The love of learning does not come naturally to everyone, especially if a child is not taught in a way that is conducive to the way they learn.
“If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” ― Ignacio Estrada
Below are 5 things you can do to instill the love of learning in children and help them retain the information they are presented with:
1. Make it fun!
What do all kids have in common? They love to have fun. So how can we make learning fun? We turn it into a game!
Game-based learning is a great way for parents and teachers to introduce new concepts in a way that motivates children to learn.
Although it’s now catching fire due to the current climate with COVID-19 and completely changing the way we teach our kids skills for their future, it's not a new concept at all! Did you know Chess was used to teach strategic thinking as far back as the Middle Ages? These days, there are various apps and websites that integrate technology into the lesson plan while engaging kids with real learning.
2. Focus on what they're learning, not their grades
Instead of asking your child what grade they got on the Science quiz as soon as they walk in, ask them what they learned today! Then, ask them to teach you so you can learn what they retained and see firsthand what they really get excited about.
While grades are important, focusing on their learning experience will show them that learning is more important than test grades and that you're more concerned about them than you are about a number on paper. This will take the stress out of learning for them and allow them to focus on a positive conversation with you. Plus, putting their daily lessons into their own words will help them retain the information!
3. Celebrate accomplishments
No matter what age your child is, no matter how big or small the accomplishment, it's important to recognize and celebrate your child's achievements.
Purdue University’s Human Development Extension program explains it like this:
"Children learn about themselves when you interact with them. You can help them learn good things about themselves or bad things. You can teach your child that she is able to be strong, loving, and helpful. Let your child know when she is doing things you like. Take the time to notice when she is behaving well. This is called “positive reinforcement.” It helps her learn what she can do well. It makes her want to repeat the positive behavior."
Kids of all ages require positive reinforcement to keep them motivated to learn and challenge themselves to do better. Offering recognition and celebrating your child's achievements will go a long way when it comes to their studies. Finishing homework that took especially long, improving in a subject they don't enjoy and completing a difficult project are all reasons to take a special trip to get ice cream!
4. Try different learning styles
There are seven core learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social and Solitary. Every child has learning preferences and styles that are best suited to their way of learning.
Some children have a dominant learning style, while others prefer to learn using a mix of learning styles. Maybe your child learns better visually or maybe they retain information best when they hear it. By helping your child discover his preferred learning style or styles, you can use techniques that will improve his rate and quality learning!
5. Share your love of learning!
We have a better time when those around us are having a good time. If your child or your student sees that you're passionate about learning new things, they're likely to be just as enthusiastic about it.
Teach them that each subject is a journey full of new and exciting discoveries. By taking every opportunity to share new information with them in a way that is fun and exciting, they will see the joy and wonder it brings to your life and want to go on that journey with you!
Dr. Lite is passionate about learning and that's why we make learning eye-safe! Learn more about our doctor recommended lighting to complement digital learning.