How To Get Children Motivated To Study During Lockdown

Online classes and kids have become a daily affair. Combine this with long periods spent indoors and your kid may need that ‘extra’ bit of motivation to study. We are here to show what you can do

By Ashwin Dewan

How To Get Children Motivated To Study During Lockdown
Image for representation purpose only
“Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” – Charles Dickens

With online classes the new norm and learning going the ‘digital’ way for students, the need of the hour due to the prevailing situation since the past few months is… MOTIVATION.

It can become difficult for children cooped indoors for months, to study with a refreshed mind considering the total absence of outdoor play, meeting up with friends, and fresh air. Prolonged periods of inactivity coupled with the absence of real-time classroom environment can make one’s mind dull and lethargic. A complete environmental shift from classroom-peer learning to learning-from-home might hinder the progress of the students.

Add online classes to the mix where students are taught lessons through a screen and what we have is a big challenge for both children and parents.

Online learning / classes during lockdown

Since the lockdown began, many schools and colleges have increasingly leaned towards online classes to impart learning. Given the severe health concerns regarding physical space, online learning was presented as the most viable alternative. And one that a majority of the educational institutions and parents agreed upon.

While the move has been met with equal doses of both praise and criticism, there is not doubt that it is here to stay. However, this has also given rise to a situation where students are not as interested and there has been a marked lack of attention as compared to the enthusiasm and attention levels that being physically present in a class demands.

How much of a help are online classes?

Although, online classes have been around for some time, there has been a marked surge in the demand for these classes as a result of the ongoing situation. However, it is not to say online classes are not without its benefits.

To begin, when organized in a proper manner and well-curated, online classes can be utilized by students to the fullest for their own betterment.

Fatima Agarkar, a noted educationist, agrees. She says that “I also find that online learning enables teachers to "track" the children more effectively. Students are held accountable, and teachers can assess the students and know what the gaps are in real-time. The digital footprint that technology leaves us with is a huge value resource. So, for me online classes, when well crafted, promote self-learning and flexibility in schedules do work when studying.”

Free online services and courses help

In April, the University of Delhi initiated online counselling services for students while in May, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) launched 49 e-learning courses for free. Such initiatives go a learn way in promoting online learning.

“This was prompt action and "skilling' and equipping one with the digital space is critical and the only way our ecosystem will progress. Making it available free of cost means it is accessible to everyone and that helps as everyone needs to be trained and adapt and it can only happen if it is available online and accessible by all,” says Fatima.

Remaining indoors for long can affect motivation

The possibility of being exposed to the virus means students are consigned to the indoors. No going outside and playing games, at all! In this scenario, parents and teachers can try out certain methods to make sure the students do not lose motivation.

“They can play indoor games such as brain teasers and participate in activities like dancing, singing, meditative exercises, and yoga to break the monotony. This will rejuvenate and refresh them. Parents and teachers should not push the students to study all the time. Also, maintaining a timetable is a good way for students to keep themselves organised. Preparing small goals can help them achieve desired targets,” suggests Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School, to keep students motivated.

Parents can play a vital role

When it comes to motivating a child, parents usually have an important part to play. It is vital for parents to understand the current syllabus progress in school, tuition, and universities, and to ascertain the completion of what is remaining in due time. A complete environmental shift from classroom-peer learning to learning-from-home might hinder the progress of the students.

By making and implementing a schedule, parents can make sure that the whole family stays on track. Parents need to motivate the children to set alarms and reminders, encourage them to eat healthy meals, and make sure that they follow the same schedule and exact time for studies as they usually do both in school and at home.

Constant changes in dates of exams

Changes in patterns of conducting exams will be in accordance to the guidelines passed by the concerned authorities. When it comes to the topic of motivation in students, one should also consider the constant shifting of exam dates due to the coronavirus. This constant rescheduling can affect the mindset of the students and demotivate them as they are uncertain about their future.

Students should not focus on these things and, rather, continue with their exam preparations. For, a well-prepared student will always perform well in exams irrespective of when and where the exam is conducted.

Taking care of your child's mental health is essential to help him focus on studies. See the video below to know more.

Tips for students to get motivated for studies and exams

  • To begin, students must accept the fact that school and exams will not be the same as they were before Covid-19. However, there are always certain tips and methods to get motivated…again!
  • When it comes to studies, it is the tool that the world uses to judge students. And grades are considered vital. Learning to cope with unforeseen events is key to success.
  • Use the extra time as a gift to learn further. Especially for those that left everything to the last minute. This is what will distinguish a 70 per cent student with a topper.
  • With no other distractions, and enough time on hand and plenty of e-resources, learning is easier. So, make the most of it.

Use it as a challenge that you set yourself. Reward yourself after when you accomplish this, and know that despite Covid-19, you will be the batch of students who had to study under difficult circumstances and still did well.

The economy is what it is, and the world when it does start moving beyond this will need children who have coped and emerged. The scores matter - and then that is the difference between being selected and still searching for a job. At that time, this effort now will make the most sense. Do not come up short and have regrets.

Keep calm and exam on

Equipping one with the digital space is critical and the only way our ecosystem will progress. Making it available free of cost means it is accessible to everyone and that helps as everyone needs to be trained and adapt and it can only happen if it is available online and accessible by all.

The best thing parents can do in this situation is to talk to their children; talk about how they can help. Children should be encouraged not to compete with others but try to be the best version of themselves. And most importantly, parents should reassure children that their love is not based on how many marks they obtain in the exam. A friendly environment at home helps in easing out the stress in children.

In the end, students appearing for the exams should realise they should motivate themselves. Keeping calm, following a timetable, and keeping their minds fixed on the target will eventually lead to success.

Also read: Effective home learning environment for your child

About the author:

Written by Ashwin Dewan on 8 July 2020.

With inputs from:

Ms. Fatima Agarkar is educationist and founder of ACE

Ms. Alka Kapur is Principal, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi.

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