disclosure: this is a collaborative post
Kids tend to show early signs of not wanting to learn. They may be reluctant to read and may switch off when asked to solve mathematical problems. Inspiring your kids to engage with learning at an early age is important – as they get older, it will become harder to teach your kids the value of education. Here are a few ways in which you can encourage your kids to learn.
Read to your kids
Studies have shown that reading to toddlers and even babies can help to encourage an interest in books. They’ll associate reading as a familiar and fun activity once they reach school, rather than viewing it as a chore. It’s worth also reading around them – not necessarily to them. If your kids see you reading a book or a newspaper regularly, they’ll view it as something they should be doing independently too.
Buy educational toys
You can also spur your kids to want to learn by buying educational toys. Puzzles can be great for getting kids to enjoy problem solving – this could be something as simple as letting an infant match shaped pieces with shaped holes to something as complex as a Rubik’s cube for older kids. You can also download educational games onto a tablet for kids to play. Such toys will help kids to associate learning with fun.
Play educational games
By the same token, you can also play games with your kids to help encourage learning. This could include card games and board games, but it could also include verbal games. For example, you can teach kids new things with simple games like 21 questions or Scattergories. You’ll find lots on inspiration for educational games online.
Go on educational trips
Many trips can also be made educational. Museums are often fun places for kids and can be great environments for learning new things whether it’s history or science. The zoo meanwhile is a great place to learn about nature and biology. You can even give your kids a roadmap on a long car journey as a way of teaching them local geography. This will also help kids to associate learning with fun experiences.
Celebrate your kids’ achievements
When your kids achieve something, no matter how small, you should always make them feel proud of their achievement. If you’re too critical or ignore their achievements entirely, they may not see the point of striving to achieve anything. This is particularly important when it comes to scholarly achievements. As for when your kids fail at school, it’s important to offer advice on how to improve and stay supportive – you shouldn’t tell them ‘well done’ if they haven’t achieved anything, but at the same time you shouldn’t be negative about it.
Help your kids stay organised at school
You can also encourage your kids to learn by helping them to keep organised at school. This doesn’t mean organising everything for them, but it could mean helping them to buy supplies they need and helping them to develop a good routine when it comes to getting ready in the morning and doing homework after school. When it comes to exams, you could even stick up a timetable on the fridge and help them with successful ways to revise that you may have used.
Take up education yourself
By taking steps to learn new things yourself, you can lead by example. This can be very effective at getting kids to learn – if they see you studying on top of working and running a household, they’ll have no excuses as to why they can’t find the willpower to study. There are lots of courses that you can take online nowadays to fit around the commitments of being an adult – you can view this MA education program here to see the type of requirements needed. Even if you don’t feel up to taking a full course, you may be able to learn new skills with a short course or learn a new skill in your own time such as another language or the ability to code.
Cater to their learning style
Sometimes it can be worth researching into your kid’s individual learning style, particularly if they’re struggling at school. For example, some people are visual learners and are able to learn more from images and graphs. Others are aural learners and get more out of sound and music. There are also physical learners who are more easily able to learn by using hands-on activities. By knowing your child’s learning style, you can change the way you teach them new information and you can encourage them to revise in a similar fashion.
Embrace your kids’ interests and passions
There are many pushy parents out there that want their kid to become a doctor or a lawyer without considering their personal interests and passions. Some kids prefer art to maths, whilst others may struggle at English but love science. It’s important to let your kids chase their individual interests and passions – they should still try their hardest at all subjects, but you shouldn’t push them to strive more at one subject just because it’s what you want.
Encourage your kids to voice their opinion and have debates
Having opinions and forming arguments is an important skill that is needed when writing essays and conducting studies, as well as being necessary in life in general. Try to encourage kids to voice opinions and challenge the world around them. It’s healthy to have debates with your kids – your kids could learn a lot from these debates and they may even be tempted to do their own research. Never tell your kids that something is wrong ‘because that’s the way it is’ – give explanations to things so that kids realise there’s a reason to everything.