How to get children excited about learning:
As a mother of 3, I know very well how hard it can be to get children to sit down and do their homework. It can be a constant struggle and, more often than not, leads to at least one of us storming off.
Over the years, I’ve realised that children really are extremely stubborn and will only ever engage with something if it is on their own accord, therefore, learning must be made fun and exciting!
Here are a few of my tips to start to change how your children think about homework:
1. Rewards – let’s not beat around the bush, children respond best to being rewarded. Whether that’s TV time, a nice snack, or a later bedtime, kids will begin to associate work with good things and achievement, helping them to enjoy the learning process and form these long-lasting, positive connections from a young age.
2. Reading – reading everyday allows children to learn about things they don’t see in school, in a new and exciting way! Helping them find new interests and hobbies provides opportunities then for further research into the subjects they feel passionate about. Reading not only expands vocabulary, it also teaches key communication skills and confidence. If your child is reluctant to read, you can read with them, taking a page at a time, or by choosing a character each to play. Visits to the library can also increase their curiosity and show learning as an adventure.
3. Adapt to different learning types – there are 7 principle learning styles: visual, auditory, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary. Some children will have a more dominant learning style, whilst others may enjoy a mix of different ones. Either way, exploring and adapting to these can allow your child to enjoy learning and also find retention and absorption much easier. Incorporating a mixture of these, especially in the beginning, will promote engagement and flexibility.
4. Keep them organised – especially with younger children, it can be hard to keep everything in the right places. Help your child with this and take time before each school week to reorganise and make sure everything is where it should be. Make sure work is always dated and titled so that, should a folder explode and splurge out the year’s work, it can be easily put back into the correct place. Disorganisation is a huge factor in kids feeling overwhelmed or bogged down by everything they need to do, so find a clear and easy system to allow your child to feel on top.
5. Using game based learning – using games as an educational tool develops soft skills that are vital in the working world today, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving and decision making to name a few. By adding a competitive aspect, children tend to be motivated and engaged with material, whilst also having a positive experience. This will also promote retention and long term memory.
6. Set an example – ultimately, children are very observant and will pick up on the attitudes you have toward your own tasks. Let your own enthusiasm rub off and teach them to take all opportunities with confidence, excitement and curiosity.
Written by Jo Chadha