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Creative Motivation Tips for a Great School Year
 
It's common for students of all ages to lose motivation from time to time--and this can be a source of stress and strain for parents. Below are several fun ideas suggested by some creative Connections Academy parents that you can use to combat difficult academic challenges, waning self-discipline, and slipping enthusiasm:

Marble jars
Try using "marble jars" as a fun motivation system. Each student has his or her own jar filled with as many marbles as there are lessons scheduled that day. As the student finishes a lesson, he/she takes a marble from the jar and puts it in the family "completed" jar. Each student can keep track of how much more he/she has to do that day. When the start jar is empty, the school day is completed!

Use games to make learning fun
Questions can act as a review before a quiz, or an introduction to a new concept to see what your student already knows and understands while keeping your student interested and motivated to learn. "Each day I post a 'Brain Teaser' question on the board that covers anything we're studying. My son can guess at the answer even before he starts to work on it. It really draws him into the classroom and motivates him to get started on the school day."

Volunteer in the community
A great idea, for any time of the year, is volunteering in the community. Make it a reward when students complete assignments. "Our children volunteer twice a week at a local veterinary clinic. An experience they truly enjoy, but they may go only if schoolwork is done well and attitudes are appropriate," says one parent. This type of community involvement can motivate your student with completing schoolwork, is a reward for work well done, provides social interaction in a quality environment, develops mature responses from the student, and provides experience in life science, in addition to the service it provides to the community!

Find a special place to display schoolwork
Display schoolwork, whether it's art, handwriting, or a difficult test that scored well. Reserve a place to hang some of the things so the rest of the family can see what your child is working on. It gives your student a big boost of confidence that may be needed on a tough day.

Find special activities that motivate your child to learn
Here's a challenge you may have faced: "My son was having a hard time learning spelling words in our classroom. He just wasn't getting it. One evening he picked up the jump rope we use for PE, asked me a spelling word, and jumped as he spelled it out. So now his favorite way to learn spelling words is to go outside and jump rope. I sit in a chair with a stack of spelling cards and call them out to him. He spells out each word by jumping and saying each letter of the word."

Let your child see his or her progress
Review where your child started a week, month, or year ago and compare it with his or her current abilities. It helps you see which goals have been accomplished and develop new objectives. Help your student set goals appropriate for his or her growth, confidence, and happiness--you can even give your kids a chance to set their own goals. It teaches independence and responsibility. Post the goals in your school area so your student(s) can check them off as they are accomplished, providing a continuous sense of achievement.

Using these tactics may give your students a sense of achievement and confidence that will increase their
motivation to learn. It may also be helpful for you to enroll in a virtual school that provides a certified teacher and a personalized learning plan for your child so you can spend more time keeping your student on track rather than creating lesson plans and compiling curriculum yourself.

Connections Academy is a fully-accredited, award-winning, public school from home for students in grades K-12. It's tuition-free with a proven curriculum that emphasizes mastery of core subjects from the best resources available today!

Best of all, Connection Academy's state-certified, caring
teachers will build a close relationship with you and your student(s) as they handle instruction, grading, testing, conduct real-time lessons online and personalize a learning plan for your student. With Connections Academy, you or other responsible adult at home gets to be directly involved as the Learning Coach, working closely with teachers to keep your student on track.

Here's what some parents who previously homeschooled have to say about their experience with Connections Academy:

"We have had a very positive experience with Connections Academy from the start. It is amazing to me how much is provided--and at no cost! The computer and the books are of great quality, as is the curriculum (I know because I looked at so many in my research!). The lesson plans and the system are easy to follow and very informative. We love the flexibility of the scheduling that provides just enough structure to allow us to follow a schedule that fits with the rhythm of our day and any other commitments we have or want. The best part is that I don't have to spend so much of my time making lesson plans and coming up with projects and activities to stimulate learning--it's all spelled out for me. And I know it is meeting the standards of the school district. It is also nice to be able to just be "Mom" and a Learning Coach and not the teacher! Additionally, the teachers, staff, and tech support have always been accessible and helpful. Overall, it has been a great experience!"
~ Michela Leighton, Connections Academy parent


"The curriculum of Connections Academy is the highlight for me. I had home schooled my son in the 1st grade and I had to set up the curriculum myself which took a lot of time and I wasn't entirely confident. Connections Academy provides a clear expectation of the daily schedule and upcoming lessons. I also enjoy that the materials, books, etc. are all high quality!"
~ Sandra Noon, Connections Academy parent


"Socialization is a big part of Connections Academy. I am very involved with other parents, keeping in contact with them and offering as much support as possible. There are a lot of field trips and social gatherings for families to take part in. There is also a message board for parents to keep in touch, ask questions or offer suggestions to one another. My daughter works very hard and receives so much support from teachers, parents and peers. She is a happy child and loves this school.  My entire family is so grateful to have found Connections Academy."
~ Lori, Connections Academy parent


We wanted to home-school our children but had no idea where to start. After having our daughter in public school for 2 years, and not being satisfied with what she was learning and the progress she was making, we decided we needed to get serious about home schooling. I talked to friends that had home-schooled and heard what they had to say. I looked at the online schools, and decided to enroll in Connections Academy. I have been so pleased with the progress my daughter has made. Her teacher has been amazing. I love that I have a support to go to when I have questions and am not just out there on my own somewhere trying to figure everything out as we go along.
~ Natalie Carpenter, Connections Academy parent


Connections Academy allows my family the flexibility we need while providing my children with a first class education. I am a licensed teacher experienced with elementary and middle school curriculum and instruction. Connections Academy uses the best course materials and teaching methods available. They use the materials I would select if I had access to every publishing company in the US. In fact, the elementary reading and math programs utilized by Connections Academy are the same programs I recommended as a member of a school district textbook selection committee. My students find these materials highly engaging. In fact, my 3rd grade student has made more progress in 3 months at Connections Academy than she had made in one year of home school with materials that were available to me.
~ Shellie Sarah Patterson, Connections Academy parent


We have 4 children enrolled in Connections Academy.  This is our 5th year in the program and have loved every minute of it.  I originally enrolled my oldest children because of large class sizes in our school district. I had only planned on homeschooling them until the overcrowding issues were resolved. I also taught public school and wanted my children to have more individualized instruction and attention.  I chose Connections Academy because I wanted to make sure my children were meeting the standards and learning what they needed to at each grade level.  I was so impressed with the curriculum, the teachers, and the program itself, that we never left.  My children have excelled in their learning and take a real ownership in working independently.  One of our closest friends is an elementary school principal and he continually tells us that he wishes they had some of the programs we are doing.
~ Nicole Givey, Connections Academy parent


For more inside scoop on Connections Academy, contact a parent yourself today, attend an info session, either online or at a location in your area or learn how to enroll now!


 





About Connections Academy

Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, and full-time and part-time private school programs, Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and students who want an individualized approach to education. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education, LLC. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com.


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