For some children, school -- with its strict teachers, lunchroom bullies and insurmountable piles of homework -- inspires a fear of weekdays instead of a love of learning. Many students view education as an obligation rather than a privilege, and fail to fully engage in their studies as a result. By promoting a positive attitude toward school, you can help children gain enthusiasm for their scholastic journey, acquire a passion for knowledge and ultimately become lifelong learners.
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Lead By Example
Children frequently adopt attitudes and opinions held by the adults they look up to -- and academic enthusiasm is no exception. As "Columbus Parent" magazine explains, students typically hold a more positive attitude toward school if their parents clearly value education. Make an effort to attend parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, science fairs, school functions and other scholastic events to demonstrate your commitment to education. Express interest in your child's academic experiences by discussing classes, checking homework assignments and offering studying tips. If children sense you consider their schooling a high priority in your own life, they are likely to view it in a more positive manner themselves.
Positive reinforcement can help students sculpt a more enthusiastic attitude toward school. According to FamilyEducation.com, parents, teachers and other educators should reward school-aged children for scholastic achievements like good grades by offering verbal praise and recognition. This allows students to forge a connection between academic effort and desirable outcomes, including the feelings of self-worth and pride incited by praise. Although it may be tempting to offer tangible rewards like candy or money, this can encourage motivation based on bribery and not improve a student's attitude toward school itself.
Helping children see how school is relevant to other areas of life can promote a stronger appreciation for education -- particularly because school often seems pointless and insular to unmotivated students. Whenever possible, note connections to lessons from your child's classes, such as events in the news, current weather, money-related math calculations and other mundane occurrences. By illuminating the relevance of school to life at large, you give children a reason to look forward to class.
Although some children dislike school because they find it boring or pointless, others have legitimate fears that prevent a positive attitude from fully blossoming. Identify any sources of trepidation your child is facing, including interpersonal problems with abusive teachers or bullies, and situational problems such as stage fright during oral reports. Eliminating or effectively dealing with the root of children's school-related fears and anxieties can help them feel more enthusiastic about attending class.