Kids love learning. Period. Even if they don’t say so. You can see it in how engaged and attentive they become with something they like, whether it’s through a sport, a craft project, caring for an animal, or any one of a thousand other things.
Children are hardwired to absorb as much as they can. But despite this, we don’t always see kids enjoy the learning process as much as they could. As parents, we can support and inspire their love of learning by personalizing the experience for them and by connecting the topic to what they already enjoy.
Foster their natural curiosity by encouraging questions and exploration. When they ask why or how something works, take the time to explain and engage in discussions. Incorporate games, educational toys, and interactive activities to make learning enjoyable. Learning through play can be highly effective and engaging for kids.
Reading is one of the best ways to stimulate a child’s imagination and language skills. Read books together regularly, and let them choose stories that interest them.
Here are a few important ways we can encourage a love of learning in our kids.
Identify Your Child’s Interests
The late Sir Ken Robinson’s groundbreaking philosophies around education focus on the uniqueness inherent in every child. His work finds that each child has specific interests they will connect to above others. And the best way to help children discover them is to leave them free to do so through play and self-directed exploration.
As parents, it’s up to us to listen to our children when they talk about what interests them and encourage them to continue their exploration.
Determine Your Kid’s Learning Style
We must also keep in mind the difference in how children learn. Some prefer to read, while others learn visually. They might respond better to auditory stimulation, physical activity (learning by doing), or even through verbal discussion. As a parent, it’s worthwhile trying to find which of these ways your kids best love to learn and then teach to that learning style.
Personalize Their Learning
Once you have a grasp of what stimulates your child’s curiosity and interest, you can take steps to personalize their learning. One of these ways is to draw up an education plan for their schooling that takes into account the method and subject of your child’s learning desires. The more you nurture these passions and encourage autonomous learning for them, the more you’ll see their confidence and individuality blossom.
Plan Activities and Experiences That Complement Their Interests
Kids love learning even more when they’re able to apply their interests in the real world. It becomes a sort of validation for them that the stuff they’re passionate about matters. There are a number of things you can do at home with your kids to better engage them. You can also take it outdoors, for activities like a nature walk, a day at the beach, a museum visit, a sports event, whatever you like. Whatever your child likes. Just remember to make it something fun!
Express Encouragement Regularly
Amid all of this, remember to stay engaged with your child as they learn. There’s not much that beats parental affirmation to get kids to love the learning process. Reach out to them frequently with expressions of love, encouragement, and delight. Congratulate them every time they’ve had a learning accomplishment and make them believe they’re capable of even better. This is also a great way for you to bond with your kids and establish a deeper connection with them over their priorities.
Strategies to Improve Focus
Fidget toys can be beneficial for some people when it comes to improving focus and concentration, which could indirectly contribute to learning. However, it’s important to note that fidget toys alone won’t make you learn faster. Effective learning involves a combination of various strategies, including active engagement, proper study techniques, and personalized learning approaches. That said, fidget toys can potentially aid in the learning process by:
Reducing stress and anxiety: Fidget toys can provide a soothing effect and help reduce anxiety, which can improve your ability to concentrate and retain information.
Enhancing focus: For some individuals, fidgeting with a toy can keep their hands occupied and their minds more focused on the task at hand, leading to improved attention during learning activities.
Increasing kinesthetic learning: Kinesthetic learners often learn best through physical movement and tactile experiences. Fidget toys can serve as a helpful tool for these individuals, allowing them to engage their hands while learning.
Promoting mind-body connection: Some fidget toys require a certain level of coordination and balance, which can foster a stronger connection between the brain and body. This connection may positively influence learning.
When using fidget toys to aid learning, it’s essential to choose ones that are not overly distracting and don’t interfere with the learning process. Some popular fidget toys include stress balls, fidget spinners, fidget cubes, putty, or even items like a smooth stone or worry stone that can be easily held in the hand.
Remember that everyone’s learning style is different, so what works for one person may not be as effective for another. It’s essential to experiment and find the learning strategies and tools that suit you best. If you find that fidget toys are helpful, consider integrating them into your study routine in moderation to see if they enhance your focus and retention of information.
Encourage Shared Learning Experiences
Just as with adults, sharing an experience makes it that much richer and better for kids. Research has shown that kids love learning more when they’re in a group. Don’t be afraid to try and reach out to other parents whose kids share similar passions with yours. A playdate or any chance to learn together is a really good way to help your child make friends with others they can relate to. Even something as simple as having them do their homework together will give your child the opportunity to have the kind of conversation that will help to excite and energize them.
Show enthusiasm for learning yourself. When children see their parents or caregivers enjoying learning and acquiring new skills, they are more likely to emulate that behavior. Set achievable and age-appropriate learning goals for your children. Celebrate their successes, no matter how small, to build their confidence. Ensure that your home has a designated study or learning area. Minimize distractions and noise during study time.
On the face of it, this can all seem quite a lot, trying to figure out your child’s interests, and then structuring a learning program and a lifestyle around it. But the key is to start small. Get your kids exploring. Try and expose them to as many different situations as possible. And then observe. Notice which situations stimulate a love for learning in your kids, and then explore those. It’ll snowball quickly.
Provide opportunities for creative expression through drawing, painting, music, storytelling, or other art forms. Creativity is essential for problem-solving and critical thinking.
Promoting a positive learning environment and encouraging your kids to be curious and engaged in the learning process is essential for their development.