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momchiroto2

How do you increase self motivation without the use of rewards?

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I feel that I am always nagging and having to resort to rewards to get my children to do school work. There is whining and frustaration all around unless I offer some reward. :tongue_smilie: Any tips on encouraging them to increase their own self direction and motivation?

 

Thank you!

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Natural consequences? In our family, we work before we play. It may depend on the ages and number of children you have, though.

 

The sooner you are done, the sooner you can go play. Don't nag. What about telling them you're available to help until x o'clock, then your "school day" is done. At that time, clean up your own stuff (your pen, IGs, whatever) and walk out. They may do the same when their work is done?

 

Do you have some days where you go to the park, the pool, run errands? If they aren't done, they don't go. Only works if your (slow) children are old enough to stay home by themselves, or someone else is available to woatch them. If none of your children are ready, you could all stay home, but I would wander off and do my own thing at the pre-announced time. Don't nag!

 

Again, depends on your children's age.

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We do the same as the above poster. We leave the house almost every afternoon, for gymnastics or the pool or the park or whatever.

 

Anyone who didn't finish their work packs it up and brings it along. They miss their gymnastics lesson or whatever and sit in the lobby and work until it is done. Each of my kids has had to sit and work exactly once while the others did their fun activity. :)

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We instituted monthly conferences. DS and I would get donuts and hot cocoa and just chat about what was working, what wasn't, what he'd like to do..it was nice, and got him more interested in taking charge of his education.

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Pack it up with you! Of COURSE!! lol - why on earth didn't I think of that? :001_huh: thanks :tongue_smilie:

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If they whine I assign pushups or extra chores to be done. After they are finished they may come back and do their school work. And there is no computer time until school is done. Now if my eldest is the one getting upset, 95% of the time it means he just needs a break, he really is trying - so it depends on the kid.

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We instituted monthly conferences. DS and I would get donuts and hot cocoa and just chat about what was working, what wasn't, what he'd like to do..it was nice, and got him more interested in taking charge of his education.

 

Really sweet. I'm going to try this. Don't know if it'll work, but I'm open!

 

One reason I don't like to pack up study supplies and take with us -- I've lost curriculum. It's scary to do that.

 

Alley

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Well, in my house, the best way to increase self-motivation is by teaching good habits. And unfortunately, I have not found a better way to teach good habits than giving some sort of reward. But the reward is usually not tangible, like candy or money. For example, my dd really likes having one-on-one time with a parent. I did teach my kids to clear their places after meals with a candy bar. But they had to fill up a whole jar with marbles first (which took a couple of weeks), and then they had to split the candy bar. We did it one more time, and after that, it had become a habit.

 

I have also used schedules and "to-do" lists fairly successfully. I only have to ask dd to look at her list and decide what needs to be done next. She still needs to be reminded to check that list every time she finishes each thing, but she doesn't seem to mind the reminders.

 

I have also used consequences, as in no TV or computer for anyone until everyone's work is done. Sometimes it doesn't quite seem fair to my younger ds to have to wait for his older sister, but it is helpful to her because she gets very discouraged otherwise. OTOH, if I see she is really procrastinating or getting distracted, I will tell her that he will get to watch TV without her, and she will not get TV time at all, because it is just not fair to make him wait like that.

 

I also very much believe in what a PP said about giving their children some say in their education and then making them accountable. My children are still very young, but my dd7 has a long list of interests. So she makes goals which I try to support her working toward. The 3 R's must get done first, after which she has a lot of say in how she uses her time.

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I feel that I am always nagging and having to resort to rewards to get my children to do school work. There is whining and frustaration all around unless I offer some reward. :tongue_smilie: Any tips on encouraging them to increase their own self direction and motivation?

 

Thank you!

 

I keep my children in a set routine. This seems to help them stay motivated and moving in the right direction, because it makes it easier for them to know what is expected and when.

 

For example, I print out a schedule for them and tape it to their assigned spot by their seat. They then know what is expected of them when they start and when it is expected to be done. They also know that when they are done, the extra time they have is theirs, and so they seem to want to get to that time.

 

I also try to catch them 'being good', and compliment them on this. It seems to reinforce to them what I see as acceptable behavior.

 

The above usually works, but when it does not I usually tell them they will lose some privilege. For example they could lose there 'computer time' for one day. Losing something they enjoy or look forward to doing seems to work effectively. It is at times necessary that they have to lose the privilege and 'feel that loss' for it to really affect them. Next time they will usually try to change their behavior for the better. ;)

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I found that rewards were counterproductive. When he was in pre-K, his teacher had a "treasure box" that the kids could go in if they did well that day so I started that in my house. I saw no increase in attentiveness or getting things done in a timely matter. I began to instead emphasize how hard my child was working. I began to rejoice with him when he figured out a tough concept and talk about how hard he worked to achieve that. We celebrate achievements in school when Dad comes home. I also show him when I am having to work hard on something (such as teaching myself Latin). He began to do the work because he wanted to learn and to do things on his own. He began to even do a little extra work sometimes. Figuring things out became his reward and he is getting very self motivated.

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We instituted monthly conferences. DS and I would get donuts and hot cocoa and just chat about what was working, what wasn't, what he'd like to do..it was nice, and got him more interested in taking charge of his education.

 

I like that. We do this in a way with goal setting and portfolios.

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I found that rewards were counterproductive. When he was in pre-K, his teacher had a "treasure box" that the kids could go in if they did well that day so I started that in my house. I saw no increase in attentiveness or getting things done in a timely matter. I began to instead emphasize how hard my child was working. I began to rejoice with him when he figured out a tough concept and talk about how hard he worked to achieve that. We celebrate achievements in school when Dad comes home. I also show him when I am having to work hard on something (such as teaching myself Latin). He began to do the work because he wanted to learn and to do things on his own. He began to even do a little extra work sometimes. Figuring things out became his reward and he is getting very self motivated.

 

Thank you for this.

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We instituted monthly conferences. DS and I would get donuts and hot cocoa and just chat about what was working, what wasn't, what he'd like to do..it was nice, and got him more interested in taking charge of his education.

 

What a wonderful idea. I will definitely be incorporating this :)

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I think giving a kid some say and a real stake in their own education is important. This can be something as simple as choosing which order to do subjects in to helping choose curricula all the way up to actually choosing topics and subjects to study. Even though I'm not an unschooler I have a real soft spot for that philosophy - especially when it comes to content areas.

 

I also think connecting skills to real world situations always helps. Rewards can work when its a logically connected to the skill "Sorry, but I can't send you to the snack bar by yourself until you can figure correct change exactly." Obviously this gets harder as the learning gets more abstract but I think something like "Yeah, I know that fun looking science camp doesn't require higher math, but its a lot of money for our family so I really need to see some level of seriousness in your math and science studies before we sign up" can also work.

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For us, I find that it works best if I'm not giving quid pro quo rewards, but if I build in ways for learning to just be rewarding and enjoyable sometimes. So things like poetry teas are a perfect example for me of making something that has a reward (the fancy dishes, the tea, the scones, etc.) built into it. So it becomes not, "if you read ten poems, then you get to have a cookie," but "we gather to enjoy poetry and cookies together at this time as part of our routine." The together part is also important for us - whenever I do things with the kids, whether it's math, writing, games, whatever, then I find they are much more motivated and engaged.

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Model it very vocally. :001_smile: (I talk out loud about what I need to do, how to accomplish it, things I don't want to do and why I need to do them anyway, goals I set, etc.)

 

Also, consider that it make time to break them of rewards if you have been using them. You might need to get through some whining and complaining to come out the other side.

 

For me, not having any artificial constructs around their work has been helpful: no rewards, no systems, no tricks, etc. (Try not reading homeschool blogs and their "good ideas" for a while, if you have to. :lol:)

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