Every parent wants their child to be happy and successful. While getting high grades in school is not always a prerequisite for a good life, it does provide us with more opportunities. With that in mind, parents should do their best to encourage their kids to develop effective learning practices. Keep on reading for some ways to motivate your child to discover all the joys of learning.
Instill the practice of reading early on
There are many benefits that children get to experience when reading on a regular basis, such as developing a richer vocabulary and learning to process various concepts. Therefore, you should strive to create an atmosphere that encourages reading from an early age. For example, read to your little ones frequently and have them read aloud. You can read from a variety of sources as well, from children’s books to posters and magazines. It’s also a good idea to let your kid choose what you will be reading, as being bored with the material will lead to them being frustrated and creating a dislike for the activity.
Have a positive attitude toward learning
In order to inspire your kids to learn, you should also show enthusiasm for learning new things. Seeing as how they see you as an example and like to copy what you do, sharing how happy you are with new discoveries will encourage them to do some exploring of their own. From writing and reading to some practical things like gardening tips, discuss everything you’ve learned with your little ones.
Learn through games
Learning through games has been around for a long time, which means that there are many ways how you can incorporate it into your approach to teaching your kids new things. Most kids are motivated and engaged when an activity is fun, so consider role play and playing with dolls to encourage their imagination and expression of feelings. Sorting shapes, playing with jigsaws, drawing, and dancing can all help develop coordination and various skills.
Show enthusiasm for their interests
Your kids will always have interests that fascinate them. While these might differ from what interests you, you should still support your kids in the exploration of topics that make them happy. Don’t judge or say anything negative about these interests but show enthusiasm and offer to expand their current knowledge. For example, if they show interest in animals, offer to take them to the local zoo, watch nature documentaries together, or task them with researching some animals and giving you a few facts they’ve learned.
Let the child be in control
When kids feel like they’re being controlled during every step of the learning process, their education can feel less fun and they might withdraw. This is why it’s essential to let your little one have some control when it comes to their learning experience. To encourage them to make decisions and be in charge, ask them for opinions on what they would like to do, allow them to pick the book they will read, or the extracurricular activities they will spend time on. This is also important when picking the right center where you will enroll your child. For instance, centers like Insight Early Learning offer a play-based curriculum that empowers and equips children to become confident decision-makers.
Put emphasis on open communication
For your kids to be in control, they should also learn how to communicate openly and sincerely. In order for them to feel safe telling you everything, you have to create an environment that encourages expressing. Sharing opinions and feelings is a big part of learning and they need to be able to be honest with you in order to move past an obstacle they might be facing. When they do approach you with something, you have to validate them, regardless of how you actually feel about the topic. Make sure they know their opinion matters and don’t put them down or ignore them as then they will feel discouraged from further learning.
Introduce different styles of learning
It’s important to keep in mind that we all have different preferences when it comes to learning. So, if you notice that an approach you are taking with your child is not working, you should consider changing tactics. Some people prefer the visual style while others learn best by listening. You should also try combining different methods to see what works best for your little one.
Don’t focus exclusively on performance
If you put the focus on your child’s performance rather than on the learning process itself, your child will think that good grades are all that matters. Instead of asking them what grade they got on a test, ask them what they learned in class. That way, you will demonstrate that learning is much more important than grades and that you are not only concerned with their performance. What is more, you will also encourage them to put what they’ve learned into their own words.
Teach them that making mistakes is okay
A big part of learning new things is making mistakes. If your kid makes a mistake that leads to failure, they might be discouraged from giving it another go. This is where you need to step in and teach them that mistakes are okay and failure is not the end of the world. What is more, share your own mistake to show them how far you’ve come. We can all learn from our mistakes as they provide us with the tools we need to overcome something we are struggling with.
Focus on their strengths
Finally, a great way to learn more effectively is by focusing on the strengths your child has. Maybe they’re not good at science but they might be acing those math tests. With that in mind, provide them with help in those areas where they are struggling and remember to congratulate them for those they’re thriving in. Don’t focus too much on the negatives, as that will only cause distress and discouragement.
By helping your child be in control, allowing them to follow their interests, and focusing on their strengths, you are providing them with essential tools for effective learning. What is more, by showing them that mistakes are okay and not focusing solely on their performance, your kids will know that you will always be there for them.
About the author:
Alexis is a Sydney-based part-time lifestyle writer and a full-time mom of two. Her words carry the richness of her travelling and parenting adventures, offer advice and inspiration to those who desire to improve their lives. Outside of the office, she takes pleasure in spending precious time with her youngsters and absorbing the happiness they constantly radiate.