By Laureen Rumpf copied with permission.
Why should we worry whether our child loves learning? Isn’t it enough that my
child does their work and gets good grades? The answer is quite simply; No. But I’m going to tell you why and what to do to be the best possible support in your child’s learning journey.
A love of learning is a great gift to give your children. The influencers of this world
have this one shared characteristic, they love learning and are innately curious, questioning
everything. Your child may be successful without a love of learning, but they won’t shape the
world they live in.
What’s more, successful learners are m
ore secure, more confident and are happier. Who doesn’t want that for their children? If you want the best for your children you need to help them develop a love of learning. This gift is more caught than taught, you can’t tell your child to love learning but you can show them how to be curious.
Children are born learners and are finding out about the world they live in from the time
they enter it. We don’t need to teach them to learn. We do need to make sure they harness their learning potential and their natural love of learning.
It’s fine to talk about giving your children a love of learning but how do you do that?
Here are 5 Ways to instil a love of learning in your children;
1. Encourage your Children to be Curious.
All learning starts with curiousity. If we are curious about something we will ask questions about it and are more likely to absorb the information we learn about the subject. When your child shows curiousity they will use skills of observation and improve their ability to use language as they try to observe and think about the things they have seen. Language skills improve as they try to explain their experiences and their reactions to things they hear, see and touch. Encourage them to consider things, ask questions and try to work out the answers.
When you stimulate your child’s curiousity you are encouraging them to develop a lifelong love of learning. Children who show curiousity about the world, use initiative and problem-solving skills and who persist until they find answers are displaying the essential characteristics of being good learners.
2. Offer plenty of new experiences to Enjoy with your Child.
Be a role model for your child and develop your own curiousity with your child. By
trying new experiences and new surroundings including outdoor activities in the bush,
at the seaside, at the river, walks, hikes, outings, indoor activities and visits you show
your child you are also interested in the world.
Encourage your child’s learning through new experiences by encouraging them to have a go at new activities. Repeat the experience over a period of time and record their progress. This gives your child the time and opportunity to improve their new skills and they will learn more from the occasion.
For Example, take them canoeing and give them the opportunity to watch you use the oars. Then when they feel ready, they can have a go at using the oars to steer the canoe. It’s ok if you aren’t proficient at the skill, they may even teach you something new! If you have a go at hiking then don’t set a marathon go easy and do a short manageable distance to start with.
Make the most of your adventures, take a hamper and a picnic blanket with you and you will have an excuse to stay out longer and enjoy the great outdoors. Visit places of interest where ever you go, it can spark curiousity to discover some of our historical monuments and visit landmarks.
3. Do things together.
It is vital to your child’s development that you provide a loving, secure and open relationship with them. Your child will feel loved, respected, secure and confident if they spend time with you, doing things you both enjoy. These are invaluable characteristics for learning and achievement.
Discover what your child is interested in by trying new things together. By doing things with you, your child learns how to understand, think about things, communicate, express their emotions and acquire social skills. To encourage your child to discover, to examine objects,
experiment and solve problems, share experiences together. This will strengthen your
parent/child relationship as well as lead to greater opportunities for communication.
4. Talk to your Child about their Experiences in a Natural way.
Let your child ask questions and talk about their experiences, in this way they will get
more from the experience. You don’t have to know all the answers. Find the answers
together. Encourage natural interest and prompt thinking by asking open-ended
questions about the experiences you have together with your child. Look at the photos
you took on the day. Wonder aloud about your interests. Just expressing your interest
will awaken curiousity in your child. Share things that you have learnt about the
5. Make Learning fun.
Learning should be relaxing and fun for both you and your child. When they are involved in activities that they enjoy and that offer a sense of achievement, children learn more and develop a love of learning. When learning is fun children are more likely to join in and take risks. Do fun activities and involve your children in lots of new experiences and children will discover the joy of learning.
If you want to help your child reach their potential then it is crucial that you help them to
develop a love of learning and curiousity about life and the world they live in. Having new
experiences is essential to awakening a child’s appetite and love for learning as well as
developing their natural curiousity. It also develops their skills, provides them with emotional wellbeing and builds confidence and self- esteem.