Motivating Your Children

We started homeschool just a few weeks ago with our kindergarten-age son. Yikes – how did that happen already?! We have really loved the first few weeks, but no situation is without its challenges.

Having been a public school teacher for five years and now starting up homeschool, I can see a struggle parents in any educational situation might face: their child’s level of motivation in school.

We’ve already seen this in our five-year-old! He doesn’t find the work too hard by any means – he just drags his feet in almost everything! At the end of the day he tells us how much he loved everything he did in school, but it felt more like teeth-pulling to me!

So, I thought, maybe it’s not about the schoolwork as much as it is about completing the tasks he is given – any task, school-related or not.

When I had that realization, I knew it was time to bring in some external motivation.

We put up this sign above his desk…

Considering the life lessons I want our son to learn early on, this verse is at the very top of my list. And it is a great reminder for any student to memorize at the start of the year.

Think of the implications of this verse as your kiddo goes back to school:

*You have a gifted student who might be bored in class. Will it do him or her any good to do less than their best on whatever the class might be working on? Will having a bad attitude move them any further along?

Gifted students need a reminder to work hard even when the work is easy – and they need you to help challenge them at home if their teacher is not able to in the classroom. Working hard in the place you are is a life lesson that will take them far in life.

*What if your student is struggling? This is a lesson for both students and parents in hard work AND trust. The last thing you want to do to your struggling student is make them feel inadequate or disappointing. But they also need to know that God has given them abilities and they need to work to the best of these abilities.

Where does trust come in? That’s for you as the parent. If you and your student start the year with Colossians 3:23 in mind, you need to trust that your child is giving school their best effort and encourage them to do the best THEY can, not someone else’s best.

Having Colossians 3:23 hanging in our homeschool room has been perfect as a reminder throughout the day about who we are doing EVERYTHING for. If your child attends school outside of the home, consider putting this verse in their planner or as a note in their lunch at least once a week to keep it fresh in their mind!

So I would love to hear more ideas: what Scriptures do you use to help motivate your children and spur them on as they start up another school year?


Erin Mohring is a follower of Jesus Christ, wife of a med student and stay-at-home mom to two lively young boys. The hubby and Erin have been blissfully married for eight years. Big J is five and Little J is almost three. She’s learning quickly about the world of boys – which you can follow at Home with the Boys!