As adults, we all know that learning doesn’t end after graduating from school. We constantly need to gain skills and knowledge that will help us in life. That’s why fostering a love of learning as early as childhood will help your kids enjoy discovering new lessons and show them that learning new things is actually fun and super useful!
Learning is a lifelong journey, after all, which is why sharing the love of learning with your kids is one of the best gifts parents can give! So, we rounded up some effective ways you can teach your kids to love learning. Check them out below!
Kids have a natural desire to learn about the things around them. This is why they bombard you with millions of “hows” and “whys” every day. Encouraging these questions is actually a great way to fuel their brain power and keep them curious. Try asking your kids your own questions too, to help exercise their critical and creative thinking.
This practice could even help spark their desire to know more. So instead of asking generic questions like “How was school today?” make your questions more interesting and specific like, “What part of school made you feel excited the most?” or “If you would write your own book, what would it be about?” to set an example for curiosity and to really get them thinking.
My friend’s four-year-old son is fascinated with electric fans! Every time we get together, he brings two or three of his favorite miniature electric fans–the portable and rechargeable kind. He even watches videos about building electric fans. Remember, he’s four, but pronounces “propeller” very clearly.
His mom encourages him to keep exploring this interest of his, because who knows? He could grow up to be an engineer someday thanks to this unique childhood fascination with electric fans! So let your kids follow what’s fun for them. Giving your kids the avenue to explore what they’re already interested in allows more learning to take place and can keep that spark for learning strong!
Books are treasure troves of knowledge and getting your kids to read avidly is a great way to get them hooked on learning! So fill your home (especially the places where your kids spend most of their time, like a playroom or bedroom) with books and other kinds of reading materials. Giving them easy access to reading materials in this way will surely encourage them to read a lot more.
You can also set time to read as a family and talk about what you all read together. Turning reading into an enjoyable habit is one of the best ways to keep the love of learning in your kids alive for years to come.
Children are more likely to stay engaged with an activity when they are given room to explore and do tasks on their own. Instead of showing your kids how a task should be done, let them experiment and be curious about activities and the things around them!
Letting your little ones pursue this curiosity will encourage them to explore and discover as much as they can, while also teaching them what things to avoid or how to do other things better! Your curious kid will then grow up to become a critical thinker, problem solver, and innovator!
Some studies have shown that children tend to stop engaging in activities willingly once they’ve been rewarded for them. Giving them tangible rewards, like a new toy or money, might only encourage them to accomplish a task if there’s a prize in return. With that in mind, it’s always better to keep honing a child’s curiosity and natural interests through positive feedback and continuous exploration instead of giving incentives. Keep their focus on the task or activity and not the reward.
As always, it’s best for parents to lead by example. Show your kids how much you love learning by exploring your own interests and sharing those hobbies and passions with them. Talk to your kids about what you’re currently learning–whether it’s photography, cooking, music, or anything under the sun!–to keep their minds open to new topics and activities.
You can do this by looking up kid-friendly versions of the books, articles, or videos that you use to learn and share those with your kids. After all, bringing your kids along on your own learning journey is a fantastic way to show them that learning doesn’t stop at any age!
Remember to keep your focus on what your child is doing rather than how well he/ she is doing it. Paying too much attention to the end result, like winning a medal or getting honors, will eventually put too much pressure on your kids, which could also make the fear of mistakes greater than their enjoyment throughout the journey.
So help your little ones focus on maximizing the process of doing a task by praising their efforts and reminding them that mistakes can be useful opportunities for learning too! Your little ones will be more inclined to understand what they’re doing and how they can do it better knowing that you’ve got their backs every step of the way.