No matter how inspired your child is to learn, there will be some days when they lack motivation. It could be due to information overload, boredom, or because they just don't feel like they want to do anything.
Of course, it's normal to feel burnt out from school. But one of the biggest mistakes parents and educators make when it comes to teaching, is to limit learning to the class setting. While the classroom—traditional or alternative—can be the primary source where they learn, there are lots of things that can be taught outside of it. Help your child discover the joy of learning with these simple tips:
Go on Field Trips
While this concept is not particularly revolutionary, it's important you don’t underestimate how powerful of a tool field trips can be. An article on LiveStrong highlights that it provides children with hands-on learning, as students are able to see connections between what they read in books and the real world. It doesn't even have to be elaborate all the time; even a trip to the park, the library, or a museum can pique a child’s interest and curiosity. They'll come back to the classroom feeling refreshed and able to see their lessons in a new light.
The value of books can never be underestimated, but videos allow students to absorb lessons in a truly unique way. Statistics featured on Maryville University show how video content contributed to more than 60% of global mobile traffic back in 2016. This was mostly due to the influx of online content from major platforms, and the number has risen considerably since. In fact, a more recent survey by Pew Research Center found that 4 out of 5 parents now encourage their children to watch videos to help them understand new things. Of course, not everything online is appropriate for kids, so it's important to stick to websites like YouTube Kids, BrainPOP, and NASA Kids' Club for a more conducive learning experience.
Like we discussed in ‘The Power of Play’, playing can provide children a fun and engaging way to understand concepts. Moreover, it can also teach them soft skills such as leadership, self-confidence, and responsibility. Hofstra University Professor Doris Fromberg explains how children learn by “comparing physical experiences, [with their] interactions with other people and their own feelings” – often through their imagination. In other words, children learn better when they “experience” it, rather than being taught in theory. Get some props or toys to allow them to experience it even further.
Learning doesn’t stop with math, science, and comprehension. What about equally valuable skills like patience, compassion, and empathy? These are some lessons that are woven into many popular storybooks. Similar to the effects of roleplay, researchers from the University of Stavanger discovered how children tend to read stories from the perspective of the protagonists, which helps them understand their values better. Furthermore, constant exposure to stories can also increases their literacy proficiency.
Individual personality plays a huge role in your child’s willingness to learn, and their overall stance on schooling and education. Thus, there is no one definite motivator to learning; so find out which of these methods your child responds to the most.
Content by Ivy Royale for celebratethechildren.org
Contributions to this blog are made by Celebrate the Children's highly talented, interdisciplinary team and wonderful families.