Beating the Winter Blues: Keeping Online Learners Motivated
No matter how much my kids love playing in the snow each winter, there inevitably comes a time during the season when they lose the motivation to do much of anything—including their schoolwork.
Over the years I’ve found a few helpful ways to battle these winter blues and keep my online learners engaged (on most days☺):
- Find a way to apply their lessons to real life. Finding practical uses for what they’re learning really helps my kids stay interested in their studies. So, if they’re learning about fractions, we put their skills to the test in the kitchen and bake something yummy. If their focus is on history, we’ll find an educational movie or documentary to watch together. In-the-kitchen science experiments are always a great option, too.
- Switch subjects more frequently. I’ve found that a great way to battle disengagement is to vary your routine. When winter blues start to kick in, I decrease the amount of time my kids spend on each subject. Using a bell timer and some enthusiasm, I rotate our subject lessons often like a marathon race. With the kids’ brains constantly switching gears, they are less likely to get bored. Hopefully they will not notice they are actually being cooped up in the house all day.
- Change up their study space. Sometimes just a little variation in atmosphere is all my kids need to stay motivated. Taking a few minutes to change up their study space can work wonders to keep them more focused throughout the day. If you acknowledge holidays or special months in history, or if you like designing the theme from a favorite novel, you can take this opportunity to decorate your student’s work space. Also, it’s a great opportunity to remove any clutter that may be distracting.
- Plan a day off. To help my kids avoid falling into a winter rut, I give them things to look forward to. Whether it’s a Saturday playing dress-up with Mom and Dad’s old clothes, printing out a Reader’s Theater Play, or taking an afternoon off to play in the snow with friends, having bright spots planned throughout the season’s coldest months helps my kids stay focused and on track.
Try some of these tips and share any great motivational tips you have with us too!