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It’s quite natural for kids to have ups and downs when it comes to studying and this is part of life for many kids. However, if you pick up major problems early it can help in the long run to get your child back on track. Here we take a look at 10 reasons why kids lose interest in studying and what to do about it.

It’s critical to watch your child for any signs of problems in your kids studying and one of the major ways to stay on top of it is to have a good relationship with your child. This can help you to head off disaster where they become so disengaged that they just give up and quit, shutting the world out. You need to address issues quickly and effectively.

There are many reasons why kids disengage and here we take a look at 10 reasons why kids lose interest in studying and what to do about it. These problems can show up as poor academic performance, lack of motivation or loss of interest in work.

Studying problems can range from minor to severe and can be short-lived or last for longer. Even short-lived issues can have a lasting negative impact on how kids feel about studying as well as themselves.

Causes of Why Kids Lose Interest in Studying 

Here are 10 reasons why kids lose interest in studying and what to do about it.

1. Difficulties with Listening, Concentrating or Sitting Still

When your child has difficulties with listening, concentrating or sitting still, it can severely impact their studying.

Some of the common signs are that your child may have difficulties in making friends, they lose friends quickly, they struggle with conversations, they overreact to situations, they can’t keep up with the workload and they aren’t reliable.

You can help them by role-playing with them in terms of what is socially acceptable and what is not. Once you’ve done the role-playing activity talk about what they did well and what they didn’t. You can also consider signing them up for a group sport or activity which will help them to see how people work in a team and they’ll learn about give and take in friendships. Often children who have these difficulties can get extremely distracted…try and record a conversation with them and then both listen to it. Once you’ve listened talk about where he went off track and how he can stay on track.

Sometimes, however, the problem is so severe that you might need to get professional help in terms of their concentration levels and impulsivity.

2. Not Feeling Comfortable in their Environment

You may have done your best in setting up your homeschool environment but for some reason your child is just not comfortable in the surroundings and it starts to affect their work. Perhaps it’s too noisy, not enough stimulating materials or it’s not a conducive space to study. You may need to rethink your set up and perhaps invest in some good manipulative play sets and more interesting items to engage them in the environment. Make sure there is a set area for studying and that there is enough to keep them stimulated and engaged in the environment. Another thing to do is to ensure there is plenty of light and that they have enough space for studying. Try and limit distractions as well as set up a good, consistent routine so your kids know what to expect of them. Make sure they have easy access to the things they’ll need for studying like pens and pencils, paper, worksheets and other stationery. Research has shown that people who are more comfortable in their environment have personalised it themselves, so encourage your child to create a comfortable work space by adding their own touches to their work area – they can hang up pictures or add other little knick-knacks that they like. Creating a comfortable work area will help them on their way to enjoying studying. 

3. Disliking School Subjects

Let’s face it, nobody likes all their subjects. There is always a subject that a child doesn’t like and they don’t excel at it or aren’t even interested in it. If you are a homeschooler you have the option of doing what you like and you have the freedom to focus on other things. However, if you feel that the subject is important you can try and make it more fun and relevant for them. Say for example they don’t like maths, don’t just work through text books, try and find games or manipulatives that you can play with them to make it more interesting. Another thing that you can do is remind them how it will be relevant to them when their studies are over, as often kids feel that they will just never use the subject out in the real world. Maths for instance they will use every single day in small things that they do, so explain this to them and they might see the importance and relevance to their lives. 

4. Not Feeling Challenged by their Work

Often very bright kids don’t feel challenged enough by their work and this leads to disengaging. They will withdraw from the tasks set and constantly complain of being bored, or that they didn’t learn anything. If this is the case you need to consider how you are teaching them. A good idea is to find them more challenging work once they have finished the tasks that need to be done. Another idea is to set specific study goals with a time frame attached to them so that they know exactly what needs to be achieved and by when. This will help get them on the road to motivating them and pushing themselves a little bit further. If you are able to identify this, then you can work on a solution to challenging your child further. If this alone doesn’t work, find additional and more challenging work for them to do that will stimulate their brains even further.

5. Students don’t Believe that their Efforts will Improve their Performance

If students do not believe that their efforts are likely to improve their performance, they will not be motivated to work hard. Motivation can be affected, for instance, if a course is known to be extremely difficult. They also could have had discouraging experiences in similar work or on early assignments in a course that convince them they cannot do the work. Additionally, students have beliefs about intelligence and learning that can affect their motivation. If they believe learning is generally fast and easy (and should not be slow or arduous), they may lose motivation when they encounter challenges. Similarly, if they believe intelligence is something you do or do not have, but not something you acquire over time, they may not see the point of extra effort. Finally, if students attribute their success to their innate talents rather than effort, they may not be motivated to work. This can happen whether they believe they possess the necessary abilities (“I’m a good writer; I don’t need to start my paper early”) or lack them (“I’m just no good at math. What’s the point of trying?”)

If this is the case then you need to set some learning strategies where you motivate them, but that it’s not too hard or challenging, to keep their interest. Also create ample opportunities for them to practice and then give them feedback so that they can see that their efforts are paying off. This can help to improve their confidence. If your child believes he’s not good at maths, but he starts to do work and gets better at it, he’ll be more engaged and will be more likely to make an effort in the future as they see results. 

6. Students are Demotivated by the Structure and Allocation of Rewards

The structure and allocation of rewards in their daily work can encourage or discourage effort in several important ways. First, students may lose motivation to work on particular tasks if they do not feel that there will be a payoff for their time and effort. For example, they may not want to keep up with certain tasks if they won’t need the information for some tests or assessments that you set them. Also they can become demotivated and not complete assignments properly if the marks allocated to that assignment aren’t all that big in comparison to the effort that it would take to do the task. If this is the case make sure that you are rewarding their efforts in the right way and that the rewards are allocated appropriately for the tasks that you’ve set them. The way to reward is to provide feedback instantly for a job well done and allocate marks for them. If they haven’t met the set criteria that they need to have achieved, provide encouragement and revisit the work in a more engaging and interesting way. Make sure that you don’t set mammoth tasks for little or no reward – make the amount of work relevant to the amount of marks that they will receive and always tell them how the information they are learning will be used in tests and assignments. 

7. Learning disabilities 

Children with intellectual, cognitive, behavioural, development or mental health issues will experience a number of problems, for example sleep disturbances, stomach aches, headaches, diarrhoea, agitated and aggressive behaviours, withdrawing, loss of confidence and self-esteem, anxiety and depression. This can severely impact them when studying as they can be tired and disengage, losing confidence in their abilities and how they feel about themselves. It’s important to be able to identify if your child has any of these issues in order to help. The most effective solution is to get behavioural and professional interventions as a treatment option, which might or might not include medication. This will allow your child to get over their hurdles and become more engaged in their studying, giving them an advantage that they so need.

8. They Have Failed to Achieve Certain Goals

Sometimes, no matter how hard a child has tried, they just aren’t achieving certain goals. When this happens they start to lose interest in studying. In order to help them through this, don’t make negative comments about the work, rather encourage them and help them to focus on subjects that they can really achieve well in.

There are our top 10 reasons why kids lose interest in studying and what to do about it. We hope you’ve found this helpful.

9. Not Working well with Teachers or Instructors

There will always be a teacher or an instructor that your child doesn’t get on with; however, sometimes it can turn into being a severe problem not just a fleeting one. Kids will become defiant and might withdraw if there is a problem. If you are homeschooling, try and consider how best you can change your behaviour and style of teaching for less head bashing as you are the one that knows your child best – what works for them and what doesn’t. Consider this from a rational standpoint and then put a new style into practice. If your child is in school talk to them about the problem and see how it can be managed and give them some ideas of what works for your child and what doesn’t, giving them an insight into your child’s personality. This might help them to change their approach in dealing with your child.

10. Work Style not Suited to Them

All kids are different, and what that means is that all kids learn differently too. There is not one approach that will work for every single child. If you are homeschooling, you are lucky to be in the position where you can adapt your teaching to suit your child’s needs. Are they more visual learners? Do they learn better in the afternoons? You will get to know your child and understand what works best for them, so you can adjust your methods to make it really work instead of sitting with a child who isn’t really taking anything in. If they are in school, talk to the teacher about the difficulties your child is having in learning and why. Try and find a way to work together to solve the problem so that your child becomes an active learner as opposed to a passive learner.

There are our top 10 reasons why kids lose interest in studying and what to do about it. We hope you’ve found this helpful.


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