Your child is struggling academically? Motivation plays a big role

Sep 3, 2022 | Red Deer

Factors influencing academic success

Education is by nature a long-term process, and there is a learning curve to acquiring knowledge. Most of our students who come to our centre start from behind the curve, and when they stay long enough they can catch up with their math at school and when they stay longer, they will get ahead. Well .. how long does it take to catch up? That really depends on the individual, as each student is different. There are many factors such as how far the gaps are, how consistent they come, the pace of their learning, etc. But above all, the most important thing – and we cannot stress this enough – is the child’s mindset and motivation.

A child’s educational outcomes depend on two factors: cognitive and non-cognitive skills, which are influenced by nature and nurture. Cognitive skills refer to traits like working memory and abstract reasoning or problem solving. Non-cognitive skills refer to characteristics such as academic motivation, social skills, learning strategies and perseverance.

From our experience, kids who have limited cognitive skills but have strong motivation will always make progress according to their pace. But kids who do not take their work seriously will get stuck; and we – tutors and teachers – can only do so much with someone who is not interested in learning.


Academic success depends on a student’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills, which both are influenced by nature and nurture; but the student’s inner motivation to learn – which is part of non-cognitive traits – is pivotal. In learning, along with other things in life, hard work always pays-off.


It takes a village to raise a child

When your child is struggling, find out the reason by firstly talking to your child and their teacher. Is it because of factors related to cognitive skills or non-cognitive skills?  Is it because they have learning difficulties or is it because of their lack of motivation? Do they daydream in the class, doodling most of the time, or keep talking to others? And if they lack motivation, what is the root cause? Is it because they find that the methods do not make sense, the learning environment is not engaging, they are being too obsessed with their passion or interest etc.? Or simply they do not see any point in learning?

Without understanding what is causing them to not perform academically and just simply sending them to a tutorial program and expecting that it will work wonders is not realistic.

It takes a village to raise a child. This well-known proverb tells us the meaning of community and how important it is to get support from others for helping you raise your chid. When zooming in into a child’s academic progress, collaboration between parents, teachers, tutors and the student themselves is needed. Each should play their own role: Parents are parenting, teachers are teaching, tutors are tutoring, and students are studying. We don’t expect teachers or tutors taking over the role of parents, do we (unless perhaps you are homeschooling and teaching your own kids). Let us all commit together to create the best environment for our child to flourish and grow, starting with the best ingredient of all: the child’s inner motivation!


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Does your child need extra support in math? Mathnasium of Red Deer is your neighbourhood’s math-only learning centre, and we are here to unlock your child’s potential and set them on a path to lifetime success. Our centre director, Riwan, and the whole team, would be happy to meet you! We are conveniently located in the shopping destination area in Red Deer: 5250 22nd St, Unit 30 B – at the Gaetz Avenue Crossing shopping centre, in the same area as Chapters Indigo/Starbucks, Michael Arts, Petland and Ashley, and the phone number is 403-872 MATH (6284). 

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