Young boy learns and plays on tablet at the table

Child Learning Strategies to Encourage a Willingness to Learn

A child’s personality plays a big part in their willingness to learn when it comes to school and child education. Most children are not born good learners—they had to become good learners.

With the right motivation, any apt child can be eager to learn. And this motivation isn’t limited to the classroom. A child’s willingness to learn can develop at home, as well.

So to help your child develop motivation and a love of learning, consider these simple tips you can use outside of the classroom.


Establish a Learning Atmosphere

Make your home a learning-friendly environment to encourage a motivation to learn. This can be achieved with the following:

  • Create an organized learning/study space for your child and be sure to proudly showcase their accomplishments on the wall or fridge.
  • Turn everyday events into learning opportunities by asking questions and encouraging your child to ask questions and make connections.
  • Fill their world with reading. A love of reading at a young age sets the foundation for a love of learning.
  • Provide play opportunities that support different types of learning styles—experiential, listening, visual, tactile, creative, problem-solving, and open-ended, unstructured play.
  • Point out the new things that you learn with enthusiasm.

Communication is Key

To help foster a love of learning and motivation in your child, it’s important that they feel comfortable communicating their likes, dislikes, and concerns.

So help your child communicate by creating an open environment and encouraging your child to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions—especially about what they are learning in school—through meaningful conversations.


Otherwise, when children feel like their opinion doesn’t matter, or they can’t voice their struggles, they are more likely to feel discouraged and disengage from the learning process.

Those who are motivated to learn feel like their opinions matter, so they are open about their education experiences without fear of being judged, ignored, or discouraged.

Give Them All the Tools They Need

Make sure your child has the tools they need to succeed for learning both in and out of the classroom, from school supplies and resources to an understanding of the subject matter and an ability to think critically.

With the right tools at hand (and in mind), your child can feel better equipped to take on challenges and succeed and feel more motivated to learn as a result.

Give your Child a Sense of Control

Help your child focus on learning and feel in control by helping them organize their learning area, assignments, and school papers. If they feel overwhelmed with a task or a disorganized workspace, they will spend more time worrying and less time learning.

Focus on the Process and Not the Results

For school-age children, ask about what they are learning in school, what they find fun and interesting, and if they can teach you what they learned—so they can retain this information. But don’t ask about grades or test results, as this could be a source of stress for your child and discourage them.


If they did well on a test, ask them how they succeeded. Don’t just praise them for getting a good mark. Instead, praise them for the hard work that they put into succeeding—such as their study habits.

And if they didn’t do well, you can ask them what they did to prepare for the test so they can reflect on their studying and be motivated to try a new approach.

Teach That It’s OK to Make Mistakes

Let your kids know that it’s okay to make mistakes since they can learn from their mistakes. Foster an environment at home that doesn’t punish failure, and that accepts that everyone fails and makes mistakes sometimes.

Instead of focusing on failures, encourage your children to identify what they learned from their mistakes.

Children who are afraid of failure are more likely to become discouraged when they make mistakes, giving up altogether instead of learning from their mistakes and moving on.

Do Not Practice a Reward System

Reward systems make tasks feel optional and only encourage temporary motivation in children. Kids tend to get bored with reward systems after only a few weeks. So if they feel like the task is optional and isn’t worth completing because the reward is boring, then they won’t feel motivated to achieve a goal.

Reward systems can also teach kids to develop a bargaining attitude instead of being motivated by the satisfaction of accomplishing a goal. Rewards are a form of external control based on your expectations. But it’s important to teach your child to develop an internal sense of control and motivation based on who they are and what they value. This will encourage them to have enough motivation to work hard even when they don’t enjoy the task and you’re not around to push them.

Celebrate Both Effort and Achievement

No matter how small the achievement, when it comes to learning, it’s important to celebrate with your child so they learn that hard work pays off.

Use positive reinforcement whenever they complete a learning task and accomplish their goals, such as finishing a book or writing a book report. You can watch a favourite show with them or simply offer praise and a hug.

Share Your Excitement for Learning

Show your kids how excited you are about learning new things along with being excited for them about reaching their goals. Your positive energy will likely rub off on them, and they’ll start feeling excited to learn new things too.

Don’t Over-Function for Your Child

Over-functioning is the result of anxiety and frustration when a parent sees their child struggling and not meeting their potential. As a result, the parent may take over a task, completing the work for their child instead of allowing their child to complete it on their own.

So resist the temptation to do this, and be your child’s coach instead. Give direction and encouragement, rooting for them to win, but staying on the sidelines to let them learn on their own. Don’t be afraid of letting them fail, since failing is a part of learning and growing. And when your child succeeds, offer praise.

What motivates your child to learn can help them persevere and keep trying, even when they face hurdles. So find ways to help your child feel successful, motivated, and willing to learn and grow so they can keep working towards their goals in school and throughout life.