Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and we agree with him. Education helps us understand where we came from, gives us the tools to change the present, and opens our minds to the possibilities of the future.

Now, if only we could convince our kids of that.

Not that we can blame them. When you’re sitting in a remote class struggling through pre-algebra, it’s hard to think of “changing the world.” But there are still ways to motivate your child to do better in school to equip them to change the world.

Really Listen

When we think about trying to motivate our kids to do better in school, our first instinct is often to start prepping a speech. But before you start reminding your kids about all the opportunities that you and your parents didn’t have, try to remind yourself how well a nine-hour lecture worked on you at their age.

There are a hundred things that could be keeping them from being motivated in school, such as:

  • Bullying
  • Anxiety
  • Insecurity
  • Too many responsibilities beyond schoolwork
  • Gap in knowledge or skill from a school switch
  • Not seeing the real-world application of coursework

Keep in mind, your child may not even know the reason for their lack of motivation themselves, and grilling them on it can be overwhelming. Help your child explore their feelings and read between the lines. That way, you can help them find a solution that works for them.

Implement Structure

Everyone has a different ideal studying environment. But if there is one common attribute that works for kids across the board, it’s the fact that most students do better with some sort of structure.

This is another scenario where you should listen first. Help your student identify what works better for them. Do they work better in the evening or morning? With silence or background noise? Use that information to help your student create a designated study hour every day.

Create a Space

Something that can help your student create structure is to give them a designated area where they can focus on their schoolwork without distraction. If you have the space, creating a home classroom is a fun way to make students excited about doing classwork.

But even if you don’t have the space for an entire room, you can always create a “study station.” This spot should feature:

  • An ergonomic desk setup
  • Internet access
  • An outlet
  • A spot for all their school supplies
  • Ample lighting
  • Few distractions

Also, be sure to give the young student in your life a say in how the space is decorated. Giving them a sense of autonomy over their space will remind them that they have the power to change the world around them. That can potentially translate into a sense of control over their schoolwork.