6 Ways To Stimulate Your Child To Love Learning
You might remember back to when you were a child thinking that you had to learn things, and it was the last thing you really wanted to do because you just wanted to go out and play. It’s a natural part of who we are as children, but if we want to get our children more interested in the world, we must maintain or develop a love of learning. As babies, we all have a natural curiosity to explore the world, but this love of learning soon disappears, and children can grow to dread learning new things because of the school environment. This is why, if we want to instill a love of learning in our children, we’ve got to do some of the following:
Find Their Learning Style
It’s so important that we step away from traditional forms of learning. It’s not about sitting down and reading material in the hope that it will become lodged in our brain. Everybody has their own unique learning style that will be more effective for them.
Psychologists and educators have established three key types: kinesthetic, auditory, and visual.
Kinesthetic learners are more physical and will learn best through movement and touch, for example, counting on their fingers when working through a math problem.
Auditory learners are good listeners and usually have verbal strengths or musical aptitude.
Visual learners will process information when it’s presented in images or writing and usually display very observant traits and excellent memories.
You can benefit from understanding their learning style and providing the right stimuli. Those that are visual learners may benefit from stimuli like task cards, auditory learners may benefit more from conversation and discussing a subject in detail, and kinesthetic learners may benefit from stimuli that they can touch, like blocks.
But children don’t necessarily display one type of learning. Children will show ability in all of these areas, but it’s likely that one is stronger than the other. If you can locate their learning style, this will help to make the process more enjoyable.
Help Your Children Discover Their Passions
If you want to spark a love of learning, you need your children to discover or explore topics that really speak to them. In a traditional learning environment like a school, it’s not something that we can control. But if you see your child having more of an interest in subjects away from school or engaging with certain stimuli, whether it’s books or television, you can benefit from exposing them to the things they love towards a variety of other material cultures.
Our role as a parent is to give them as many things to choose from as possible. Take them to the library, the museum, the zoo, and so on. Because when you are giving your child wider access to materials, they will be trying to find things that suit them, and while they may believe that they have sought this out by themselves, you have helped pave the way for them to love learning about things.
It doesn’t have to be traditionally academic or educational, but when we unlock a passion for learning, this is going to help them understand that applying their love of learning in other environments can make a subject more enjoyable.
You might remember one teacher that really spoke to you on a deeper level, and they may have been more interested in the subject, but they may also have been more engaging. Part of the problem with traditional learning is that many students just passively receive information. If your child demonstrates curiosity about something by asking a question, this is where you should do your best to answer it.
When a child shows interest in something and asks a question, no matter how off-kilter it is, it should be seized by us as parents. Starting the conversation is so important, but continuing it is even more important. Asking open-ended questions can help to keep the discussion going further. When a child is asking why something happens, you need to arm yourself with a variety of stock questions that can discuss the various permutations of the subject.
If your child is asking about a painting, you can instigate more conversation with the who, what, where, when, why, or how approach, but you can also ask your child to start thinking about their opinions on certain pieces of art. This is why taking them to museums is so important because it’s not just about exposing them to pictures, but about getting them to ask the right questions.
You may not have an interest in art, but you can both discuss the subject together, which is so important to show your child that you are a great role model.
Setting the Example
You need to be a role model for your child in every part of your life, and exploring your own interests shows that you are passionate about learning. You can talk to your child about what you are learning, what excites you, and how you are applying it to your own life.
Children of a certain age may find they are having to learn information but not necessarily know how to apply it in real life. This is partly to do with the school itself, but when we start to learn about things that we may have an interest in, for example, art, it’s not just about having an appreciation of the picture, but about delving deeper into the picture, what art movement it came from, the background of the artist themselves, and what we can do to attempt our own version of that painting.
The more we show a passion for our passions, this is going to, at the very least, tell our child that this is something that is very important to us. Because when you are genuinely passionate about the subject, you are going to engage people much better.
When children are forced to sit down and learn something from a book, they are not necessarily going to learn better unless they are visual learners. There are certain subjects that we cannot get to grips with, and if your child is trying to understand a math problem, there have been studies that show that students that can act out a mathematical problem are more likely to get the answer correct. When people move, experience, and touch they are going to learn better.
Additionally, it’s a more enjoyable method of learning. While there is a place for learning something through repetition, if you want your child to actually engage with a subject, you need to incorporate real experiences as much as possible.
As simple as it sounds, one reason that children lose their love of learning is that they begin to associate learning with the stresses and tensions around the subject. Children are more pressured at a young age than ever, and when children are more worried about getting a bad grade or answering a question wrong, this pressure is going to stop them from ever putting their hand up in class.
Learning is not just about the outcome, the grade, or the correct answer; learning needs to be about the effort and the process your child is putting into their work. It’s important for us to teach our children that success is not about an end goal, and therefore, having the intelligence to achieve a grade or get an answer right is not the big picture. In fact, there is a bigger discussion to be had, namely the notion of success, which doesn’t stem from an inherent ability like intelligence.
Children who associate failure or struggle with a lack of intelligence are going to avoid difficult tasks when they face them. Instead, if your child can view a challenge as an opportunity, they are going to strategize more until they can find a solution. Part of the problem in learning is that many teachers will say something is right or something is wrong. While this may be the case in certain subjects like math, the fact is that if you are more supportive and encouraging of your child’s abilities to want to learn something, even if it’s not academic, they’re going to develop a love of learning.
Learning is not about achieving success or perfection: it’s about the act of learning. When our children can relax into the role of learning, whether it’s getting to grips with a new language or being better with their reading skills, we have to remember that it’s not about the final product. What’s important at a young age is that our children develop a love of learning new things so they can relax into the learning process. That sense of curiosity should stay with them, and if we are more focused on the love of learning, and not the associated components thrust upon our children in academic settings, our children aren’t just going to be happier, but they will be better learners as a result.