Motivation Holds the Key

This month’s student strategy is actually written for your child. It is an example of one of the messages in the End Homework Hassle (EHH) E-Learning course. EHH is a program that sends daily emails to your child/teen’s email inbox with tips, strategies and information about learning. Please feel free to copy it into an email to your child.

Motivation is that hidden power that gets you to do something that you might not have otherwise wanted to do. It has been defined as an “incentive, drive or desire to do.” It is the inspiration that pushes you to score that goal, or ace that test. It can help you keep at something when you would prefer to quit.

Now I know that it can be difficult to motivate yourself when it comes to school stuff. I get that. But without understanding the “why” behind what you are doing, you may never find that extra motivation to get you through the tough times.

They say there are two types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. Some people are motivated by external or extrinsic rewards – things that can be bought or received (games, toys, $). Others are motivated by internal or intrinsic rewards. Intrinsic motivation is like the special feeling an “A” brings, or that feeling of pride in yourself when you make the honor roll. I think there are two other types of motivation – pain and pleasure. For those that are motivated by pain, they work harder to avoid the “pain” (getting grounded or losing the computer). Those motivated by pleasure are motivated to get things done in order to be rewarded like extra time with friends, or staying up later. So, once you know which motivates you, you can create options for increasing your own motivation.

Today I’d like you to think about what motivates you. What gives you that extra energy or incentive to push harder when you really don’t want to? Is it extrinsic, intrinsic, pain or pleasure motivated? Why are you working hard to get good grades and what helps push you to work your best? Share with your parents and get them on your team. You are half way through the school year… knowing this and using it, can help you through the rest of the year.

What is your key to motivating yourself? Finding your “why” and making it important. That will help you push through when the homework or the studying gets tough because you have a reason that is important to you. You have found what motivates you.

Motivation holds the key!

Back to School Euphoria Meets Reality

Are you frustrated yet?
Are you frustrated yet?

Are you frustrated yet? It is only week two for many of you but I am already hearing about the homework hassles. The first couple of days the kids came home and got right to their homework. Then as the week went by that back to school euphoria seemed to fade and the struggle began.

The kids slipped back into their routine and you probably slipped back into yours. Is this how you want it to be this year? If so, then keep on following Einstein’s definition of insanity that says, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If you have had enough and are ready to seriously make some changes, then now is the time.  It is not too late to take a look at what is happening at home during homework time and figure out ways to “fix” it. Talk with your child; they are almost certainly just as unhappy as you are. They may feel powerless to do anything about it, but together you might be able to come up with some ideas that will take some of the pressure off.

Here are a few things to get you started:

1. Timing? If your child is doing homework after the time they should be in bed then start right in within 30 minutes of them getting home don’t wait until after dinner to start. Chunk homework into sessions of about 30 minutes of work with a 5 minute break.

2. Environment? Do you put all the kids at the kitchen table so you can keep an eye on them while they work? Some kids need quiet, some need to work on the floor, and some just like to be close enough to hear others around. What does your child prefer?

3. Motivation? What is in it for your child? Rewards for great report cards are often too far away to provide any real motivation. Kids want things now. So what is it they can do when their homework is finished? Go to bed? For some of us, that would make us happy, but kids want to play. Make sure each day there is time for them to play and relax and do what makes them happy. If they have something to look forward to, they may be more motivated to get their “work” done first so they can enjoy their reward.

If you have found these tips to be helpful and would like to have someone else remind your child to do their homework, clean out their backpack, or start that long term project today then check out our E-Learning program that sends a daily email to teach, organize and coach your child to a successful year. What are you waiting for?