It has long been a fact of life that some people are naturally curious in the classroom, are voracious readers, and possess inquisitive, restless minds. There are equally capable and bright people who don’t have the same innate love of learning, but who must go through the motions nonetheless.
This article will cover a few brief ways that parents can help encourage their children to engage more not only with the material they are learning, but the process itself.
Reframe the Issue
“Learning” per se often elicits groans from children and students. This is likely because it’s something they have been forced to do their entire lives. Human nature usually dictates that if you’re being coerced into something, you’re less likely to receive it positively.
Learning, however, isn’t a construct of the classroom. It’s something very natural and human that has driven us to do great things, such as explore the oceans, cure disease, and fly ourselves into outer space. That understanding alone is sometimes enough to encourage students to think about learning in a different, more holistic way.
Learning isn’t about doing well on a test or writing a great paper—those are short-term goals and merely metrics that can sometimes indicate someone’s overall potential. Rather, learning is about what we will ultimately contribute to the world and how we might make it better. Without the fundamental skills, however, reaching that end goal isn’t possible.
So, just like a marathon runner trains mile by mile and day by day, students must also learn to build stamina and muscle memory to enable them to achieve their ultimate potential.
It Starts with Interest
The world’s brightest minds were spurred not by lesson plans, but by things they were interested in. Help make that connection with your children by discovering what they truly care about and then supplying books, videos, trips to museums, and the like that support these interests and pursuits. Whether they know it or not, in exploring these passions they are not only engaging with learning, but with the process of learning itself.
This process can then be replicated and applied to all sorts of things in the future (even math class…).
Learning Should Be Fun
It’s certainly an overused maxim, but learning truly should be exciting and fun. If it isn’t, then children aren’t going to want to learn. For students to get engaged with learning, both the subject matter and the process need to be engaging.
Finding new and exciting ways of getting children to learn is one of the biggest challenges that educators, parents, and educational institutions face. As the world moves more and more toward digital consumption, there is no doubt that learning will continue to follow suit. Staying current on these trends can help keep children current on learning as well.