How To Encourage A Love Of Learning In Your Child*
When at a very young age, children are like sponges. They soak up all of the information presented to them, and they are desperate to find out more. Many a parent has had to endure those ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions from their inquisitive children, but this can only be a good thing. Your child is learning about the world around them, looking upon life with something approaching awe and wonder. Eventually, however, the love of learning falters. There are those days when your child loses interest in going to school. Learning can become boring, especially if it has been taught through textbooks and lectures. And with the pressures of homework, testing, and those other academic rigours, the love for learning is replaced with something approaching dread and distaste.
As the parent, you need to encourage that love of learning. You need to gently push your child in the right direction. And you need to help them see the importance of learning, not only to help them academically but in preparing them for life beyond the school gates.
To encourage the love of learning in your child, consider the following.
Open them up to new experiences
Continue to spark awe and wonder in your child by taking them to new places. Visit any attractions near you, be that zoos, interactive museums, or the theatre, and open them up to sights, sounds, and experiences they may never have discovered before. Talk to them about what they are experiencing, encourage them to ask questions, and then continue their education on what they have learned through reading books, or researching items of interest on the internet.
Encourage your child to take up hobbies
You will have an idea of the kinds of things your children are interested in, so introduce them to hobbies to help them develop their knowledge and skills in the things they enjoy. Whether it’s in activities that they take part in alone, or with the company of others, it’s better they learn more about those things they already have some kind of interest in, rather than pushing them to learn skills in areas that hold little appeal.
Spend time with your child at school
Provided your child isn’t embarrassed by you being at school with them, volunteer with school activities, be that helping from within the classroom, or assisting on outdoor activities, such as science trips. You can show excitement at what is being taught in the school or on those trips, and you will have something to talk about with your child when they are at home. If you can be enthusiastic, you may well inspire that same enthusiasm in your child, both inside school, and in discussions and activities with you at home.
Find your child’s learning style
When teaching your child something at home, do so in a way that appeals to the way they learn. Just because you learn in a certain way, that does not mean your child will follow suit. Follow this guide to learning styles, and practice with your child until you get a handle on what is best for them. Speak to your child’s teacher too; they should have picked up how your child learns best in the classroom, and they may be able to give you some direction in helping them. By knowing the right way to approach your child’s learning, the less likely it is you will frustrate and confuse them, and the more likely it is that they will enjoy and benefit from whatever it is you are teaching them.
Be supportive of your child
By following the other tips in this article, you are already showing your child support. But there is more you can do on a day-to-day level. You can help them with their homework, showing interest in whatever it is they have brought home with them. You can congratulate them on achievements they have made at school. You can listen to your child when they tell you about their school day, and you can ask them questions to display that you actually have been listening to them. It’s about being a good parent, showing that you place value on what it is they are learning. You see, if you show value, they may be inclined to show the same.
These are just some of the ways you can encourage a love of learning in your child, but if you have done something that we have neglected to mention, then please let us know. After all, it’s not only our children who have something to learn!