Sunday, August 5, 2012


9-year-olds can be quite a challenge some days. Even though children at that age usually enjoy learning, they sometimes become easily distracted or resistant to their schoolwork.

Here are a few suggestions for motivating your third grader:

*Limit distractions in your homeschool area. That means no t.v., radio, or even cell phones ringing (set your phone to vibrate).
*Set easy-to-follow rules. Create three or four rules that put a positive spin on the schoolwork that you expect her to do. For example, "Try your hardest" or "Do your best" are general statement rules that can help to motivate your child. Add rules about time so she will know how long she must work. Third-graders can typically work for at least 30 minutes on one task or assignment.
*Set specific goals, and link them to positive outcomes. For example, tell your child that you expect her to complete a set of 20 addition and subtraction problems, getting at least 18 correct. If she accomplishes this, then she will earn a choice of a sticker, a special pencil, or whatever treat you wish. Track her progress with a fun chart so she can also see how well she is doing.
*Always give her positive encouragement. Be your third-grader's most vocal cheerleader. Focus on the positive aspects of her work. For example, if the assignment is to write 10 vocabulary words, comment on how neat her handwriting is or how well she is spelling the words.
*If your third-grader seems completely uninterested in the schoolwork at hand, try to connect it to something that appeals to her. For example, use the names of favorite characters during a language arts assignment or math word problem.
*Rough words, yelling, punishments, grounding or overly restrictive consequences will not motivate your child to excel. A too-strict learning environment may instill more fear than encouragement.

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