Motivation

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Motivation is the key to student achievement. Children begin school with their own set of abilities, talents and levels of motivation. Although high motivation and school engagement are linked to reduced dropout rates and increased levels of success, year after year it seems to be a struggle to keep students engaged in school and motivated to succeed.

Parents are the starting point in establishing kids’ attitudes about school and achievement. The more support provided to learning and educational progress, the more children tend to remain motivated to continue school. Support for children’s school performance and involvement can vary from family to family. Parental support can include the following:

One) Modeling why learning, self-discipline, and hard work are important, by:

a. Setting long-term goals, and 
b. Supporting teacher assignments, school standards, and standards of behavior.

Two) Setting realistic expectations, by:

a. Stating your expectations for schoolwork and behavior, and 
b. Establishing a communication system between you and your child’s teacher. . Three) Providing structure and monitoring, by:

a. Establishing daily routines for studying and homework, bedtime, and meals, and 
b. Monitoring activities such as TV watching and telephone use.

And Four) Knowing what’s going on at school, by.

a. Showing interest in your child’s progress at school, and 
b. Providing assistance with schoolwork when needed.

Keeping children motivated can be difficult. However, if you begin using examples when they are young, you will establish consistency and practice, which should help increase your child’s motivation.

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This segment originally aired on April 27, 2014. Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.