As a former teacher, I believe the most important motivational tool is setting education as a priority in your home. Start early. Children intrinsically want to please their parents. If you show your child that academics are important to you, it will become important to them.
Scholastic Parents has a very nice article titled 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn. Here are a few of their suggestions:
- Show enthusiasm for your child’s interests and encourage him/her to explore subjects of interest
- Point out the new things you learn with enthusiasm
- Encourage him to express his opinion, talk about his feelings, and make choices
- Ask about what he’s learning in school, not about grades or test scores
- Focus on strengths and encourage the development of talents
- Turn everyday events into learning opportunities
Go to Scholastic for the full article and all of the suggestions with details about implementation.
I would like to add:
- Make education a priority in your home
- Let your child see you reading, writing, and/or studying
- Set expectations and help your child set goals
- Offer gentle encouragement and suggest possible strategies for remediation (peer study buddy, before or after school help from teacher, tutor) when a subject is difficult for him/her to grasp
- Help them become resilient
- Verbalize that you are proud of your child’s successes (cheer like you’re at his/her sports event)