[Podcast] What to Do About Unmotivated Learners

Brave Writer Podcast

There are days when you feel invincible, ready to conquer the world, and there are other days where getting out of bed feels like a herculean task.

I confess, on those less-than-stellar days, I resort to watching bad sitcom reruns, while Melissa disappears into an endless loop of Instagram Reels.

Sound familiar?

Today on the Brave Writer podcast, let’s dive deep into the realm of motivation, unpack its moral significance, and explore how it meshes with our values and dreams, especially when it comes to our kids.

Show Notes

Understanding Motivation

It’s almost taboo to admit that you’re not always motivated. Why is that? The term “motivation” seems to carry with it a moral weight, making many feel guilt or shame for not being incessantly driven.

As the school year draws near, parents often daydream of that “ever-motivated” student – a vision not always compatible with reality. Motivation isn’t just about having an aspiration; it’s about bridging the chasm between that aspiration and the steps to realize it. It’s worth noting that our motivation is a cocktail of various internal and external influencers.

Motivation in Homeschooling

Motivation is like a fingerprint – unique to each individual. It’s pivotal to recognize this and avoid the trap of imposing moral values upon it. Whether in conventional schooling or homeschooling, our perspective on motivation should be grounded in:

  • understanding,
  • compassion,
  • and a recognition of individual aspirations.

For children, motivation isn’t a broad trait but is tied to specific interests. The meticulous plans crafted by parents might not always resonate with the child. This is a nuanced dance between the child’s individual motivations and the structured environment the parent provides. Environmental conditions, too, play a substantial role in influencing children’s learning curves.

The path of homeschooling often sees parents wrestling with self-doubt, particularly when they confront the tangible, everyday hurdles of teaching.

The Role of External Rewards

Traditional schools frequently employ external motivators like grades. But do they truly ignite motivation? Homeschooling often ditches such systems, but without suitable alternatives, a motivation void can emerge.

Addressing a Lack of Motivation

Children, just like adults, have fluctuating energy levels. It’s vital to understand and respect this ebb and flow. The challenge arises when a parent’s ambitions collide with the child’s disposition.

Trust, patience, and dialogue are imperative. A child’s reluctance towards a subject needs to be approached with empathy and collaboration. A seamless transition to tasks, understanding of individual needs, and making learning relevant are just a few strategies to reignite motivation.

Rethinking Motivation

Before branding a child as “unmotivated”, it’s crucial to rethink our definition. More often, it signifies a child’s aversion to tasks dictated by parents. Our mission? To delve deep and uncover the essence of such resistance. By observing what genuinely interests a child, we can tap into their inherent motivation.

Celebrating their persistence in activities they love is key. For instance, praising their tenacity while mastering a skateboard trick can boost their morale significantly. Moreover, sitting alongside them, sharing their challenges, and jointly finding solutions can be as rewarding as conquering a difficult level in a video game.

Motivation isn’t a monolith but a mosaic of:

  • values,
  • aspirations,
  • and context.

It’s about understanding, empathy, and a shared journey of discovery between parents and children.

As we navigate this intricate world, let’s remember to be adaptable, patient, and always keen to find joy in the learning process. Whether it’s a new skateboard trick or a challenging math problem, there’s always a way to find and fuel that spark of motivation.


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Produced by NOVA Media

Brave Writer Podcast

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