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How Are You Motivating Your 6Th-10th Grade Students to Do Well in School?

Parents how are you motivating your child to do well in school. (grades 6th -10th grade)?

What can I do next?

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Going to school and socializing is a form of learning. So you see, the child that gets up and goes to school every day and socializes with kids, teachers etc. is motivated in those areas and doing well. And please don't put all the "fault" emphasis on the child. Maybe the class, teacher, learning environment are not exciting or interesting enough to motivate a child to do well in that learning area/subject. If a child finds an activity exciting, interesting, and fun they will be motivated to do their best.

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Our youngest graduated from high school in 2009 and that was with honors, he maintained that all through his school career. We talked to our boys continually about the importance of education, how it is the foundation of having a better and easier life. We have always told them that success in life is a building process and that education is vital to a strong foundation. Besides just talking to them we followed their progress through conferences, checking grades, talking to their teachers, looking for the areas that needed improvement and being involved in the school and all their activities. Even though my husband and I both worked full-time jobs we maintained a constant presence at the school in all of their activities. When a parent is involved and the child knows they are part of the process and not just relying on the teachers it just becomes part of the routine, they accept it as part of their life. We never just "sent" our kids to school. I sometimes feel like I went through school a second time. One other thing that helps motivate older teens is having them work menial or labor intensive jobs. It's always a good opportunity for them to learn that if they don't want to do work like that the rest of their life the door is open right now to do whatever it is in life they want.


1 mom found this helpful

Going to school and socializing is a form of learning. So you see, the child that gets up and goes to school every day and socializes with kids, teachers etc. is motivated in those areas and doing well. And please don't put all the "fault" emphasis on the child. Maybe the class, teacher, learning environment are not exciting or interesting enough to motivate a child to do well in that learning area/subject. If a child finds an activity exciting, interesting, and fun they will be motivated to do their best.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.---I agreee with others that parental involvement is the key. You may need to address the kids apathy from that angle. I'd bet that will be even harder, but without the parents expectations for their children's success, I'm afraid that most of the kids will only work hard enough to get by.

When addressing the issue of grades, my husband told our kids that good grades insured options. If a student aspires to being a ditch digger, he or she can do so, even with a straight A average. But if that student suddenly decided he wants to be a professional, a doctor, lawyer, any career goal that requires good grades, then the student is set up for success.

We expected our children to do well. Our older two were given a little more lattitude, and while they are successful people, we could have, and should have required more of them through high school. Our youngest, who just graduated HS, is starting at MSU with 19 credits because we insisted on AP classes, something we didn't do with our older two. We have been much more involved with his school 'career', and plan to do so all through college.

Another idea might be to address the social needs of kids this age. They are usually so busy with activities after school, that socialization is very difficult. And there are very few parks or other activities for teens outside of school. Any time there is a gathering of them, the police will get involved because they suspect the worst. If a time for their social needs could be addressed within the school setting for a short time, maybe then they would be able to 'focus' better on their academics.

I hope this is of some value. But unfortunately, the most effective solution to this problem requires parental involvement, and how to reach them is the million dollar question. Good luck. D.

I have always told my children how important school is and that they WILL go to college even if I have to drag them there kicking and screaming!
They are not allowed to do anything after school until their homework is done, that includes TV, chores or going out with their friends! My daughter is so used to it she comes straight home and gets her homework done!
If their grades start to fall they get grounded until they go up. Being grounded in our house means they lose everything.
I want my kids to have a better start on their lifes then I I did so I stress how important school is.

I think accountability and parent involvement are important and being involved with their xtra curricular activities so you are spending the max amount of time with them. I have an 8th grader and I am constantly reviewing the "plan" for the week the night....we might review the "plan" for the project. I always stress with him what is the "plan"? If you don't have one I will help make one. He has to balance then what is coming up due with his extra activities and often is working right after school to get things done. I have been exposed to some of his friends not as successful as him and I stess the "plan" thing with them too. He had a friend girl who was failing Math (E) I said what is your "plan" and she told me she had not turned in assignments I then suggested that getting those in is should be her goal and her plan. I also followed up with her the next week asking her if she had done what she committed to she had not so then I reviewed the plan and her committment. How I felt she could do it and it would help her. I also called her mom (takes a village to raise a child theory) and suggested she needed help....her mother thanked me and was able to help her get her grade up. The young lady told us when she got her stuff in and I made a huge deal about her getting her stuff in even though it was late she did the best she could and what did she learn. I think sometimes the kids get lost along the way and don't know how or don't have help to find their way again. Or they think the mistake is so bad that it can't be fixed and they give up.

Hello J., I found several things that helped. It is a matter of a balanced life that is the most important. When children know the rules and boundries are going to be inforced each and every time, then it gives them a sence of safty. They know that others are in control so they do not need to waste energy contoling thier own lives. Releiving this fear is hugh. Another thing is to trust them with goals of maturing. The summer before entering Jr. High I gave them each their own alarm clock and told them this was a mile stone in life to not have mom and dad wake them up each morning. They practiced this skill during vacaction, and when school started back up, were proud of there maturing status in life. I did a simulare thing for High School. Due to the age of cloths being important I bought them their own cloths baskets, and taught them to wash, dry, iron, etc. Extra coriculare activities were only available if their grades kept up. They could chose what they wanted to be involved in, so that they felt like they were building their lives themselves. But, that was removed if schooling was ignored. Hope these tips help. Good luck.

My daughter will be in 7th grade this year & we talk to her about the importance of school & grades. I am back in school now & she sees me studying & working to get good grades. I express how important a good education is & how it's easier to do it when your young, before children, etc... My husband also gives her money for being on honor roll & more $ if all A's. Phone priveledges are taken away if grades are not good. I suggest getting students to look ahead & put down what they want to do in life or take in college & focus on the goal. Then work a plan to meet the goal. Good luck!

We have raised many motivated children. Our last child is just entering high school. While we have very little extra money, we do give our children money for good grades. All A's get 20 dollars, but if not- it is a dollar per A and 50 cents per B, and 0 for a C and then for a D they take off 50 cents from the total and must take off a dollar for an E. If they get all A's all year they also get to pick out a favorite restaurant and go out to eat with us! Once the oldest child did so well, the rest followed in line. We have had most of our children in the top ten as graduates and also a few valedictorians. The older children have also been very helpful with questions about homework with the younger ones. We have very stellar adult children now and all with a college education - with the younger ones working toward that. ... We also believe in giving them a good understanding of God's Word. I always started the kids out with a Bible story and prayer before sending them out the door. They all have gone to public schools (including Charter). They also receive an extra day of education I believe, by going to church on Sunday. Here they learn about history and music and other people in other countries and meet people from all over the area- but especially to start with wisdom-- they learn about "The Fear Of The Lord". Pray for and with your children too! Show you are interested- we never ever missed a single grade school or jr. high parent teacher conference! We have ten children.

I am applauding Sue C. on her commitment to parental involvement. Although I am the parent of a 2nd grader (and PTO Veep), I believe Sue hits the nail on the head......as parents, we have to stay involved through the end of their secondary education (okay, in college you can probably let up a little - they're adults by then). But I also believe parents have to start the involvement when the kids are young - to set the ground rules, guide them, tweak the involvement when they see potential problems arising....it's not something you can do and then forget about....it's a honing process that lasts until they are safely ensconced in a high-paying job that will support you in your old age - haha!

I don't think there IS a sure cut way. I have 3 boys all out of high school. I encouraged them, I had to use threat tactics, anything I could think of. And it still all came down to if they themselves have a reason. My oldest barely graduated by the skin of his teeth. Middle son is currently attending Washtenaw Comm. and aiming for a teaching degree. My youngest is in the air force and is planning his future.
But my oldest and youngest, being very much alike, did not possess the most flattering grades. They have the smarts but I couldn't motivate them. The youngest did better by far than the oldest, and the middle better than they did. They're all 3 second degree black belts, and very good at instructing a class. But while the oldest and youngest live out of state, and would like to keep up with taekwondo the middle one is still in the area and actually could but doesn't for some reason. he's dropped

Hi J.,

I have a 10th grader and an 8th grader, both are special needs kids. I've found it to be very important to keep in touch with teachers at all times. They boys are allowed to keep up their work themselves during the week but if they don't have everything in on time then they loose weekend privledges especially video games. For every day the assignment is late they get an additional day after it's been completed and turned in without privleges. (ie: assignment is 2 days late (Due Wed.), takes them a day to finish (Sat.) and turn in (Mon.), they loose an additonal 2 days of lost privleges(Mon & Tues). If it's due Friday and finished Saturday they get privleges back on Monday and I talk to the teachers every day the following week to be sure things get turned in on time. The week after we go back to honor system for a week. It doesn't take long to get them back on track. They like their freedome and the video games.

Hope this helps - S.

I have a 7th grader and 12th grader right now. I think the difference between their success and others comes down to the attitudes of my husband and I. We have always stressed the need to do well in school. We have also been very involved in keeping up with how well they are doing in school with the use of the internet and on line resources the schools offer. I know immediately if an assignement was late or missed or how they scored on a test and they know I am monitoring this. We have set the expectations of what we expect from the time they started kindergarten. We expect them to do their best. I have always said if getting a B in physics or calculus is the best you can do than that is fine - but subjects like spelling where you have to memorize a list of words - there is no excuse to not get an A if you study. At that age they also get to pick electives. So as much as I don't see the benefits of Art and theatre - my daughter has a passion for it so she knows she gets to take those kind of classes as long as she is exceling in her math, science and english classes. We offer a ton of positive encourgement. I don't just talk to them about a B or C they might have gotten on a test - I am on the phone as soon as they get home from congratulating them on the A they got. It is important to offer encouragment and positive reinforcement. However we do not pay them for good grades like some parents do. Different kids are motivated different ways. Fortunately our involvment and encouragement seems to work for both of our kids.

I have to say we have been very lucky so far and haven't really had to address this issue. I can tell you though that we have always told/taught our kids (we have 4) that we will accept nothing less than their best in school and so (unless the have a legit disability) they need to do well. We have tried hard to express to our kids that right now school is the best opportunity they have to be successful in life and so they need to make the most of it. I believe that if it ever became an issue for us then we would begin taking away privileges (tv, video games, extracurricular activities, etc.) until they bring their grades up.

I think your question doesn't have a simple answer that would apply to all kids, but I wish more parents would think about this issue. I believe there are too many parents that allow their kids to kick back and not live up to their potential.

I have three children involved in many extra curricular activities. If kids are not involved in something that interests them, they won't be motivated. Let's face it Algebra isn't that exciting, but if it is a necessary evil to get to soccer or dance practice then it gets done. I set a standard of straight A's or no activities. I think because so many kids aren't motivated the school accept a C as OK. Not in my house. However as a society we are accepting lower standards and maybe we'll get a bail out from the government. I have told my kids that they will pay for the current bail out system we're in and they need to be prepared and well educated to get through their adult life. Let the kids fail and then when they do have success it means something. We don't let our kids fail at young ages and then everyone gets the trophy at the end...our kids learn that they don't have to work to be rewarded. Actually I think a little failure will do more motivation than several pats on the back for a medicore job.

Get them involved in something they have a passion for!

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