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How to keep your child motivated in Key Stage 2

By Atom | Jul 20, 2023, 9:15 AM

Keeping your child motivated in Key Stage 2

If your child’s homework is starting to feel like a chore, you’re not alone. It’s common for motivation to start to dip as they get older, schoolwork gets harder, and workload increases. But there are plenty of ways to help your child rekindle their enthusiasm for learning! Here are our top tips for keeping your child motivated as they begin the Key Stage 2 national curriculum.

1. Show real world examples

Despite their young age, it's important that your child recognises the value of learning and working hard. Show your child how they'll use what they're learning for the rest of their lives through regular, honest conversations.

Counting out money in a shop? Explain to your child how the cashier knows how much change to give you – "We both used addition and subtraction to work those out.”

Speak openly with your child about how they may find some things more difficult to learn than others. Explain to them that this is OK and that everyone has something they find challenging to begin with. The key to overcoming these hurdles is through practice – like learning to ride a bike!

2. Make learning fun and varied

Keep learning activities fun and varied. Encourage your child to read a new book, discuss the plot and characters, and make predictions about what is going to happen at the end.

Visit a museum or exhibition together. On the way home, quiz your child about what they found interesting, or about something they learnt which they didn't know before.

Variety in learning will spark their imagination, motivating them to strengthen their logic, vocabulary and comprehension skills. This variety will build on the academic foundations taught at school, nurturing your child’s curiosity for learning.

Why not sign up to a free live lesson with Atom? Our enthusiastic teachers will help stretch your child's knowledge across the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

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3. Take an interest in their learning

Taking an interest in your child’s learning is essential for keeping up momentum and motivating them to work hard.

Ask your child about something they learnt at school today, and why they found this particular topic interesting. Open questions such as ‘What did you find most surprising in your science lesson today?’ help your child reflect on their learning. This feeds their intellectual curiosity and encourages self-motivation.

Your enthusiasm about what they know will keep your child motivated to learn – they’ll want to tell you all about it!

4. Practice little and often

Studies show that children learn best with a 'little and often' approach. This allows them to efficiently process new topics while avoiding information overload.

Childhood development experts say that a child's reasonable attention span is two to three minutes per year of their age:

  • 8 year olds: 16–24 minutes

  • 10 year olds: 20–30 minutes

  • 12 year olds: 24–36 minutes

This means it's much more effective to break up study times across the week – such as 20 minutes each morning before school. Atom's Parent Portal makes it easy to track your child's time spent studying each day.

The parent portal dashboard on Atom Nucleus

5. Praise effort before outcome

Praise is a fantastic motivator, but be sure to celebrate effort, as well as achievement. When your child makes mistakes, or struggles to understand a topic, help them understand that practice will help them improve. Known as a 'growth mindset', this form of praise helps improve your child's resilience when tackling new and challenging topics.

If your child achieves a high test score, encourage them to reflect on the skill and effort that went into reaching that score. This will help your child be motivated to face challenging questions and appreciate the learning process.

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Learn at home, thrive at school and beyond with Atom Nucleus – the UK's leading online learning platform.

Atom motivates your child with a varied workload. They work through fun, interactive worlds, answering questions from the Key Stage 2 curriculum to earn points and badges. A range of visual resources, including fun helpsheets and engaging videos, supports their learning.

Your Parent Portal gives you immediate insights into your child's progress. See their strengths and areas for development, and set practice activities in topics they find more challenging.


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