2 Months Left in School: How To Keep Your Kid Motivated in Math?

Apr 4, 2018 | Cambridge

With only a few months left until the end of the school year and summer break on the horizon, there's a strong chance young learners’ motivation levels may be dropping significantly in anticipation of the lazy days ahead. Here are some ways to help your child finish the school year strong and keep him or her engaged with what’s going on in math class—and school in general—as the weather outside heats up: 

•  Talk with your child. A daily check-in sends the message that school is important (and reestablishes it as a priority amid the planning for summer activities). It also reminds your child that you’re interested in what’s going on in class and are there to help! If your child seems less enthusiastic about math and school than usual, ask meaningful questions that provide insight into internal motivators and use those as a starting point as you provide inspiration. 

•  Two words: positive reinforcement. Give your child some well-deserved praise and celebrate accomplishments when warranted! Be specific—statements such as “Wow! That’s a really creative solution you came up with for that word problem!” or “I can tell you put a lot of work into this!” carry more weight and hold more meaning than a simple “Great job!” 

If you find your child feeling dejected when a test or school assignment doesn’t go as planned, keep the positive vibes going! Together, have a look at your child’s work and go over questions missed. If problem areas extend beyond a bad day at school, consider seeking outside help. Tackling these types of issues as a team shows your child that he or she has a great support structure in place, and most importantly, teaches an important life lesson about handling perceived failure and setbacks with grace, levelheadedness, and renewed determination.

•  Celebrate victories and reward kids for their efforts… within reason. Share success by taking the entire family out to a nice dinner after your child completes a particularly difficult project. Reward smaller-scale accomplishments with an extra hour of TV or game time on weekends. Use rewards sparingly—this strategy could easily backfire and make your child less productive (and more prone to bargaining) in the long term if invoked in excess!

•  Promote healthy lifestyles and appropriate work & play balance while holding young learners accountable for completing schoolwork. If your child seems especially restless and resistant to the established study routine, get involved and switch things up a bit while making sure they still have enough time to attend to the serious stuff. Give kids a little extra time to unwind after school if they seem particularly burned out. Keep them fueled with healthy meals and snacks—nothing kills motivation faster than a sugar crash! Also, too much time indoors can make kids feel antsy—work in some active playtime and make sure your child gets enough exercise. Finally, mixing learning and fun never hurt anyone—play some math games together or better yet, gather your child and some friends together for a fun day at the museum! Stop by our center for a list of fun math games that can be played with a deck of cards!

If your child has not done as well in math this year as you had hoped, they very likely have some underlying gaps.  

Many children due, to no fault of their own. Mathnasium of Cambridge specializes in identifying underlying gaps and weaknesses and filling them in so kids can make sense of math! We offer a complimentary, diagnostic math assessment to pinpoint their problem areas. Call us today to get on the schedule for an assessment! 519-623-6668.

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