It is important to instill a love of learning in your child. You have one opportunity to do this, and it is crucial to start early. Teaching your child to enjoy learning will make many different aspects of their life easier, including school, self-improvement, and relationships.
It is important to encourage your child to be curious and open to new experiences in order to help them succeed in a competitive world.
Here are 10 ways to achieve this goal.
#1) Read, Read, Read
One of the best ways to stimulate a child’s mind, activate their imagination, and solidify their love of learning is by reading to them. This will also bond the two of you. The sooner you start, the better. Studies show that children who are read to from infancy know more words, start reading sooner, and score better in both math and English.
Exposing babies to a lot of words is good for them.
Your baby is able to understand and learn more than you might realize.Encouraging them to develop a love of reading early on will be one of the most important things you can do for them.
Surround Her with Books
According to Harvard University researchers, consistent access to books can increase a child’s motivation to read. Furthermore, a U.S. Department of Education study reveals that the most proficient readers tend to come from homes that are stocked with many different types of reading materials, such as newspapers, magazines, books, and encyclopedias. To foster your child’s affection for reading, keep books within easy reach in various locations, such as by the kitchen table, next to her bed, in a basket by the couch, and in the car. Let your toddler flip through old issues of magazines, even if she ends up tearing the pages. Set aside a special time to read together each day. Talk about the story and ask your child what she thinks is going to happen next. Active participation boosts her understanding and keeps reading fun.
#2) Be Enthusiastic
Enthusiasm is infectious! When you are enthusiastic while learning something new or reading to your child, they will want to mimic your behavior. Enthusiasm is contagious!
When you show excitement about learning, your child will be more likely to feel the same way.
What is your favorite teacher’s name? What are your favorite teacher’s favorite things?
#3) Be Supportive and Encouraging
It’s more important that your child develop a love of learning than that they learn any specific thing. Demeaning or scolding them for not learning something will only discourage them.
Most parents feel a strong, natural love for their children. However, some parents parent in the same way that they were parented. If their parent was cruel, demanding, and had high expectations, they will often parent in the same way.
If that were to happen to you, break the cycle of pain. Stop the generational habit of poor parenting by punishing your child for not performing well enough.
When you start parenting from the very beginning, your son or daughter will do much better than you ever expected. So, be supportive and always encouraging, and they will do great.
The problem is that the projects are so involved and time-consuming that the parents often have to give up hours of their time to help their child just to get a passing grade. Many parents feel that the school system is unrealistic in its expectations of what their child can accomplish. For example, children in grades 2-4 are often expected to complete projects at home and submit them for a grade. However, these projects are often so time-consuming and complicated that parents have to spend hours helping their child just to get a passing grade.
Children who do not receive help from their parents on big projects are more likely to get bad grades and be impacted negatively for the rest of their lives.
What should you do when your child is experiencing something difficult? Should you let them suffer through it?
Many parents help their children a lot–so much so that it’s the parents’ work, not the child’s.
It’s best to help your child with their project, showing them how to do it in small steps. Let them do as much as possible, and only help when they start to get frustrated. It’s not worth ruining their self-esteem over something that doesn’t matter. Most parents do all the work for their child anyway, so it’s not fair to force one to do it all alone.
#4) Make Learning Fun
One way to make learning fun is to turn it into a game. A simple game you can play while driving is to have your child find their favorite car or truck and count how many they can find. You can ask them why they like it and why one vehicle is better than another.
You could ask your students to do any number of activities in order to help them engage with the material. Some ideas include having them count, observe, comment, sort, compare, and analyze. You could also make it fun by getting creative with the activities. For example, you could ask them to close their eyes and then recall how many things around them were red, blue, brown, or green in order to work on their memory.
Although family board games are a great way for children to learn and spend time together, parents should be aware that children usually don’t like losing and may get upset. If parents don’t make a big deal out of it, the children won’t either, and eventually they will grow out of it and stop being afraid of failure, which is a valuable skill to have later in life.
You can also take your child to a science center to make learning about science and physics more fun. This can be a great bonding activity for the both of you, and it is more likely to hold your child’s interest than if they were just learning about equations in school.
Share Your Passion
According to Deborah Stipek, Ph.D., it is beneficial to talk to your child about interesting things you have learned, whether the subject is sports, science, art, or cooking. She suggests explaining in simple terms what happened and why you found it so interesting. Your kids will sense your fascination even if they can’t fully understand the topic.
#5) Be Inquisitive
Your child will be curious and want to learn more, and this may be stronger than your own curiosity. However, you can encourage your child’s curiosity by using your imagination.
How does a CD work? Be curious about the world around you and ask yourself how things are made. For example, how are computers, cars, guitars, and violins made? How does TV and radio work? How do CDs work?
You may find that your partner knows more about a subject than you do because you never questioned certain things before. In a way, that’s even better because you two can learn together.
The main idea is that if you encourage your child to be curious, they will also become more curious and love learning.
#6) Ask Their Opinion and Never Judge
If you want your child to feel empowered, ask for their opinion. But don’t ask just so you can tell them their opinion is wrong or that it doesn’t matter.
If you think someone is wrong, you can try to get them to realize it by asking questions. But, don’t be mean about it or they will never want to tell you their opinion again.
When you ask for someone’s opinion, you show them respect. If you listen to their opinion and make a decision based on that, they will feel valued. If the actions you take don’t work out, they will learn from their mistakes.
It’s really a win/win situation, either way.
Build on Your Child’s Natural Interests
If your child goes through a phase where they are fascinate by dinosaurs, you can visit a natural history museum, check out books from the library about prehistoric times, or buy a model T-Rex that you can assemble together. According to Dr. Stipek, it is nothing to worry about if your child is not into the same thing as the kid down the street. Tapping into their unique fascinations will keep them excited about learning.
#7) Research Together
If you and your child are both interested in a topic but you don’t know the answer to a question your child asks, it’s okay to admit that you don’t know. Your child will understand and won’t think less of you if you don’t make a big deal out of it.
After you have determined the topic, the next step is to do the research together. This is a very valuable skill to teach your child as it will help them develop their ability to find and use information, as well as improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The internet provides a wealth of reputable sources that can help answer questions. Teach them how to use search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find the information they need. What they learn in school should be augmented with reliable sources that you trust.
You can check out as many books from the library on your chosen topic as you want. This also teaches you responsibility and accountability because you have to take care of, read, and return the books by a certain date.
The goal is to teach them how to find answers so they feel empowered and excited about learning.
#8) Get into Nature
The outdoors offer ample opportunities to explore and learn more about our planet and the various species that inhabit it. With there being 8.7 million different species, learning about life through mother nature is an incredibly enriching experience. You can discuss different aspects of nature with your child, such as the different types of trees, birds, plants, insects, and geological formations. You can even explain how a spider completely rebuilds its web after it’s been destroyed. There are many valuable life lessons to be gleaned from nature.
OR: You can also look at ants and talk about their colonies, how they all work together, and how they communicate. If your child asks you a question you don’t know, determine to research it together later.
There are many things that we can learn from nature. It is also very beneficial for our health to spend time outdoors.
#9) Let Your Child Choose
Would you be interested in learning something that you have no interest in? Most likely not. This is often the case for children who are forced by parents or the school system to learn things they don’t want to learn.
The result of this is that children develop a negative attitude towards learning, which is counterproductive.
Although there are some things that a child needs to learn even when they are reluctant, the focus here is on how to develop a love for learning and how to maintain it.
The best way to do it is to let the child choose.
If you give them the opportunity to choose what they want to learn about, they will usually go much deeper and faster than you expect. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they can become an expert on the subject matter. When they start teaching you what they’ve learned, it will be an even more empowering moment for both of you. Their self-confidence will soar.
No matter what your child wants to learn, within reason, let them lead the way.
Do you have a child who just wants to play video games all day long? If so, here are some things you can do.
Block off the games that are nonsensical and violent so they only have access to the ones that are stimulating and require strategy.
The process of discovery, exploration, and learning is most important.
Ask the Right Questions
If your child is constantly asking you questions, try turning the tables and asking them some instead. This can help encourage their excitement for learning. For example, you could ask them “Why do you think the birds always come back to that same spot in the backyard?” This could start a conversation about a variety of interesting topics.
Do not make your child’s life a pop quiz. Dr. Calkins says that some parents make the mistake of asking their kids to show what they know. They may ask “What color is this?” even though the child knows it is green. It is better to engage the child in active inquiry than to ask the child questions where they just have to spit out the answer.
#10) Make Learning an Adventure
How can you make learning an adventure for your child? Obviously, if you make learning an adventure, your child will be more interested in it. But how can you do that?
One way to get your kids excited about adventure travel is to involve them in the planning process. As they get older, you can give them more and more control over where you go on vacation.
In addition to the aforementioned activities, you and your child can also go to museums, zoos, aquariums, and meet new people to expand their understanding of the world.
Art and culture can play an important role in your child’s development. Encouraging your child to express themselves through art or music can provide them with a creative outlet that can be beneficial in the long run.
Making life an adventure will make learning exciting and interesting.
Many studies have found that offering rewards for things like reading or doing homework can actually make children less interested in those activities. The reason for this is that it shifts the focus from the activity itself to the prize, according to Alfie Kohn in his book “Punished by Rewards”. Without the reward, the child is no longer interested in the activity, even if they used to enjoy it. Kohn says that children learn best when they’re able to explore their curiosity about the world, and that rewards can undermine that.
Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome
“Many parents are too achievement-oriented and focused on the future,” Dr. Wlodkowski says. It’s an easy trap to fall into: You worry about how your toddler will do in preschool, and when she’s a preschooler, you wonder if she’s cut out for kindergarten. Though it’s natural to want to prepare your child for what’s ahead, you may unwittingly push her to learn too much too quickly, or place too much emphasis on her accomplishments. “If your goal is to foster a love of learning, it’s far better to take an interest in what your child is doing rather than how well she’s doing it,” Kohn says. “Your continued interest in her activities is the best motivator of all.”
The best way to encourage your child to love learning is to lead by example. Show them that learning is enjoyable and something that should be a part of life.
If you love learning, your child will be likely to follow your example.