It’s important to get your child to love learning early on. This will make school and other areas of their life much easier.
You need to help your child keep their natural curiosity and openness to experience alive in order to give them the best possible start in life.
Following are 10 ways to achieve this goal.
#1) Help Children Discover Interests and Passions
One way to get children interested in learning is to let them explore topics they are interested in.
Studies suggest that children learn better when they are allowed to explore topics that interest them. This is one reason why it can be effective for teachers to incorporate choice into the classroom.
According to Sally Reis, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, children can realize their potential by pursuing their interests. Reis believes that it is important for adults to identify these interests and assist children as they develop them.
It is beneficial to talk to your child about his current interests, as well as expose him to a variety of new experiences. This will help you discover what sparks your child’s interests. You can take him to different places like museums, zoos, and theatres. Additionally, checking out books from the library on various topics can be beneficial.
Read, Read, Read
Reading to your child is a great way to stimulate their mind and imagination, and to solidify their love of learning. It’s also a great way to bond with them. The sooner you start reading to your child, the better. Studies show that children who are read to from infancy know more words, read sooner than other children, and score better in both math and English.
The more words a baby is exposed, the better off they are.
Your baby is very smart and can learn more than you think. It is important to help them develop a love of reading so they can use their full potential.
#2) Be Enthusiastic
If you are enthusiastic about something, your child will be too.
If you’re enthusiastic about learning, your child will be too.
What are some characteristics of your favorite teacher?
#3) Make Learning Fun
If you want to make even the most boring subject more fun, try incorporating songs, academic games, scavenger hunts, or creative activities.
If you want to help your kids learn about the thirteen colonies, you can provide clues and let them try to guess which colony is being described. You can also create academic BINGO, crossword puzzles, or word searches. Websites like Kahoot make it easy to use games to teach learning digitally.
You can also use art projects, music, or creative writing to help explain just about any academic subject. You could create a song about the water cycle, or write a story from the perspective of a tadpole as he transforms into a frog. You could also build a model of the solar system using materials you find around the house or classroom.
Having a sense of humor or being able to tell a story that is related to the material being taught can make the experience more enjoyable.
Another way to improve children’s attitudes towards learning is to ue “brain breaks.” Brain breaks are short, typically silly activities which serve as a relief from the monotony or difficulty of a lesson. This way, children can return to their tasks feeling re-energized and focused. Improving the fun factor of learning will help children see learning in a more positive light.
#4) Make Learning Fun
One of the best ways to make learning fun is to turn it into a game. This is especially true during the early years when learning should be more fun and less complicated. For instance, if you’re driving home, you can ask your child to locate their favorite car or truck (observation) and count how many they can find. You could ask them why they like it (opinion) and why one vehicle is better than another (analysis).
You could have them count how many things around them are red, blue, brown, or green. You could also ask them to sort, compare, and analyze. Get creative and make it fun. You could even 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.
Playing board games with your family is a great way to learn, spend time together, and bond. However, keep in mind that children usually hate to lose and may get upset. If you don’t make a big deal out of it, they won’t either, and eventually they will outgrow this fear of failure, which is a valuable skill to have later in life.
You can also take your child to science museums to help them learn about science in a fun and stimulating way, rather than the boring equations they learn in school. This is also a fun way to spend the day for both of you.
#5) Be Inquisitive
Your child is likely to be very curious, and they may even be more curious than you are. However, by using your imagination, you can encourage your child’s curiosity even further.
Start to look around your world and ask yourself questions about how things are made. For example, how do computers, cars, guitars, and violins work? How does TV and radio work?
You may discover that you never questioned certain things because you never knew they were options. In some ways, this is better because you can learn about them together.
The goal is to develop and nurture an inquisitive nature in your son or daughter so they become more inquisitive, gain knowledge, and maintain their love of learning.
#6) Ask Their Opinion and Never Judge
Asking for your child’s opinion instantly makes them feel empowered. However, never do it with the intention of telling them that their opinion is wrong or unimportant.
If you disagree with someone, ask questions politely and let them explain their point of view. But don’t be critical or judgmental, or they’ll be less likely to share their opinions with you in the future.
Asking for their opinion shows respect, and when you listen to their opinion and make a choice based on that, it will make them feel loved, respected, and valued. If the action taken doesn’t work out, they will learn from their mistakes.
It’s really a win/win situation, either way.
#7) Research Together
Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to a question your child asks you – they’ll understand, and it’s not a big deal.
After you have decided what you are going to research, the next step is to do the research together. This is a very valuable skill to teach your child.
You can teach your children how to find reputable sources of information on the internet, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Schools usually teach students to primarily use “.gov” websites, but you can expand on that with your children, depending on what you believe to be reliable.
You can also take them to the library and let them check out books on the topic of their choice. This also teaches them responsibility and accountability because they’ll have to take care of, read, and return the books by a certain date.
The key is to teach them how to find answers, so they feel confident and excited about learning.
#8) Get into Nature
Nature is full of opportunities for exploration and learning about the world. There are 8.7 million species to learn about, and much can be learned from studying nature. For example, you can point out different types of trees, birds, plants, insects, geological formations, and more. You can also explain to your child how a spider rebuilds its web after it is destroyed. There are countless lessons to be learned from nature.
You can also look at ants and talk about their colonies and how they all work together. If your child asks you a question that you don’t know, you can research it together later.
There are many things we can learn from nature. Both of you would benefit from spending time outdoors.
#9) Let Your Child Choose
Do you like being forced to learn something that you have zero interest in? Most people would say no. But a lot of parents and schools want children to learn many things that they don’t want to learn or have little to no interest in.
This means that children end up disliking learning, which is the opposite of what is supposed to happen.
So even though a child may not always want to learn, there are ways to keep them motivated.
The best way to do it is to let the child choose.
If you let them, they will often dive deeper and faster into things than you would expect. If you give them the opportunity to learn about what they’re interested in, they will likely surprise you with how quickly they become an expert on the topic. When they start teaching you, it will be an empowering moment for both of you. They will likely become much more confident as a result.
If your child demonstrates an interest in a particular activity, allow them to pursue it further by engaging in that activity with them. This will foster their independence and allow them to explore their interests.
What can you do if your child wants to play video games all day long?
Restrict your children’s video game playing to those that stimulate thought and strategy, rather than the nonsensical, violent games.
What is most important is the process of discovery, exploration, and learning.
#10) Make Learning an Adventure
If you want to make learning an adventure for your child, there are a few things you can do to enhance their natural love for learning.
One way to get your children excited about travel is to involve them in the planning process. As they get older, you can give them more and more say in where your family goes on vacation.
In addition to visiting museums, zoos, and aquariums, you can also meet new people and have other adventurous experiences that would help your child understand the world better right where you live.
Helping your child explore their creative side through activities such as drawing or playing a musical instrument can be very beneficial to their development. Not only is it soothing for them, but it also provides a creative outlet that can be very beneficial in the long run.
If you make life an adventure, you’ll find that learning is both exciting and interesting.
A child’s natural love for learning is often diminished by society.
You can encourage your child’s love of learning by having the right attitude yourself, being excited about learning, and letting your child know that learning is an enjoyable and necessary part of life.
If you have a passion for learning, your child is likely to follow your lead.