Learning is fun: how to help your kids learn without losing interest?
Motivation, or why study at all?
Motivation is a reason why kids gain new knowledge and acquire previously unknown skills. Does it affect the enjoyment of the learning process? Of course, it does!
Often enough children say that they completed a task only because they either wanted to hear what a great job they’d done or simply to avoid a punishment. When this happens, children perceive learning as a possible “enemy” with which they need to fight with all their might.
In that case, it is crucial for parents and teachers to not focus on the negative. Don’t tell kids that studying is necessary because it’s their responsibility, their “job” as it won’t do any good. On the contrary, it will only aggravate the dislike of learning in general.
Stay on the positive side instead - help your little ones set feasible goals, support their endeavours, and praise them for success! By doing so, you will show your kids the benefits of learning process and motivate them to learn new information.
What techniques can make learning more interesting?
First of all, your own interest in the success of your child! You can also try to add a little bit of spice to your usual activities:
- There are no unsolvable problems - there are tasks for which you need to find a “key”. Change the very formulation of the question when you want to know about the progress of your child. For example, “What are you working on right now?”, “What solutions can you think of?”, “Why does it seem to you that this solution is correct?”, “I’d like to hear more about your ideas!”
- Play as a method of comfortable work. You can include a component of competition to your daily activities – “Who can find a solution faster?”, “Who can come up with more options?”, etc. Speaking in a friendly tone to create a comfortable atmosphere that is also conducive to learning.
- Eliminate the fear of error. Very often children can’t get down to studying because they are afraid of making a mistake. Parents need to explain their kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and everyone can be wrong. The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything! (Theodore Roosevelt).
- Do not take responsibility for carrying out a task! Undoubtedly, parents’ and teachers’ support is very important for children. However, when adults do all the work, children quickly give up and no longer try to learn. Why try if mum and dad can do everything for you anyway?
- Help them overcome self-doubt. Doesn’t matter if it’s a complement or telling your kids that you believe in them and their success, just say it! They are great and they can do anything! Do not skimp on kind words and your child will repeatedly prove to you the benefits of this advice with their multiple achievements.
- Consider your kids’ temperaments and characters. Who, if not you, knows your kids best? Always bear in mind how they like to be approached, what they are interested in, and how they react to difficulties. All this will help you identify the best ways of creating a comfortable learning environment for your little learners.
- Understand your kids’ feelings and emotions. Sometimes, a child's feelings can interfere with learning and other activities. Therefore, if your kids raise topics that worries them most, ask questions and just want to talk, do not rush to scold them for procrastinating. Instead, listen to them, give them your valuable parent advice and all the support they need. That way, kids will not only learn faster, but will also be convinced of your support. Be sure, that next time they have a hard time, they will trust you enough to share their concerns with you!