For all parents, motivating their children to acquire a love of learning should be a high priority. By instilling a lifelong love of learning, students will be more likely to invest their time and energy into learning and to set goals for themselves.
Because all children start out with an instinct to explore and discover, the key to encouraging a love of learning is all about beginning at an early age. Here are a 5 ways to instill a lifelong love of learning.
Create A Learning Environment
By creating an environment that encourages a love of learning, your child will be motivated to engage in learning activities day to day. A few ways to create an environment for learning would be:
Structure. While technology has a lot to offer in terms of learning, it’s not always effective unless there is structure. Whether your child is watching a show, movie or youtube video, or playing a game on their ipad, encourage them to choose more interactive and education content. Please note, quality should not need to be compromised for higher education value! There is plenty of innovative and fun shows, games, and apps out there that will allow your child to be entertained and to learn at the same time. For example, check out some of these reading apps.
Quite or Loud? Some children need their own space while others thrive on energy. Introverts and extroverts interact and learn differently, and as your child is developing their personality type, you can better cater to their learning ability by first understanding what it is that motivates them. Whether it’s reading themselves a story in a quiet space or a high-energy, interactive game, it’s possible for your child to reach the same learning goals, just in a different way.
Be Available. Instinctively curious, children need answers in order to learn. By being readily available to answer your child’s questions and actively being part of the process, you’ll nurture your child’s growing love of learning.
Allow Your Child to Learn In Their Own Way
Everyone knows that one of the best ways to learn is from through making mistakes. What some parents don’t realize is that there isn’t one right way to learn. If your child is learning in a way that differs from how you or their teacher is teaching, it may not be best to discourage it. If your child is learning in a different way but still reaching their learning goals, this new or different way could just be a reflection of how innovative and creative they are.
Support Your Child’s Teacher
Your child should be encouraged to learn in their own way but, offering support to your child’s teacher by purposefully including what they’re teaching in the classroom can be just the boost your child needs to make connections and better understand the topic. Simply asking your child, “what did you learn in school today?”, could be the refresher they need. Also, research shows that being able to teach someone else about a subject is a learning experience within itself.
Encourage Learning Through Play
For many, the most effective way of learning is by doing. When integrating learning and play, it’s important to define play. Play is an activity “done for its own sake, characterized by means rather ends.” There are many types of play, each offering their own learning benefit. Mildred Parten, an American sociologist, recognized six different types of play: Unoccupied Play, Solitary Play, Onlooker play, Parallel Play, Associative Play, Cooperative Play. Learn more about ways to incorporate play and learning here.
Include Your Child’s Interests
If your child has specific interests, don’t hesitate to include them. Choose books, games, interactive videos, activities and other learning mediums that are topically relevant to entice your children to engage. By choosing activities based on your child’s interests you can prevent them from feeling forced because they’ll actually be enjoying themselves.
With these easy tips you can create an environment that is right for your child and their style of learning.