Starting school can be tough on children, and on the parents too. One way to make school easier is to encourage your children to enjoy learning. Grades and test scores do matter, of course, but taking joy from learning will help your children grown into curious people, who are interested in the world around them, who enjoy learning new things. Here’s how to raise a child who loves to learn.
Start Early, Inspire Often
Babies and toddlers find everything fascinating. They’re often quite happy to just play with stack blocks, play with sand, or just stare at their own hands. You can build on this natural curiosity in lots of different ways.
Try to share their wonder at the world. If your child is excited at the arrival of the garbage truck or fascinated by a spider web in the garden, mirror their enthusiasm and build on it. Ask your child questions, or point out things from them to notice, such as pointing out the wheels of the garbage truck are circles and asking them what other shapes that they can see, or talking about what kind of spider might have made the web. Even very young children can play fun sight word games for kids and start learning about the world.
Another great way to encourage learning is to get out into the world. Hikes in nature, road trips, or trips to the museum can offer lots of opportunities to discover things and wonder at the interesting things that you see. As well as showing and sharing in the excitement, you can help your children to make sense of what they are seeing and experiencing. Playing, exploring, and talking with your child will help them to understand things and continue their learning.
As well as being open about your own curiosity, you can also be a role model for the process of learning. When you’re curious about something, what do you do next? We’ve all gotten used to Googling something or asking Siri, but sometimes it’s more fun to ask more questions and try to work things out without using technology to help. Sometimes, not knowing the answer is part of the fun.
Talking through learning processes with your child will show them some different ways that learning can happen, and that learning is for adults too. This could be as simple as sharing what you have learned from a movie or TV show. It’s especially useful to walk your children through what happens when you hit an obstacle in your learning. For example, if you have turned to a manual or online articles to learn something for work, or are watching videos to try a new recipe, talk over the difficult parts and what you will do to overcome them. For example, explain that you haven’t made a curry from scratch before so you will make some mistakes, but are being patient with yourself as you practice. When you make mistakes, show how you can learn from them.
Inspire Learning with Media
Discover different viewpoints, not to condone or justify things that oppose your values, but to help your children to learn to think critically about the things that they see and hear. Read or watch current events together, and fact check the stories in order to find out more to help inform both your opinions.
You could watch documentaries together on various subjects, such as history, animals, or outer space. There are lots of programs like this designed for family viewing or for children of all different ages. Sharing new discoveries and learning together encourages an interest in gaining more knowledge, and is a bonding experience for the two of you.
You can encourage your child to enjoy learning by making knowledge fun and something that you do together, whether it’s cooking together or visiting a museum.Category: Education