If you have a child of school age, you know that learning does not always go hand-in-hand with joy and enthusiasm. And that’s quite natural – study is not supposed to be entertaining, is it? Sure. But who said one can’t enjoy learning? Remember how carried away your kids are when they are doing something that they find interesting – drawing, telling stories, playing games – and they do not care at all how difficult these things may actually be! So, why not help them take the same interest in learning school subjects? Here are a few tips that will motivate your child to be a top learner.
1. Reading is the key point
When a child reads a book simply because he has to, he will hardly enjoy it. But if he reads because reading is fun, he learns how to get the information on his own, to concentrate on the new things, to analyse different situations and to predict the result. So let your child read what he wants and participate in the reading – ask him what he thinks, what he would do if he were one of the characters, what the funniest word he read in the book is, etc.
2. Learning experience is more important than grades
Of course you are interested in your child’s grades, but let it be not the first question you ask him after school. Ask him about things he learned today instead. Encourage your child to explain these new things to you, as if they are new to you too. Show your kid how great it is to get smarter day by day.
3. Any achievements deserve recognition
We don’t mean you should make a party every time your child gets a high grade, but by no means your child’s achievements should go unrecognised, even if they are tiny. The long way to success is made of thousands of little steps, which are easier to take with positive reinforcement. Celebrate your kid’s achievements by cooking something special for dinner and saying how proud you are of your little student.
4. Be an example – learn with joy!
You want your child to learn with enthusiasm, but what about yourself? Your child’s study is a perfect (and free!) opportunity for you to learn too! Do it with excitement. Ask your child to lend you one of his school books for a few hours, read it and make comments like “wow, I had no idea of that before!”. Take every chance to discover new information with your child when you are on trips or walks. Let your kid see how interesting it is to learn!
Learning does not only mean knowing – it also means analyzing and having an opinion. Ask your kid to share his point of view, whatever it is. If you disagree, do not put him down – encourage him to give his reasons instead, and explain your point of view with respect to your little opponent. The desire to be “right” will motivate your kid to seek reasonable arguments, to think and to learn the art of discussion.
6. Let your child choose his interests
Your child’s interests may differ from yours, and this is fine – this means he will have to explore a lot on his own! The best thing you can do for your kid is to support him in his interest and provide him with sources of information on the subject. You’ll be surprised what a good learner your child is! And who knows, maybe your kid’s interest to bugs in the backyard will make him a great scientist in the future.