How to get kids motivated for the new school year

Kids at school. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kids at school. (Photo: Getty Images)

With the summer holidays being over a month long your children are going to find it hard to discover their motivation to go back to school.

Spirits will definitely be dampened and focusing will prove to be difficult as they struggle to switch from holiday mode to real-life mode.

There are simple things as a parent, or even as a teacher, you can do pro-actively before the start of the new year to create intrigue for a world your children would deem dull and monotonous.

The number one problem with children going back to school is often they're not sure what the lessons they're learning are going to be used for in the future.

Before the holiday ends, or even during term time, cultivate the idea that the lessons they're about to embark at school are linked to the exciting world around them.

Pull your children away from the screen and take them on an exciting learning adventure where you show them how the lessons they are going to be taking now can be implemented in the future.

Show your children that skyscrapers are built with maths they're going to learn at school, take them to a planetarium and connect the science they'll be learning in the new year were the foundations to discovering a new planet, whatever your excursion is make it fun, interesting and motivating.

Taking your children on these voyages of discovery will not only motivate them for the new schooling year, but inspire them to achieve a long term goal.

Also see: Back to school! All you need to know 

Learning with your kids

As parents, we like to pretend to our children that we know it all but, as is often the case, being honest is a far better option. Admit to your children you need to learn something and let them come along, remember that the lesson you undertake should be interesting and fun for all ages.

For example, take your children to a cooking class if you have no idea how the culinary arts work. Your example of learning being fun will inspire, and motivate, your children to go back to school with a positive attitude.

Even though you might now know everything, you are in the unique position - as an adult - to start teaching your children about lessons coming up in the new year by posing simple questions.

Take note of their interests

Children are motivated to solve problems, even if they are just simple questions. Make sure these little problems you pose can be related to your children's' interests.

The better you are able to link these little questions to their particular interest, the better motivated they'll be to find the solution in class throughout the academic year ahead.

If your kids have hobbies they can form a good basis for learning, because even at a young age, every skill they take to learning themselves is another feather in their cap.

Whether it's rock climbing, building empires on a computer or even pottery, motivation for the new schooling year could be generated by linking these hobbies to subjects they will be learning at school this year.

Allow your children to come to a conclusion that with the lessons they will be learning at school, they could improve with their hobbies.

Friends are more important than we realise

Though the holiday is coming to an end, every child has one positive motivation to return to school - seeing their friends.

This might seem like a counter-intuitive way to motivate your children to become enthusiastic about learning, but school is more than the lessons taught in the classroom, it's also about learning how to interact with others.

Interacting with classmates also provides another important motivation tool - competition.

A little competition is always healthy when it's cultivated to improving grades.

Remember every child is unique and special in their own way. There is no wrong way of motivating your children, but remember, learning is better when it's fun.

If learning becomes fun for them, their motivation for the new academic year won't be dampened, it'll grow.

Chat back:

How do you get your kids motivated for school at the beginning of the academic year? 

Share your story with Parent24. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

5 tips to get back to school ready

Keep their gear in tip-top shape

Is your child gifted?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 936 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
53% - 5242 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
34% - 3305 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 322 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.