brothers and sisters to study. Or she may do better in a room near others. You can help her experiment, but once you find what works best, keep her in that location.
To keep your child focused, you may need to sit with her while she does her homework. You can read a book or newspaper while she works. At a minimum, be nearby to help ensure that she stays on track.
It’s okay to help her with her homework if she is stuck, but don’t do her work for her. For example, it’s okay to review her work and ask her if a certain paragraph makes sense to her. But it’s not okay to write every sentence or work on every math problem with her. Give just enough help to get her over the hump. Remember, learning how to struggle through difficult material is one of the skills your child needs to learn.
6. Break Assignments Into Manageable Pieces
Decide together whether you need to help him break down his assignments into smaller pieces and organize on a calendar what he should get done each day.
You can get him a big wall calendar or a whiteboard. It could be electronic if that is preferable, but I prefer written tools because electronics can be distracting.
7. Be Firm and Consistent with Homework Rules
You want to be positive and helpful to your child. At the same time, though, you have to be firm. You have to consistently enforce the rules you establish.
Being firm and consistent sends the message to your child that you know he can succeed.
Being firm also means that you enforce the rules with effective consequences. If he doesn’t follow the rules you set up, apply the consequences. And don’t try to shield him from the natural consequences of not doing his work, even if that means bad or failing grades.
In being firm, stay positive. For every negative interaction with your child, try to create ten positive ones. Try to put the focus on supporting and encouraging him instead of worrying and nagging.
And don’t take his performance personally. When you start to believe his grades are a reflection of you or your parenting, then you will be on his case, and it will make things worse.
8. Be Aware of His Anxiety Level
Recognize that much of your child’s lack of motivation (or what looks like irresponsibility) might be his anxiety or shame about academics and schoolwork. Kids may not be able to explain all of this to you because it’s not always on a conscious level for them.
Anxiety can be misinterpreted as a lousy attitude, lack of motivation, and irresponsibility. Often, the cover-up for these vulnerable emotions can take the form of acting out, shutting down, avoidance, or defiance.
While a little anxiety can motivate, too much blocks your child’s ability to think and to have access to the part of the brain that helps him with motivation.
Keep your emotions in check by recognizing that it may be your child’s anxiety at play rather than his laziness. Calmly help to give him a better structure to get his work done, and it will help reduce his anxiety.
And remember that what is happening now may look very different as your child matures and develops.
9. Don’t Over-Function For Your Child
It’s nerve-wracking and frustrating to see your child struggle and not meet his potential. You may feel that your child’s lack of motivation is a poor reflection on your parenting. In response, you react and shift into overdrive to get your child to succeed so that your feelings of shame, embarrassment, failure, or fear go away.
In the process, you may be tempted to over-function by helping to complete his work for him. But don’t do it. Resist the temptation. The more you over-function for your child, the more he will react to your anxiety, which causes things to go further and further downhill. Just set up the structure to help him succeed, but let him do the work and bear the consequences, good or bad.
Be your child’s coach. Set the strategy and give direction, but stay on the sidelines and let your child play the game—Root for him to win and praise him when he does. But don’t be afraid to let him fail. It’s all part of growing up and learning to take responsibility.
10. Don’t Obsess About the Future
When your child seems to have no interest in his life, it’s easy to start fast-forwarding into the future. When he acts like he doesn’t care about anything except video games and his friends, you worry that he won’t be successful or even function on his own. This heightens your anxiety and fear.
But none of us have a crystal ball or can see into the future. Focusing on the negative things your child is doing will only bring the spotlight on them and may set you both up for a power struggle. Instead, focus on your child’s positive traits and help him work on those in the present.
Is he outgoing? Helpful? A good cook? Good with cars or electronics? Focus on all the things that go into a developed, successful person, not just academics and grades. Help your child develop in social, creative, and emotional ways. Remember to always keep the big picture in mind.
For all of these tips, start from where your child is. What I mean is that, in many cases, your child may have a long way to go, and you don’t want to overwhelm him by trying to work on too many issues at once.
Expect that your child won’t like the structure at first, but he will get used to it. Be patient. Don’t expect improvement overnight, but don’t underestimate your child either. Be confident that he will come around and will improve with the structures you have put in place.
Related content: Sinking Fast at School: How to Help Your Child Stay Afloat “My Child Refuses to Do Homework” — How to Stop the Nightly Struggle Over School Work
About Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC
For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Debbie is the creator of the Calm Parent AM & PM™ program and is also the author of numerous books for young people on interpersonal relations.
You must log in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Create one for free!
Mom of Senior Although these comments are great, currently all homework is online for my highschool senior. during the pandemic, all of his school was online, and now, he's in a brick and mortor school for the first time since 9th grade. i think encouraging kids to seek friends at this point is More helpful, but it has to be on his terms. i haven't heard of many other parents with kids in this situation, but i do believe we aren't the only ones at a new school for senior year. the other situation is how much my senior dislikes school. he hates the entire structure of the school day, and feels there's no opportunity to truly learn when forced to cram everything into a 45 minute class period. we struggle often, with all of this.
BW RC I agree with you.
Parents most definitely need to stay involved in making sure their kids are on track academically. Here are some tips, parent to parent, from someone who has raised kids who have had success in school:
(1) Understand each of your child's capabilities and set expectations at home. Keep in mind that every child is different and outcomes will vary. The one commonality is that every child needs to achieve to the best of his/her own ability. Establishing work ethic is key in the early academic years.
(2) Help your child with organizational tools. Many kids struggle early on because they miss due dates or don't know how to manage their time because of poor organization. Buy them agendas to write down assignments and talk to them at the beginning of each week about upcoming tests and projects.
(3) Create a quiet, stress-free environment at home where kids can focus without distraction.
(4) Self esteem and confidence are extremely important. Always try to focus on positive reinforcement rather than taking a punitive approach. Verbally acknowledge improvements, even if the grade isn't where you would like it to be. If a child scores a low C on a test one week, and brings it up to a mid C the next, focus on the improvement, not on the disappointment that the grade isn't an A.
(5) Teach your child to communicate directly with his/her teachers and take advantage of study halls and other opportunities to seek instruction. Only get involved directly if all other avenues have been exhausted.
RC These suggestions are great for those with children, who have little defiance and will react to consequences, by changing their behavior. But, for our kid, nothing seems to work, either positive or negative. Unfortunately, I find this information much too basic and general. We’ve tried all of this and nothing More has stuck. The only suggestion I can see as potentially beneficial is number nine. Focus on what the kid is good at and hope for the best. But, until kids can stop lying to everyone, especially themselves, it’s all for nothing...
Responses to questions posted on EmpoweringParents.com are not intended to replace qualified medical or mental health assessments. We cannot diagnose disorders or offer recommendations on which treatment plan is best for your family. Please seek the support of local resources as needed. If you need immediate assistance, or if you and your family are in crisis, please contact a qualified mental health provider in your area, or contact your statewide crisis hotline.
We value your opinions and encourage you to add your comments to this discussion. We ask that you refrain from discussing topics of a political or religious nature. Unfortunately, it's not possible for us to respond to every question posted on our website.
- 1. The Homework Battle: How to Get Children to Do Homework
- 2. "My Child Refuses to Do Homework" — How to Stop the Nightly Struggle Over Schoolwork
- 3. What to Do When Your Child or Teen is Suspended or Expelled From School
- 4. Acting Out in School: When Your Child is the Class Troublemaker
- 5. Young Kids in School: Help for the Top 4 Behavior Problems
- 140,000+ Subscribers Subscribe
- 50,000+ Fans Follow
- 10,000+ Followers Follow
- 6,000+ Followers Follow
Disrespect... defiance... backtalk... lack of motivation...
Frustrated and exhausted by your child's behavior?
Get your FREE Personal Parenting Plan today.
Does your child exhibit angry outbursts , such as tantrums, lashing out, punching walls, and throwing things?
Would you like to learn about how to use consequences more effectively?
Backtalk... complaints... arguments... attitude... just plain ignoring you
Do you struggle with disrespect or verbal abuse from your child?
Has your child been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)?
Or does your child exhibit a consistent and severe pattern of anger, irritability, arguing, defiance, and vindictiveness toward you or other authority figures?
Intimidation... aggression... physical abuse and violence ...
Are you concerned that your child may physically hurt you or others?
You must select at least one category to create your Personal Parenting Plan:
We're just about finished! Create a secure account with Empowering Parents to access your Personal Parenting Plan.
- Close Menu Search
- DTV Challenge Poll
- Grinding Gears
- Why Should I Stay?
- Follow us on Instagram: @davisdartnews for the latest updates.
How to stay motivated to do school work at home
Hallee Kimball March 22, 2020 | 8 Views
During the soft closure of Davis School District, it can be hard to stay motivated to do school work because of the easy distractions of being at home. Some distraction include; family, friends, notifications, the temptation to sleep, or even just procrastination. Here are a few tips to stay motivated and on task:
1. Reward yourself when you meet a homework goal.
Rewards can be a powerful motivator! The reward doesn’t have to be anything big, it could be giving yourself 5 minutes to look through Snapchat, Instagram, or Tiktok after you read a section of a textbook or finish a homework assignment. The bigger the accomplishment, the bigger the reward.
2. Treat yourself before getting to work.
When you treat yourself to a snack, or check social media before you start schoolwork, it can boost your mood and your motivation. Just be sure to set a limit of how long you can be on your phone, so you don’t lose track of time.
3. Work with a motivated partner.
Working with friends or siblings, can make doing school work more enjoyable. You can also help each other stay on track as well.
4. Find the time and place when you do your best work.
Some people do their best work in the mornings when they feel awake and energized, instead of at night when they feel tired and groggy. Location also helps you stay in the school work mindset. Most people prefer to do work in a quiet environment where they have a clear mind, with no distractions. Its a good idea to experiment new areas until you find what works best for you.
5. Set goals.
Setting goals can keep you motivated and make school work seem more attainable. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. Be sure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound. Making S.M.A.R.T. goals are important, because they keep you from setting vague and unreachable goals, that you cant achieve.
Other quick tips to keep you motivated to do school work are:
6. Put away distractions
7. Keep yourself focused and alert
8. Stay energized
9. Take frequent breaks
10. Prioritize assignments
11. Break assignments down into more manageable pieces
hey guys #fun
The most popular Fiiz drinks
36 Barbie Movies from Worst to Best
Delicious showdown: Tacotime vs. Taco Bell.
Op-Ed on the Barbie Movie
Red Dead Redemption 2: is it still worth playing 5 years Later?
Are The Grammy’s Rigged
Should Artist’s Earn More Money
Fantastic Mr. Fox Movie Review
Top 10 Best Donut Shops in Utah
The student news site of Davis High School
- District Website
- Davis High Website
- Share full article
How to Do School When Motivation Has Gone Missing
Here’s what teenagers can do to equip themselves to move forward during this difficult and frustrating time.
By Lisa Damour
The school year is still young, yet parents and students alike may have noticed that academic motivation is already low. No surprise there. Whether school is remote, in-person or hybrid, many students have come to feel that, if this year were a meal, it would be all vegetables and no dessert . Gone, or hamstrung by screens, masks and plexiglass, are the encouraging company of classmates and teachers, the camaraderie of tackling tedious work alongside friends and the school day boost of exchanging a few words with one’s crush. Still here is the steady stream of assignments, assessments and lectures.
With the bulk of the academic year yet to come, here’s what teenagers can do to equip themselves to continue to move forward during this difficult and frustrating time.
Understand the Two Basic Types of Motivation
Educational psychologists recognize two main kinds of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic . Intrinsic motivation takes over when we have a deep and genuine interest in a task or topic and derive satisfaction from the work or learning itself. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, gets us to work by putting the outcome — like a paycheck or a good grade — in mind. When what we’re doing feels fascinating, such as reading a book we can’t put down, we’re propelled by intrinsic motivation; when we pay attention in a class or meeting by promising ourselves 10 minutes of online shopping for seeing it through, we’re summoning extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is the one that tends to be prized in educational circles, and with good reason. It is linked to higher levels of academic achievement and greater psychological well-being . That said, intrinsic motivation can’t always be summoned or sustained. Young people may find themselves intrinsically motivated on Mondays, but not Fridays, or at the start of an evening study session but not as the night wears on.
It’s also true that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation aren’t mutually exclusive. It happens all the time that students both take an inherent interest in their academic work and care about their grades.
Rather than privileging one form of motivation above the other, it’s better to treat them as different gears, each of which helps young people down the academic road. In my experience, the students who are most adept at tackling their schoolwork know how to work both gears, shifting back and forth between them as needed.
Stack the Deck for Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is extremely useful, giving even serious work a sense of effortlessness . But it’s not a piece of cake to conjure up, and conditions matter. It is most likely to flourish in situations where students feel autonomous, supported and competent, but often fails to take hold when they feel controlled, pressured or unsure.
In practice, this means that young people should be given as much say over their learning as possible, such as giving them options for how to solve problems, approach unfamiliar topics or practice new skills. This can also involve, whenever possible, letting tweens and teenagers decide the order in which they tackle their assignments, how they want to prepare for tests or where they feel they study most effectively, even if that means that their papers carpet their bedroom floors.
Should adults be cheerleaders for our teenagers? Opinion is split. Some researchers contend that praise helps to cultivate intrinsic motivation , while others say that it undermines it by introducing an extrinsic reward. There is, however, an area of consensus: the utility of praise depends on how it’s done. Specifically, praise fosters intrinsic motivation when it’s sincere, celebrates effort rather than talent (“you worked really hard,” vs. “you’re so smart”) and communicates encouragement, not pressure (“you’re doing really well,” vs. “you’re doing really well, as I hoped you would”).
This is such a hard year. So long as we do it right, there’s no reason for adults to be stingy with praise.
Finally, intrinsic motivation is all but impossible to muster for material that feels out of reach. Teachers and parents should keep a close eye for students who are checking out because they feel lost and work to recalibrate the material or the expectations.
Know When to Use Extrinsic Motivation
Let’s be honest: Hard-working, conscientious adults often rely on extrinsic motivators — even when they love their work. Engaging work might be its own reward much of the time, but sometimes we keep our noses to the grindstone only by holding out the incentive of a cup of coffee, some chocolate, a vanquished to-do list, or all of the above. Adults often have refined strategies for getting through our work and, as a first step, we should talk openly with teenagers about the tactics we employ when intrinsic motivation isn’t happening.
Also, teens and parents can think together about strategies to help face down a long list of assignments. Would it help to have a parent work quietly nearby in silent solidarity? Would the teenager like to study in 25-minute intervals followed by five-minute breaks to stretch, snack or check social media? Might the promise of getting to pick the weekend family movie make that last bit of work more bearable?
Adults should be ready to stand back and admire the fantastic solutions that young people land upon themselves. Some adolescents buckle down with the help of a YouTube study buddy , others hold out the carrot of a video game or run once the work is done.
I recently learned of a 10th-grader who makes time-lapse videos of herself while she does her homework. Knowing that she’s on camera keeps her focused, and having a record of her efforts (and the amusing faces she makes while concentrating) turns out to be a powerful reward. While intrinsic motivation has its upsides, there should be no shame in the external motivation game. It’s about getting the work done.
This year, even more than usual, adults are asking so much of adolescents. One way to help is by talking openly about strategies that help muster motivation. These conversations will help teenagers now, and also long after the virus is gone.
Lisa Damour is a psychologist and the author of the New York Times best sellers “Untangled” and “Under Pressure.” Dr. Damour also co-hosts the podcast “Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting.” More about Lisa Damour
- Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
- MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
- University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
- Top Courses
- Join for Free
How to Motivate Yourself: 11 Tips for Self Improvement
Achieve your goals with these science-backed motivation enhancers.
Setting a goal—anything from getting a degree or landing a new job to achieving a new level of physical fitness—is a big step toward improving your life. But following through to achieve what we’ve set out to accomplish can be challenging, especially on those days when motivation wanes. So how do you follow through on your commitments during those times when you just don’t feel like putting in the work?
We all lose motivation from time to time. When you’re feeling unmotivated, try one of these science-backed strategies to get yourself back on track toward your goal.
Put your goal on the calendar.
Make working toward your goal a habit.
Plan for imperfection.
Set small goals to build momentum.
Track your progress.
Reward yourself for the little wins as well as the big ones.
Embrace positive peer pressure.
Practice gratitude (including for yourself).
Do some mood lifting.
Change your environment.
Remember your “why.”
Let's take a closer look at each of the above tips. Here, we'll break down these self-motivation techniques, detailing what they are and the science behind them.
1. Put your goal on the calendar.
One way to give a boost to your internal motivation is to create some external motivation: a target date. Whatever it is you’re aiming to accomplish, put it on the calendar. You may be working toward a goal with a set finish date built in. Examples include preparing for a test or taking a course with a fixed end date.
If your goal lacks this structure, you can add it by deciding on a date by which you could realistically achieve your goal.
Want to run a 5k or marathon? Sign up for a race on or near your target date. Considering a degree? Research the application deadline and write it down. Aiming to learn a new career skill? Register for a course and set a target date to finish.
Having a target date not only helps you stay motivated, it also helps you track your progress—you always know how much further you have to go. This can have a big impact on your performance [ 1 ].
Tip: Setting a target date
Be realistic when setting your target date, but resist the urge to give yourself more time than you’ll need. Studies show that we sometimes perceive longer goals as more difficult, even when they’re not. This can lead to a greater likelihood of procrastination or quitting [ 2 ].
2. Make working toward your goal a habit.
When you make working toward your goal a habit—an automatic conditioned response—you no longer have to rely so much on feeling motivated. How do you turn a behavior into a habit?
Identify a trigger.
Choose something that you already do everyday, like brushing your teeth or eating lunch, to be a trigger for the action you want to make a habit. Write out an “if-then” plan (also known as an implementation intention).
For example, if you want to create a habit of studying for a class everyday, your if-then plan might look like this:
If I pour my first cup of coffee, then I will spend five minutes on my math homework.
To build consistency in exercise, it might look like this:
If I get up and brush my teeth, then I will immediately put on my workout clothes.
Making this plan and committing it to writing could increase the likelihood of following through [ 3 ].
Notice that the above examples do not say that you’ll read six chapters of your textbook, watch two hours of lecture videos, or spend an hour sweating on the treadmill.
Getting started is often the hardest part on low-motivation days, and starting is much easier when the task is small: Five minutes of study or putting on your workout clothes [ 4 ].
These seemingly small actions can prime your mind for the task at hand, so the followthrough—a longer study session or a full workout—can happen more naturally with less mental resistance, according to The Science of Self Help [ 5 ].
3. Plan for imperfection.
It’s great to feel excited and confident about achieving your goal, but it’s also possible to be too optimistic [ 6 ]. Not every day will go exactly as planned, and that’s okay. Life happens.
One way to boost motivation on difficult days is simply to plan for them. As you think about your goal, jot down a list of the things that could get in your way. If you’re taking an online course, this could include:
Losing internet access
Getting a phone call in the middle of a study session
Having a child home sick
Feeling stuck on a difficult concept or assignment
If your goal is to go running everyday, some obstacles might include:
Getting asked to stay late at work during the time you usually run
We can’t predict everything that could happen, but we can predict those obstacles that are likely to happen from time to time based on our unique circumstances.
Once you have your list, make a plan for how to handle the obstacle. How can you plan ahead for when your internet goes out? Maybe you could keep a few lecture videos downloaded to your phone or computer for offline access, or you could identify a nearby coffee shop that offers free wifi.
Now when that obstacle pops up, instead of losing motivation and feeling deflated, you have a plan in place to keep the momentum going.
Keep in mind that for some obstacles, missing your task is a perfectly acceptable plan.
The WOOP method
Next time you’re setting a goal for yourself, practice the WOOP technique, pioneered by Dr. Gabriele Oettingen. This stands for Wish , Outcome , Obstacle , and Plan . What is your wish? What would be the outcome of that wish coming true? What main obstacle stands in your way? What can you do to overcome that obstacle?
4. Set small goals to build momentum.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.”
Naval Admiral William H. McRaven gave this advice during his commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. The former Navy SEAL was onto something.
Research shows that frequent small successes can build a sense of momentum that can in turn drive long-term success, especially early in the process [ 7 , 8 ]. Whatever your big goal may be, start by breaking it down into smaller chunks. Getting a new job might be a big goal. Smaller goals could be updating your resume, making a portfolio website, earning a certification, or attending a networking event.
Did you know?
Setting goals at the start of a new week, month, or year can naturally lead to increased motivation [ 9 ]. We tend to mentally associate these temporal landmarks with new beginnings while creating mental distance from any perceived shortcomings in our past. Now that’s what we call a motivational Monday.
5. Track your progress.
Seeing progress can be highly motivating [ 10 ]. You’ll find many tools out there to help you track your goals. This could be as simple as a to-do list or calendar where you can cross off tasks or days as you complete them. Or you might opt for a free tool like Trello , which allows you to create a personalized digital task board to categorize your big goal into daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly sub goals.
Another option is to draw a progress bar on a sheet of poster board or paper. Hang it somewhere where you’ll see it regularly, and fill it in as you get closer to your goal.
What is a SMART goal?
Sometimes the best goals are SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
6. Reward yourself for the little wins as well as the big ones.
It feels good to be rewarded for our work. But rewards can also improve motivation and performance. Rewarding yourself for reaching small milestones and completing big goals could boost your interest and enjoyment in the work you’re doing [ 11 ].
These rewards don’t have to be big or cost a lot of money. Here’s a quick list of ideas you could use to reward yourself:
Take a short break
Go for a walk outside
Enjoy your favorite snack
Read a chapter of your favorite book
Spend a few minutes meditating
Listen to an episode of your favorite podcast
Plan a night out with friends
Play an online game
Visit a free museum or attraction
Have a long bath or shower
Call a friend or family member
Spend a few minutes making your own reward list so that you’re ready to celebrate your wins, big and small.
7. Embrace positive peer pressure.
You’re ultimately the one who puts in the work to achieve your goals. But other people can be a great motivator.
Research shows that feeling like you’re part of a team can lead to boosted perseverance, engagement, and performance, even if you’re working alone [ 12 ]. Depending on your goal, this might mean joining a study group, running team, gym class, professional organization, or virtual challenge.
Another study suggests that sharing your goal with someone whose opinion you value can strengthen your commitment to attaining that goal [ 13 ]. For work goals, consider sharing with a mentor or supervisor. You might choose to share educational goals with a teacher or academic advisor, or fitness goals with a coach or fellow gym member who you admire.
8. Practice gratitude (including for yourself).
It might seem like gratitude would lead to complacency and acceptance of the status quo. Yet some studies have shown otherwise. Feelings of gratitude can:
Motivate self-improvement [ 14 ]
Make us feel connected to others (i.e. part of the team) [ 15 ]
Enhance motivation across time, beyond the duration of the gratitude practice [ 16 ]
Induce a sense of wanting to give back [ 17 ]
Improve physical and mental health, as well as sleep [ 18 ]
There’s more than one way to foster an attitude of gratitude. Spend the first five minutes after you wake up going through all the things you feel grateful for. Better yet, write them down in a gratitude journal. Is there someone in your life you’re particularly grateful for? Write them a letter expressing your thanks.
9. Do some mood lifting.
A good mood has been linked to increased productivity, and improvement in both quality and quantity of work [ 19 , 20 ]. This doesn’t mean that you have to be positive all the time—that’s not realistic. But if you’re feeling sluggish about working toward your goal, a quick mood lift could be enough to get you started.
Need some ideas for how to boost your mood? You could try to:
Spend some time in nature (or at least get some sunlight) [ 21 ]
Look at some cute pictures or videos of animals on r/aww [ 22 ]
Watch funny videos on YouTube [ 23 ]
Exercise [ 24 ]
Adopt an alter ego (i.e. the Batman effect) [ 25 ]
10. Change your environment.
Sometimes a change of scenery can help you approach your task with fresh eyes (and a new sense of motivation). This is called the novelty effect—a short-term boost that comes from altering your environment [ 26 ].
If you usually study at home, have a session at your local library. Do you always watch lecture videos on your computer? Try downloading them to your phone to watch outside in the park. Switch up your running route, or try a new exercise routine.
11. Remember your “why.”
Why is this goal important to you? Why is that reason important to you? Why is that important to you? Keep digging until you get to your ultimate “why”—the core value that’s driving your goal.
To further reinforce your “why,” set an alarm every morning to remind yourself to spend one or two minutes visualizing what success would look like. What would it feel like to achieve your goal?
What’s your career goal?
Empower yourself to achieve your career goals, big and small, with Coursera Plus . Get unlimited access to more than 7,000 courses, hands-on projects, and certificate programs to enhance your resume. Get started with a seven-day free trial.
Build job-ready skills with a Coursera Plus subscription
- Get access to 7,000+ learning programs from world-class universities and companies, including Google, Yale, Salesforce, and more
- Try different courses and find your best fit at no additional cost
- Earn certificates for learning programs you complete
- A subscription price of $59/month, cancel anytime
Maayan Katzir, Aviv Emanuel, Nira Liberman. " Cognitive performance is enhanced if one knows when the task will end ." Cognition 197 (April 2020).
Meng Zhu, Rajesh Bagchi, Stefan J Hock. " The Mere Deadline Effect: Why More Time Might Sabotage Goal Pursuit ." Journal of Consumer Research 45, no. 5 (April 2018): 1068-1084.
P.M. Gollwitzer. " Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans ." American Psychologist 54, no. 7 (1999): 493-503.
Benjamin Gardner. " Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice ." British Journal of General Practice 62, no. 605 (December 2012): 664-666.
The Science of Self-Help. " The Elements of Change: A Grand Unified Theory of Self-Help , https://scienceofselfhelp.org/articles-1/2018/11/28/the-elements-of-change-a-grand-unified-theory-of-self-help." Accessed May 18, 2023.
WOOP. " The science behind WOOP , https://woopmylife.org/en/science." Accessed May 18, 2023.
Seppo E. Iso-Ahola and Charles O. Dotson. " Psychological Momentum—A Key to Continued Success ." Frontiers in Psychology 7 (August 2016): 1326.
Stanford Graduate School of Business. " Focus on Small Steps First, Then Shift to the Larger Goal , https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/focus-small-steps-first-then-shift-larger-goal." Accessed May 18, 2023.
Hengchen Dai, Katherine L. Milkman, Jason Riis. " Put Your Imperfections Behind You: Temporal Landmarks Spur Goal Initiation When They Signal New Beginnings ." Psychological Science 26, no. 12 (November 2015).
ScienceDaily. " Frequently monitoring progress toward goals increases chance of success , https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029101349.htm." Accessed May 18, 2023.
K. Woolley, A. Fishbach. " It’s about time: Earlier rewards increase intrinsic motivation ." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 114, no. 6 (2018): 877-890.
Association for Psychological Science. " Just Feeling Like Part of a Team Increases Motivation on Challenging Tasks , https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/just-feeling-like-part-of-a-team-increases-motivation-on-challenging-tasks.html." Accessed May 18, 2023.
H.J. Klein, R.B. Lount Jr., H.M. Park, B.J. Linford. " When goals are known: The effects of audience relative status on goal commitment and performance ." Journal of Applied Psychology 105, no. 4 (2020): 372-389.
Christina N. Armenta, Megan M. Fritz, Sonja Lyubomirsky. " Functions of Positive Emotions: Gratitude as a Motivator of Self-Improvement and Positive Change ." Emotion Review 9, no. 3 (June 2017).
University of California, Riverside. " Gratitude and Self-Improvement in Adolescents , http://christinaarmenta.weebly.com/uploads/3/0/7/2/30720023/armenta_spsp_poster_2017_final.pdf." Accessed May 18, 2023.
Norberto Eiji Nawa, Noriko Yamagishi. " Enhanced academic motivation in university students following a 2-week online gratitude journal intervention ." BMC Psychology 9, no. 71 (2021).
Psychology Today. " Motivation and Gratitude: How They Can Go Hand in Hand , https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/comfort-gratitude/202105/motivation-and-gratitude-how-they-can-go-hand-in-hand." Accessed May 18, 2023.
Forbes. " 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round , https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/?sh=570a27a6183c." Accessed May 18, 2023.
Jeff Grabmeier. " Got up on the wrong side of the bed? Your work will show it ." Academy of Management Journal (April 2011).
Warwick. " New study shows we work harder when we are happy , https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_study_shows/." Accessed May 18, 2023.
Gregory N. Bratman, J. Paul Hamilton, Kevin S. Hahn, Gretchen C. Daily, and James J. Gross. " Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation ." PNAS 112, no. 28 (July 2015): 8567-8572.
Hiroshi Nittono, Michiko Fukushima, Akihiro Yano, Hiroki Moriya. " The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus ." PLOS ONE 7, no. 9 (April 2012).
Dexter Louie, BA, Karolina Brook, MD, and Elizabeth Frates, MD. " The Laughter Prescription ." American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine 10, 4 (September 2014).
The University Record. " Study suggests people should get moving to get happier , https://record.umich.edu/articles/study-suggests-people-should-get-moving-get-happier/." Accessed May 18, 2023.
BBC.com. " The 'Batman Effect': How having an alter ego empowers you , https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200817-the-batman-effect-how-having-an-alter-ego-empowers-you." Accessed May 18, 2023.
The Science of Self-Help. " Meal Prepping, The Novelty Effect, and "Structured Randomness , https://scienceofselfhelp.org/articles-1/2018/5/25/meal-prepping-the-novelty-effect-and-structured-randomness." Accessed May 18, 2023.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
Develop career skills and credentials to stand out
- Build in demand career skills with experts from leading companies and universities
- Choose from over 8000 courses, hands-on projects, and certificate programs
- Learn on your terms with flexible schedules and on-demand courses
- EXPLORE Random Article
How to Motivate Yourself if You Are Homeschooled
Last Updated: May 27, 2021 Approved
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 27,550 times.
There are many benefits to homeschooling, but it's often easy to use this easygoing and non-regimented style of learning as an excuse to procrastinate before doing the tasks at hand. Remember, when you complete an assignment, you’ll not only know something new, but you’ll also achieve a feeling of accomplishment. Staying on track when you’re homeschooling is easy if you keep a schedule, stay fresh, and have fun.
Keeping a Schedule
- Depending on your age, you'll need to get between six and ten hours of sleep each night. Ask your doctor how much sleep you should be getting to fully rejuvenate your mind and body.
- Stop hitting snooze. Each time you do, you'll be interfering with your body's natural sleep cycle and making it more difficult to wake up.  X Research source
- If you're sitting for long periods of time, you need to stand up to allow blood to flow through your body and improve energy.
- Move your shoulders forward and back to remove tension that can build up there.
- Stretch hands and arms to avoid a repetitive motion injury, especially if you've been typing for several hours.
- Peppermint improves concentration. If you find your energy flagging or you’re getting distracted, grab a peppermint.
- Eat fruits to get a natural sugar boost. Apples are a great option to increase energy and concentration naturally.
- String cheese, Greek yogurt, and other low-fat dairy items help to boost energy without creating excessive fullness.
- Taking a twenty minute nap midway through the day can increase your productivity in the afternoon, so you may want to consider laying down for just a few minutes.
- Standing up, going for a walk, or stretching will get the blood flowing, improve circulation, and make you feel more alert.  X Research source
Having Fun with School Work
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://lifehacker.com/how-can-i-stay-motivated-and-finish-my-school-work-1223894138
- ↑ https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
- ↑ https://www.everythinghomeschooling.com/editorial.aspx#Burnout
- ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
- ↑ http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p1001.htm
About this article
Reader Success Stories
Dec 21, 2016
Did this article help you?
May 3, 2017
Oct 6, 2016
Nov 10, 2016
Dec 8, 2020
- About wikiHow
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
How to Motivate Students: 12 Classroom Tips & Examples
Inspire. Instill drive. Incite excitement. Stimulate curiosity.
These are all common goals for many educators. However, what can you do if your students lack motivation? How do you light that fire and keep it from burning out?
This article will explain and provide examples of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the classroom. Further, we will provide actionable methods to use right now in your classroom to motivate the difficult to motivate. Let’s get started!
Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your students create actionable goals and master techniques to create lasting behavior change.
This Article Contains:
The science of motivation explained, how to motivate students in the classroom, 9 ways teachers can motivate students, encouraging students to ask questions: 3 tips, motivating students in online classes, helpful resources from positivepsychology.com, a take-home message.
Goal-directed activities are started and sustained by motivation. “Motivational processes are personal/internal influences that lead to outcomes such as choice, effort, persistence, achievement, and environmental regulation” (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivation is internal to a person.
For example, you may be motivated to achieve satisfactory grades in a foreign language course because you genuinely want to become fluent in the language. Students like this are motivated by their interest, enjoyment, or satisfaction from learning the material.
Not surprisingly, intrinsic motivation is congruous with higher performance and predicts student performance and higher achievement (Ryan & Deci, 2020).
Extrinsic motivation is derived from a more external source and involves a contingent reward (Benabou & Tirole, 2003).
For example, a student may be motivated to achieve satisfactory grades in a foreign language course because they receive a tangible reward or compliments for good grades. Their motivation is fueled by earning external rewards or avoiding punishments. Rewards may even include approval from others, such as parents or teachers.
Self-determination theory addresses the why of behavior and asserts that there are various motivation types that lie on a continuum, including external motivation, internal motivation, and amotivation (Sheehan et al., 2018).
Student autonomy is the ownership they take of their learning or initiative.
Generate students’ autonomy by involving them in decision-making. Try blended learning, which combines whole class lessons with independent learning. Teach accountability by holding students accountable and modeling and thinking aloud your own accountability.
In addressing competence, students must feel that they can succeed and grow. Assisting students in developing their self-esteem is critical. Help students see their strengths and refer to their strengths often. Promote a kid’s growth mindset .
Relatedness refers to the students’ sense of belonging and connection. Build this by establishing relationships. Facilitate peer connections by using team-building exercises and encouraging collaborative learning. Develop your own relationship with each student. Explore student interests to develop common ground.
Download 3 Free Positive Psychology Exercises (PDF)
Enhance wellbeing with these free, science-based exercises that draw on the latest insights from positive psychology.
Download 3 Free Positive Psychology Tools Pack (PDF)
By filling out your name and email address below.
Motivating students while teaching a subject and providing classroom management is definitely a juggling act. Try introducing a few of the suggestions below and see what happens.
First and foremost, it is critical to develop relationships with your students. When students begin formal schooling, they need to develop quality relationships, as interpersonal relationships in the school setting influence children’s development and positively impact student outcomes, which includes their motivation to learn, behavior, and cognitive skills (McFarland et al., 2016).
Try administering interest inventories at the beginning of the school year. Make a point to get to know each student and demonstrate your interest by asking them about their weekend, sports game, or other activities they may participate in.
Physical learning environment
Modify the physical learning environment. Who says students need to sit in single-file rows all facing the front of the room or even as desks for that matter?
Flexible seating is something you may want to try. Students who are comfortable in a learning space are better engaged, which leads to more meaningful, impactful learning experiences (Cole et al., 2021). You may try to implement pillows, couches, stools, rocking chairs, rolling chairs, bouncing chairs, or even no chairs at all.
Involve parents and solicit their aid to help encourage students. Parents are a key factor in students’ motivation (Tóth-Király et al., 2022).
It is important to develop your relationship with these crucial allies. Try making positive phone calls home prior to the negative phone calls to help build an effective relationship. Involve parents by sending home a weekly newsletter or by inviting them into your classroom for special events. Inform them that you are a team and have the same goals for their child.
The relevance of the material is critical for instilling motivation. Demonstrating why the material is useful or tying the material directly to students’ lives is necessary for obtaining student interest.
It would come as no surprise that if a foreign language learner is not using relevant material, it will take longer for that student to acquire the language and achieve their goals (Shatz, 2014). If students do not understand the importance or real-world application for what they are learning, they may not be motivated to learn.
Student-centered learning approaches have been proven to be more effective than teacher-centered teaching approaches (Peled et al., 2022).
A student-centered approach engages students in the learning process, whereas a teacher-centered approach involves the teacher delivering the majority of the information. This type of teaching requires students to construct meaning from new information and prior experience.
Give students autonomy and ownership of what they learn. Try enlisting students as the directors of their own learning and assign project-based learning activities.
Find additional ways to integrate technology. Talk less and encourage the students to talk more. Involving students in decision-making and providing them opportunities to lead are conducive to a student-centered learning environment.
Collaborative learning is definitely a strategy to implement in the classroom. There are both cognitive and motivational benefits to collaborative learning (Järvelä et al., 2010), and social learning theory is a critical lens with which to examine motivation in the classroom.
You may try assigning group or partner work where students work together on a common task. This is also known as cooperative learning. You may want to offer opportunities for both partner and small group work. Allowing students to choose their partners or groups and assigning partners or groups should also be considered.
Have you ever had a difficult time getting students to answer your questions? Who says students need to answer verbally? Try using alternative answering methods, such as individual whiteboards, personal response systems such as “clickers,” or student response games such as Kahoot!
Quizlet is also an effective method for obtaining students’ answers (Setiawan & Wiedarti, 2020). Using these tools allows every student to participate, even the timid students, and allows the teacher to perform a class-wide formative assessment on all students.
New teaching methods
Vary your teaching methods. If you have become bored with the lessons you are delivering, it’s likely that students have also become bored.
Try new teaching activities, such as inviting a guest speaker to your classroom or by implementing debates and role-play into your lessons. Teacher and student enjoyment in the classroom are positively linked, and teachers’ displayed enthusiasm affects teacher and student enjoyment (Frenzel et al., 2009).
Perhaps check out our article on teacher burnout to reignite your spark in the classroom. If you are not enjoying yourself, your students aren’t likely to either.
Aside from encouraging students to answer teacher questions, prompting students to ask their own questions can also be a challenge.
When students ask questions, they demonstrate they are thinking about their learning and are engaged. Further, they are actively filling the gaps in their knowledge. Doğan and Yücel-Toy (2020, p. 2237) posit:
“The process of asking questions helps students understand the new topic, realize others’ ideas, evaluate their own progress, monitor learning processes, and increase their motivation and interest on the topic by arousing curiosity.”
Student-created questions are critical to an effective learning environment. Below are a few tips to help motivate students to ask questions.
Instill confidence and a safe environment
Students need to feel safe in their classrooms. A teacher can foster this environment by setting clear expectations of respect between students. Involve students in creating a classroom contract or norms.
Refer to your classroom’s posted contract or norms periodically to review student expectations. Address any deviation from these agreements and praise students often. Acknowledge all students’ responses, no matter how wild or off-topic they may be.
Provide students with graphic organizers such as a KWL chart. The KWL chart helps students organize what they already Know , what they Want to learn, and what they Learned .
Tools such as these will allow students to process their thinking and grant them time to generate constructive questions. Referring to this chart will allow more timid students to share their questions.
Although intrinsic motivation is preferred (Ryan & Deci, 2020), incentives should also be used when appropriate. Token systems, where students can exchange points for items, are an effective method for improving learning and positively affecting student behavior (Homer et al., 2018).
Tangible and intangible incentives may be used to motivate students if they have not developed intrinsic motivation. Intangible items may include lunch with the teacher, a coupon to only complete half of an assignment, or a show-and-tell session. Of course, a good old-fashioned treasure box may help as well.
If students are unwilling to ask questions in front of the class, try implementing a large poster paper where students are encouraged to use sticky notes to write down their questions. Teachers may refer to the questions and answer them at a separate time. This practice is called a “parking lot.” Also, consider allowing students to share questions in small groups or with partners.
Student motivation: how to motivate students to learn
Just as in the face-to-face setting, relationships are crucial for online student motivation as well. Build relationships by getting to know your students’ interests. Determining student interests will also be key in the virtual environment.
Try incorporating a show-and-tell opportunity where students can display and talk about objects from around their home that are important to them. Peer-to-peer relationships should also be encouraged, and accomplishing this feat in an online class can be difficult. Here is a resource you can use to help plan team-building activities to bring your students together.
Game-based response systems such as Kahoot! may increase motivation. These tools use gamification to encourage motivation and engagement.
Incentives may also be used in the computer-based setting. Many schools have opted to use Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Rewards . This curriculum nurtures a positive school culture and aims to improve student behavior. Points are earned by students meeting expectations and can be exchanged for items in an online store.
To further develop strong relationships with students and parents, remark on the relevancy of the materials and instill a student-centered learning approach that addresses autonomy. You may also wish to include alternative means of answering questions, vary your teaching methods, and implement collaborative learning.
We have many useful articles and worksheets you can use with your students. To get an excellent start on the foundations of motivation, we recommend our article What Is Motivation? A Psychologist Explains .
If you’re curious about intrinsic motivation, you may be interested in What Is Intrinsic Motivation? 10 Examples and Factors Explained . And if you wish to learn more about extrinsic motivation, What Is Extrinsic Motivation? 9 Everyday Examples and Activities may be of interest to you.
Perhaps using kids’ reward coupons such as these may help increase motivation. Teachers could modify the coupons to fit their classroom or share these exact coupons with parents at parent–teacher conferences to reinforce children’s efforts at school .
For some students, coloring is an enjoyable and creative outlet. Try using a coloring sheet such as this Decorating Cookies worksheet for when students complete their work or as a reward for good behavior.
These 17 Motivation and Goal Achievement Exercises were designed for professionals to help others turn their dreams into reality by applying the latest science-based behavioral change techniques. You can consider these exercises to better understand your own motivation or tweak some activities for younger learners.
“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”
C. S. Lewis
While we know how challenging it is to motivate students while teaching our specific subjects and attending to classroom management, we also understand the importance of motivation.
You will have some students enter your classroom with unequivocally developed intrinsic motivation, and you will have students enter your classroom with absolutely no motivation.
Teachers have to be able to teach everyone who walks into their classroom and incite motivation in those who have no motivation at all. Motivating the difficult to motivate is challenging; however, it can be done.
As Plutarch asserted, it is better to think of education as “a fire to be kindled” as opposed to “a vessel to be filled.” In addressing the needs of students with little to no motivation, it will take more time, patience, and understanding; however, implementing a few of these strategies will put you on the fast track to lighting that fire.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free .
- Benabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2003). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The Review of Economic Studies , 70 (3), 489–495
- Cole, K., Schroeder, K., Bataineh, M., & Al-Bataineh, A. (2021). Flexible seating impact on classroom environment. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET , 20 (2), 62–74.
- Doğan, F., & Yücel-Toy, B. (2020). Development of an attitude scale towards asking questions for elementary education students. Ilkogretim Online, 19 (4), 2237–2248.
- Frenzel, A. C., Goetz, T., Lüdtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Sutton, R. E. (2009). Emotional transmission in the classroom: Exploring the relationship between teacher and student enjoyment. Journal of Educational Psychology , 101 (3), 705–716.
- Homer, R., Hew, K. F., & Tan, C. Y. (2018). Comparing digital badges-and-points with classroom token systems: Effects on elementary school ESL students’ classroom behavior and English learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society , 21 (1), 137–151.
- Järvelä, S., Volet, S., & Järvenoja, H. (2010). Research on motivation in collaborative learning: Moving beyond the cognitive–situative divide and combining individual and social processes. Educational Psychologist , 45 (1), 15–27.
- Kippers, W. B., Wolterinck, C. H., Schildkamp, K., Poortman, C. L., & Visscher, A. J. (2018). Teachers’ views on the use of assessment for learning and data-based decision making in classroom practice. Teaching and Teacher Education , 75 , 199–213.
- McFarland, L., Murray, E., & Phillipson, S. (2016). Student–teacher relationships and student self-concept: Relations with teacher and student gender. Australian Journal of Education , 60 (1), 5–25.
- Peled, Y., Blau, I., & Grinberg, R. (2022). Crosschecking teachers’ perspectives on learning in a one-to-one environment with their actual classroom behavior: A longitudinal study. Education and Information Technologies , 1–24.
- Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2020). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation from a self-determination theory perspective: Definitions, theory, practices, and future directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology , 61 , 101860.
- Schunk, D. H., & DiBenedetto, M. K. (2020). Motivation and social cognitive theory. Contemporary Educational Psychology , 60 , 101832.
- Setiawan, M. R., & Wiedarti, P. (2020). The effectiveness of Quizlet application towards students’ motivation in learning vocabulary. Studies in English Language and Education , 7 (1), 83–95.
- Shatz, I. (2014). Parameters for assessing the effectiveness of language learning strategies. Journal of Language and Cultural Education , 2 (3), 96–103.
- Sheehan, R. B., Herring, M. P., & Campbell, M. J. (2018). Associations between motivation and mental health in sport: A test of the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Frontiers in Psychology , 9 , 707.
- Tóth-Király, I., Morin, A. J., Litalien, D., Valuch, M., Bőthe, B., Orosz, G., & Rigó, A. (2022). Self-determined profiles of academic motivation. Motivation and Emotion , 1–19.
Share this article:
What our readers think.
Thank you so much for this informative and interesting article .
Nice blog thanks for sharing..!
I will think about this ever day.
Thanks a lot, that was great!
Very educative and interesting thank a lot for the article
Very nice and informative.
Dear Dr. Tiffany, many thanks for this very useful article.
Let us know your thoughts Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
What Is Social–Emotional Learning? + Training Courses
The days of just teaching kids their ABC’s are long gone. Modern educators are tasked with the seemingly impossible responsibility of ensuring today’s youth are [...]
7 Best Continuing Education (CE) Courses for Psychologists
Lifelong learning begins the moment you become a professionally qualified and licensed psychologist. To maintain a license to practice, licensed health and social care professionals [...]
What Is Integrative Therapy? Top 10 Training Options & Books
This article shares integrative therapy training options, and how to become an integrative psychotherapist.
Read other articles by their category
- Body & Brain (40)
- Coaching & Application (56)
- Compassion (26)
- Counseling (50)
- Emotional Intelligence (24)
- Gratitude (17)
- Grief & Bereavement (21)
- Happiness & SWB (38)
- Meaning & Values (25)
- Meditation (20)
- Mindfulness (44)
- Motivation & Goals (43)
- Optimism & Mindset (32)
- Positive CBT (24)
- Positive Communication (20)
- Positive Education (44)
- Positive Emotions (30)
- Positive Leadership (0)
- Positive Psychology (32)
- Positive Workplace (42)
- Productivity (16)
- Relationships (42)
- Resilience & Coping (34)
- Self Awareness (20)
- Self Esteem (37)
- Software & Apps (23)
- Strengths & Virtues (31)
- Stress & Burnout Prevention (32)
- Theory & Books (44)
- Therapy Exercises (33)
- Types of Therapy (58)
3 Positive Psychology Tools (PDF)
- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
- EDIT Edit this Article
- EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- Quizzes Hot
- This Or That Game New
- Train Your Brain
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- Log in / Sign up
- Education and Communications
- Personal Development
How to Stay Motivated & Achieve Your Goals
Last Updated: August 31, 2023 Fact Checked
Adopting a Motivated Mindset
Beating procrastination, expert q&a.
This article was written by Sydney Axelrod and by wikiHow staff writer, Dev Murphy, MA . Sydney Axelrod is a certified life coach and the owner of Sydney Axelrod LLC, a life coaching business focused on professional and personal development. Through one-on-one coaching, digital courses, and group workshops, Sydney works with clients to discover their purpose, navigate life transitions, and set and accomplish goals. Sydney has over 1,000 hours of relevant coaching certifications and holds a BBA in Marketing and Finance from Emory University. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 662,205 times.
We all lose motivation from time to time. We're human beings, not locomotives, and we don't always possess the steam we need to keep going. Thankfully, there are ways to help you feel motivated again, whether it's eliminating distractions, reminding yourself of your goals, or taking a well-deserved break to recharge your batteries. In this article, we'll explore tips to help you restore your drive, including ways to keep your spirits high and avoid procrastination. Keep reading to learn how to stay motivated. This article is based on an interview with our certified life coach, Sydney Axelrod, owner of Sydney Axelrod LLC. Check out the full interview here.
Things You Should Know
- Stay motivated by reminding yourself of your goals before and while you work on them. Check in on your progress regularly.
- Eliminate distractions: leave your phone in the next room, or install an extension on your browser to block social media sites while you work.
- Go easy on yourself and take regular breaks so you don't get burned out; everyone needs to recharge their batteries now and then.
- Before figuring out how and when you’ll achieve your goals, it’s important to understand the “why” behind those goals: why is this dream important to you?
- Journaling about your goals may help you define your goals and develop a clear vision. Reflect on your goals in a diary or on the notes app on your phone.
- Keep your goals realistic : that way, you won't be disheartened if you don't reach them. This doesn't mean you can't push and challenge yourself; if you don't challenge yourself, then it's not really a goal.
- Make your goals specific rather than vague. For instance, “Walk 10 thousand steps a day” is more specific—and therefore more achievable—than “Get more exercise.”  X Research source
- Create a calendar or a to-do list of goals you hope to accomplish in the next week, month, or year, and check off each goal as you achieve it. Consider hanging up your calendar or list somewhere you'll see it regularly, like beside your bedroom mirror or above your desk. Or, keep a virtual calendar or to-do list on your phone.
- Be sure to assign rewards that don’t undermine the goal you’re working to accomplish. For example, a bowl of ice cream at the end of a week of exercise and dieting is a great way to treat yourself, whereas rewarding yourself for losing a pound by eating a whole pizza will likely undo the goal you just achieved.
- Practice positive self-talk to not only keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals but to keep you from being hard on yourself when you fall short. Implement a daily practice of reciting positive affirmations to yourself, like, “I am capable of achieving my goals” or, if you fall behind, “I’ll do better tomorrow.”
- If you’re struggling to regain your motivation after a few weeks, consider if there’s something deeper going on. Seeing a licensed therapist may help you understand why you’re having trouble staying motivated.
- Mary Schmich's famous "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" speech.
- Almost any Hollywood sports movie.
- In lots of rap music, "rags to riches" is a common lyrical theme.
- Historical stories of bravery or courage (like those of Jack Churchill, Audie Murphy, and more).
- Your network doesn’t just have to be people with direct knowledge of or experience with the goal you’re hoping to achieve; it could also be people who offer you emotional support or whom you find inspiring, like friends or family.
- If you're spending too much time aimlessly browsing social media, delete your social media apps from your phone and install a "productivity" extension in your browser. These free extensions allow you to block certain sites and/or set time limits for recreational browsing.
- If you’re too tempted to text or call your friends when you’re supposed to be working, leave your phone in the next room.
- Keep your workspace as tidy as you can. A clutter-free desk will make it easier to focus on your work.
- Avoid multitasking: it might sound efficient, but it’s easier to lose your focus and make mistakes when your brain is forced to switch from one task to another. Just do one thing at a time.  X Research source
- Write yourself little notes to keep you motivated or set a reminder on your phone that reminds you every 20 minutes of a task you need to accomplish. This might get annoying enough to make you actually do it.
- Not only can caffeine boost your energy, but the simple act of taking a coffee or tea break can help restart your engine if you’re feeling low on motivation.  X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source
- Stay away from more powerful stimulants unless a doctor has prescribed them for a specific condition. They can be extremely habit-forming if used carelessly.
- Spend a lunch break at a scenic place outdoors.
- Have an impromptu soccer game with friends or coworkers.
- Surprise your workplace with some home cooking.
- Take a friend or significant other out for a night on the town, even if there's no special occasion.
- Change your personal style. Cultivate a drastically different look, then wait for reactions from your friends and coworkers.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- If you are severely unmotivated or have a hard time motivating yourself to accomplish even basic, necessary goals such as getting out of bed, working, or practicing personal hygiene, see a doctor or counselor since this may be a sign of depression. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ Sydney Axelrod. Certified Life Coach. Expert Interview. 30 June 2020.
- ↑ http://www-2.rotman.utoronto.ca/facbios/file/09%20-%20Locke%20&%20Latham%202002%20AP.pdf
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201310/give-your-motivation-makeover-little-psychology
- ↑ https://www.edutopia.org/article/research-tested-benefits-breaks
- ↑ Camber Hill. Life Coach. Expert Interview. 16 June 2020.
- ↑ https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/motivation-how-to-get-started-and-staying-motivated
- ↑ https://psychcentral.com/health/why-positive-affirmations-dont-work
- ↑ https://caps.ucsc.edu/resources/time-management.html
- ↑ https://online.umn.edu/story/avoid-multitasking
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindful-professional-development/202212/make-sure-you-achieve-your-new-goals
- ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6881620/
- ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6843288/
- ↑ https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/motivation-how-to-get-started-and-staying-motivated#goals
- ↑ https://news.uga.edu/break-large-tasks-down-into-smaller-more-manageable-pieces/
About This Article
To stay motivated, break up your goals into smaller, achievable tasks so you can check stuff off your to-do list as you go and feel like you're accomplishing things. Also, decide on a reward for yourself that you'll get when you complete your to-do list, like a meal at your favorite restaurant or spending time with friends. You should also schedule yourself regular breaks, even if they're just for 10-15 minutes. Breaks will keep you from getting overwhelmed, and they'll give you something to look forward to so you stay motivated! To learn how to prevent procrastination so you stay motivated, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
- Send fan mail to authors
Reader Success Stories
Jun 29, 2017
Did this article help you?
Oct 22, 2016
Jul 18, 2018
Mar 17, 2018
May 18, 2016
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
wikiHow Tech Help Pro:
Develop the tech skills you need for work and life
3 Strategies to Build Motivation in Students
Ways to stay motivated for the long haul..
Posted November 19, 2022 | Reviewed by Vanessa Lancaster
- What Is Motivation?
- Find a therapist near me
- Approaching learning from a place of “I’ll keep trying” impacts outlook and motivation.
- Based on the 360 thinking model, students begin a project or assignment by visualizing what the final product will look like.
- Having goal-oriented thoughts helps students stay on track through their academic journeys.
Academic journeys can feel like a long haul. Some students like it more than others. Given the online learning experiences during the pandemic, along with other stressors that continue to impact our lives, students have experienced a shift in how they learn. Many of my clients have shared their lack of motivation for school and their tendency to procrastinate with assignments. There are some great, evidence-based strategies that may help build some motivation for these students. Here are three that may help get you started:
1. Cultivate mastery-oriented self-talk .
In psychology research, there is a theory called self-attribution, which explores the differences between a helpless orientation ( intelligence is unchangeable, this is the way I am) and an incremental/ mastery orientation (effort expanded). Learning from a place of “Well, I am just really bad at this” creates a sense of helplessness and breaks down motivation. In comparison, approaching learning from a place of “I’ll keep trying” has an impact on outlook and motivation.
What are some real-world ramifications of these self-attributions? Research shows that those students that are taught incremental intelligence (in other words, the brain is plastic, and we can change our abilities) tend to show more motivation and improvement in grades. Caregivers and teachers can help by focusing on how much effort the child has put in and exploring what self-talk they can engage in (“I worked hard, and my effort paid off” versus “I did well because I am so smart”). When we simply focus on the idea “I am so smart,” the message the child may learn if they do not succeed is, “Well, I did not do as well here, so I must be stupid.” In other words, how we praise others matters as it can impact how they view themselves and their core identities.
2. The 360 Thinking
The “ 360 Thinking executive function model and program ,” developed by Kristen Jacobsen and Sarah Ward, helps teach the “how” skills that many students may lack when approaching tasks. Based on this model, students begin a project or assignment by making a plan of what the final product will look like visually. That is, students imagine looking into a crystal ball to see the “future” and to describe in detail how the final project will look, sound, and feel.
Multisensory learning has been shown to be of great value in solidifying learning and information-processing abilities, so why not practice these skills in our minds? Students are also asked how they would feel when their project is accomplished to build further motivation for this. These building blocks lead students to draw their “vision” and work backward by breaking down steps to achieve this vision. Students continue to use visualization here, such as having coloured aids to represent “done” (red), “do” (green), and “get ready” (yellow).
To stay motivated and on-task, students ask themselves three goal-oriented planning questions:
- “What will it look like when I am done?”
- “What steps do I need to take to match my done image?”
- “What materials will I need?”
3. Connect back to values to build intrinsic motivation .
Research tells us that building motivation helps to have specific values and goals in mind. Having goal-oriented thoughts helps us stay on track and ask ourselves, “Where do I want to go?” and “What is important to me?”
While sometimes having some extrinsic rewards (e.g., treating ourselves to a dessert or a movie after completing our tasks) can be of help, it is important to foster motivation from within. This may be done through the exploration of what matters and bringing it back to taking concrete steps toward this direction. Caregivers and teachers can provide some visuals and examples of values that children and youth can reflect on to help guide them back to what is important and build specific goals that help work toward these values.
As Russ Harris puts it, “Waiting until you ‘feel’ like doing something is like putting the cart before the horse. Don’t rely on feelings. Rely on values. Let them be your motivation.”
Katz, M. (2016). 360 Thinking: An Executive Function Model and Program. Promising Practices.
Ward, S. & Jacobsen, K. (2014). A Clinical Model for Developing Executive Function Skills in Perspectives on Language Learning and Education. American Speech Language-Hearing Association, 21, 72- 84.
Marina Heifetz, Ph.D. , is a clinical child and adolescent psychologist. She works with children, adolescents, and families in Toronto and is the director and owner of the Mindful Kids Psychology Centre.
- Find a Therapist
- Find a Treatment Center
- Find a Psychiatrist
- Find a Support Group
- Find Teletherapy
- United States
- Brooklyn, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Houston, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, DC
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Eating Disorders
- Passive Aggression
- Goal Setting
- Positive Psychology
- Stopping Smoking
- Low Sexual Desire
- Child Development
- Therapy Center NEW
- Diagnosis Dictionary
- Types of Therapy
As the lines between real and fake blur, Americans increasingly chase the idea of authenticity. The first step may be to consider self-knowledge, truthfulness, and other building blocks on the road to personal growth.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Affective Forecasting
9 Tips for Staying Motivated in College
Last Updated February 23, 2016
Success in college can depend on staying motivated and persevering despite periods of frustration. For those struggling with motivation, or finding difficulty balancing school, life and work, here are some tips to help you get back on track.
- Change your perspective – Your perspective can set the tone for how you experience your studies. While it’s true that some classes may seem more important than others, it’s also true that students are taking these classes for a bigger purpose. English classes can help professionals communicate more effectively in writing, for example, and basic coursework in general topics can serve as a foundation for more interesting specializations down the road.
- Prioritize high-impact tasks – It can be easy to become bogged down in coursework every night when you don’t have a plan. If you find yourself with an upcoming exam to study for and some general reading homework, you might benefit from prioritizing the exam. Getting studying out of the way first can help reduce stress and build confidence.
- Set small goals – With big presentations or papers, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Look at the project from the outside and create a plan for how to address it. In many cases, it can be useful to divide big tasks into smaller, achievable steps. Each time you complete one of these steps, you can gain the sense that you’re making progress toward the overall goal.
- Celebrate incremental successes – Celebrate the small achievements. While you don’t want to sidetrack yourself completely, rewarding yourself with small breaks or enjoyable activities can help you feel positive and motivated to keep working.
- Don’t let failure derail your focus – We all can experience setback from time to time. If something doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, try not to get discouraged. Failure can be an opportunity to assess what went wrong and use what you’ve learned to help propel success in the future. Keep reminding yourself that you can do better if you don’t give up.
- Set a Routine – It is important to make time for study as well as time for yourself. Set a routine that makes room for personal wellness and health in addition to the study time that allows you to reach your academic goals.
- Re-evaluate regularly – Your routine doesn’t need to be seen as set in stone. At set points every few weeks, it can be useful to consider what has worked and what hasn’t. Each of these moments can be an opportunity to reevaluate and make a fresh start, continually tweaking and refining the routine until it works well for your needs.
- Get support – In many cases, friends and family members can help you relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed . Taking the time to update friends, family and teachers on how you’re doing and where you’re having issues can open the door to good advice and increased motivation to keep trying.
- Remember the big picture – It’s sometimes easy to forget why you’re in college in the first place. All of the work you’re doing, whether big or small, is being done for a reason: To help you reach your goal of obtaining a certificate or degree and taking life in the direction you want to go. It can be helpful to remind yourself of this when you’re struggling with motivation and potential burnout.
The End Result
College can feel overwhelming at times. If you find yourself struggling with focus and motivation, take some time to consider what isn’t working and set reasonable goals. Even the biggest project or responsibility can be successfully handled if broken down into small, achievable steps. Keep pushing through and remember that all of this hard work will be worth it when you’ve finished your certificate or degree program.
Take the next step in your career with a program guide!
- Request Info Apply Now
- Find your Degree Program Bachelor's Degrees Master's Degrees Associate Degrees Undergraduate Certificates Graduate Certificates Individual College Courses
- Find your Area of Study Accounting Business Cyber Security Technology Engineering Technology Health
- Online Education Campus Locations
- Medical Billing & Coding Tech Certificates Women + Tech Scholars Program
- Understand Tuition Costs & Fees Payment Plans Student Loans
- Financial Aid How to Apply for Financial Aid Scholarship & Grants State-funded Programs Employer Tuition Assistance Military Benefits Alumni & Family Tuition Savings Contact Us
- Undergraduate Graduate Transfer Student International Military & Veteran High School Graduates Adult Learners
- Admission Process Our Academic Standards Our Faculty Accreditations Academic Catalogs Prior Learning Assessment School + Work Balance Understand Tuition Costs & Fees Contact Us
- Online Education How Online Classes Work? Find Campus Locations Learning with Technology
- Student Success & Testimonials Academic Calendar Academic Catalogs Alumni Network
- Our Guiding Principles Our Commitment Our Support Financial Aid School + Work Balance Student Online Tools DeVry Blog Disability Services Contact Us
- Career Resources Career Services How to Choose a Career Careers in Business Careers in Healthcare Careers in Technology
- About DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Management Accreditations
- Our Faculty Student Success & Testimonials AI Resource Center
- DeVry Blog Find Campus Locations Contact Us
Degrees & Programs
- By Degree Level Find your Degree Program Bachelor's Degrees Master's Degrees Associate Degrees Undergraduate Certificates Graduate Certificates Individual College Courses
- By Area of Study Find your Area of Study Accounting Business Cyber Security Technology Engineering Technology Health
- By Location Online Education Campus Locations
- Featured Programs Medical Billing & Coding Tech Certificates Women + Tech Scholars Program
Tuition & Financial Aid
- Tuition & Expenses Understand Tuition Costs & Fees Payment Plans Student Loans
- Paying for College Financial Aid How to Apply for Financial Aid Scholarship & Grants State-funded Programs Employer Tuition Assistance Military Benefits Alumni & Family Tuition Savings Contact Us
- By Applicant Type Undergraduate Graduate Transfer Student International Military & Veteran High School Graduates Adult Learners
- Admission Assistance Admission Process Our Academic Standards Our Faculty Accreditations Academic Catalogs Prior Learning Assessment School + Work Balance Understand Tuition Costs & Fees Contact Us
- Student Experience
- Learning Experience Online Education How Online Classes Work? Find Campus Locations Learning with Technology
- Academic Journey Student Success & Testimonials Academic Calendar Academic Catalogs Alumni Network
- Student CARE Our Guiding Principles Our Commitment Our Support Financial Aid School + Work Balance Student Online Tools DeVry Blog Disability Services Contact Us
- Career Support Career Resources Career Services How to Choose a Career Careers in Business Careers in Healthcare Careers in Technology
- AI Resource Center
- Workforce Solutions
- Center For Cybersecurity
- Transfer Students
- Student Portal Login
Have a question?
We are here to help. Connect with our DeVry University representatives.
Homeschool Motivation: 22 tips from Student Support Advisors
By DeVry University
April 17, 2020 8 min read
E-learning. For some parents it can be sensitive topic – and keeping kids engaged can be a challenging task. Whether they're struggling to focus or simply uninterested in a specific topic, finding the right way to pique their interest can be tricky. You're getting a glimpse at what it might be like to homeschool your children and maybe you’re recognizing that it’s more difficult than you thought.
That's why we went straight to our very own motivation gurus for their advice. Our Student Support Advisors here at DeVry University and our Keller Graduate School of Management work with college students on a daily basis to help them succeed as they pursue their education. Read on for some of their most helpful motivation tips that can be applied to any grade level:
1. Set a Schedule
Creating a schedule is a great way to set expectations for the day. Stefanie Cruise explains: “Having a set schedule displayed in a visual way can help all family members stay motivated and accountable.”
“Consider scheduling smaller blocks for study time mixed with larger blocks for creativity, fun and movement,” adds Dawn Etchason.
2. Create a Learning Space
Much like how you might have an impromptu or formal area for working from home, it can be helpful to try to dedicate a space specifically for homeschooling purposes. “Create a school-only area such as a desk or table in their bedroom, the home office or basement,” says Teresa Weringa. “This will help shift their mindset and improve their focus.”
3. Be Positive
“Positivity can go a long way,” says Hailey McNamara. “The ability to consistently look on the bright side is a key factor I have noticed in my students that frequently results in success.”
4. Highlight Their Successes
When students struggle with homeschool motivation it’s easy for them to lose sight of how far they’ve already come. “I always try to find something positive that they’ve accomplished to give them a little boost,” says Allison De La Garza. “Whether it’s a great job in another class, a great effort in this one or a specific struggle they've overcome, getting them to see the successes that they have had sometimes motivates them through the challenges they are facing.”
5. Make Learning Fun
Schoolwork doesn’t have to be tedious. With a little creativity and imagination, you can help make learning fun. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions:
“Turn assignments into games,” says Louis Mills. “This is huge for my three kids. For example, if they have to learn shapes or colors, we’ll all go outside on a treasure hunt and try and find the answers. It keeps them entertained and motivated to learn more.”
“Have each family member choose a fun or silly picture to add to your learning space,” says Peter Tureson.
“Create flash cards from homework questions,” says Constance Sarullo. “Then use the cards to create your own trivia game with the question on one side and the answer on the other.”
“Start a family competition of ‘who can get their work done first," says Weringa. “You can even offer a small reward, like letting the winner choose what game to play on family night.”
6. Set Daily Goals
“Try to incorporate recognition or set goals on a daily basis,” advises Erika Perez. Your children might be more motivated to complete their work if they understand the rewards that lie ahead – such as playing their favorite game or earning some screen time.
“Keeping goals fresh in their mind can be a great motivator,” adds Kyle Slack.
7. Use Available Tools
If you want your child to feel equipped to do their best work, “take advantage of all the resources their school has available,” suggests Jacklyn Verros.
Michelle Penton adds, “Try to think of what would be helpful to you if you were in their shoes. For example, tools like digital libraries are one way to help make research fun and easy.”
8. Leverage Online Resources
“Explore online homeschool resources or virtual museum tours ,” says Aysha Qureshi. “I do this with my own kids as it’s helpful to give them different activities and experiences to engage in.”
9. Spark Their Interest
Sometimes creating a personal connection can go a long way to increase homeschool motivation. Mills explains: “Determine what your child is struggling with in their assignments, and then consider what they like to do for hobbies. Now see if you can find a way to incorporate both in their studies.”
10. Cultivate Curiosity
“A curious student is a student who is open to learning,” says Demitri Palios. Encourage curiosity with at-home art, science and imaginative play activities.
11. Work on Time Management
“Try to work with your child on a time management plan – as this tends to ease stress,” explains Weringa.
Sara Nuzbach suggests students “map out a weekly schedule along with the amount of time they’ll be devoting to their schoolwork each day. This also helps them so they don’t feel like they’re scrambling at the last minute.”
12. Take a Day Off
When things start to get overwhelming for your child, “consider planning a day off during the week,” says Etchason. “Bake cookies, watch movies or just spend time together. Having a day off to look forward to will help the regular school activities seem more interesting.”
13. Break it Down
If your kids are struggling to manage their workload, “try breaking down tasks into more specific objectives or smaller tasks. This can help develop a sense of accountability,” explains Cruise.
Tureson agrees: “Set a series of small goals so they can see their progress. Then have checkpoints where they can reward themselves. If they’re working on a large assignment, break it up into smaller pieces. Once they reach a checkpoint, give them a break to grab a snack or stretch their legs.”
14. Connect with Teachers and Peers
Most students are used to learning in classrooms with their peers, so trying to restore a bit of that connection can go a long way. Qureshi says, “My sixth grader stays connected through regular Zoom meetings with her friends and music teacher.”
Jennifer Druck echoes this concept: “I help my first grader stay motivated by using Google Classroom to engage with his teachers and classmates. Reaching out and staying connected to my child's teacher is helpful for me as a parent, too.”
“Many times, the best thing to do is to say nothing!” exclaims Palios. “Just listen. This shows them that they have your attention and that you care about their well-being.”
“Sometimes they just need someone to hear them out,” echoes Mills. “Once they’ve had a chance to voice their concerns, you’ll have a better idea of how to help them manage their workload.”
16. Validate Their Feelings
Change can be difficult. “It's not unusual for students to have some days or weeks where they just aren't feeling it,” says Etchason. Reassure your child that you’re in this together, and that their feelings and emotions about COVID-19, school closures and missing their friends are completely normal.
17. Be Relatable
We’ve all had moments where we’ve struggled to stay motivated in school. “Try to relate your child’s situation to a specific time in your life. It will help them to know that they are not alone,” says Weringa. “Then talk about the things that helped you get out of that rut – maybe they can apply some of those ideas to their own situation.”
18. Find Solutions
Sometimes even the simplest solutions can help kids get motivated and back on track with their studies. “It really comes down to understanding what’s causing them difficulties and using the tools you have to resolve the situation,” explains Tureson. “Are they losing track of time? Older kids can use their smart phone to set reminders for themselves throughout the week. Stuck on a topic? Help them set up a time to connect with their teacher. Are they stressed? Talk about it. Sometimes just letting your child vent without providing any advice can help, too.”
19. Encourage Self-Evaluation
“Teach your child to be honest with themselves,” advises Palios. “It can be easy to trick ourselves into thinking that we are giving 110% when we actually are not. Blaming others, making excuses and putting things off are often tied to a lack of motivation.”
20. Talk About Career Goals
If your children are in high school, achieving good grades can be critical if they plan to pursue a college education . “Try to help them connect their career and personal goals with the material they are studying,” says Cruise.
“Sometimes just reminding students of their passion is a good trigger to spark some sort of motivation!” adds Weringa.
21. Take it One Day at a Time
“Since the onset of COVID-19, some students are just taking things one day at a time – and that's okay,” says Etchason. “What is your child’s biggest stress right now? What stress do they feel is the smallest or most manageable?” she recommends asking. Understanding their concerns and setting expectations accordingly can be a good first step towards getting them back on track.
“It also helps to remind them of how close they are to reaching their goal,” adds Sarullo. Help your children understand that the end of their school year is quickly approaching and summer vacation will be here before they know it.
22. Remember That It's Only Temporary
In unprecedented times like these, it’s easy to feel like this “ new normal ” might last forever. “Remind your children that this is just a phase and it’s only temporary,” says Aaron Hernandez.
A little reassurance can go a long way.
If you're interested in going back to school yourself and want to see how DeVry can support you on your journey, contact us .
Subscribe to the DeVry Blog
Filter Blog Post Category
- Industry Insights
- Professional Development
- DeVry Updates
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Student and Alumni Stories
- Program Area
12 Tips for Homeschooling During COVID-19
Free Homeschool Resources For Kids Of All Ages
By Degree Level
- Find Your Degree Programs
- Bachelor's Degrees
- Master's Degrees
- Associate Degrees
- Undergraduate Certificates
- Graduate Certificates
- Individual College Courses
By Area Of Study
- Find Your Area of Study
- Cyber Security
- Engineering Technology
- Online Education
- Find Campus Locations
- Medical Billing & Coding
- Tech Certificates
- Women + Tech Scholars Program
Tuition & Expenses
- Understand Tuition Costs & Fees
- Payment Plans
- Student Loans
Paying for College
- Financial Aid
- Scholarship & Grants
- State-funded Programs
- Employer Tuition Assistance
- Military Benefits
- Alumni & Family Tuition Savings
Admissions & Catalogs
- Admissions Overview
- Undergraduate Admissions
- Graduate Admissions
- Transfer Applicants
- Working Adult Applicants
- Academic Catalogs
Experience & Information
- Academic Calendar
- Transcript Requests
- Accountability Principles
- Title IX Information
- COVID-19 Updates and Online Resources
- About DeVry University
- Campus Locations
- Accreditation + State Authorization
- Student Testimonials
- Terms Of Service
- Careers at DeVry
- Accessibility statement
- Student Consumer Information
- Student Complaint Procedure
- California State Disclosures
- School Performance Fact Sheets
- DeVry University California BPPE Annual Report
- California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org . The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec . Naperville Campus: 1200 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/ . View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program. © DeVry Educational Development Corp. All rights reserved.
- Student Center
- back Research Colleges & Universities