It is not always easy to get children to actively learn or stay interested in school work. As they grow up, they get more and more distracted and it becomes harder to get them to focus. It is crucial nonetheless that we continuously engage them in learning, especially from a young age.
1. Make learning interesting
Learning can come about in many ways, through books, TV programmes, site visits, one-on-one interactions or board games. You have to take each moment as an opportunity for learning. Are you on the beach? Great! That is an opportunity for science or geography lessons! Teaching them a practical skill is also a foundation for learning.
2. Encourage creativity
Allow your children some autonomy to explore their creative minds. Give them the tools they need to work with but provide them with the space to learn. You can establish some boundaries like “Don’t draw on the sofa” or designate an art/play room in the house. Toys designed to inspire creativity include art supplies, legos, and musical instruments etc.
3. Trigger their imagination
Games and books are great outlets for a child’s imagination to grow. Reading them a book before bedtime encourages them to visualize the contents. Allow them to explore their own thoughts by play-acting with their friends and siblings. Encourage them to tell stories verbally, through essays and poems. Be attentive and guide them to become more vivid in their expressions by asking direct questions such as “What colour or how big was the dog?”
4. Stimulate their minds
There are many ways you can stimulate your child’s mind from an early age. Here are a few: block games, nesting and stacking, matching, puzzles, the famous ‘I spy with my little eyes’, scrabble, Sudoku, crossword, memory games, story-telling, math games, cards etc. Remember, as useful as technology is it can also be detrimental to the child’s development. Nonetheless, there are many brain-stimulating apps you can propose.
5. Acknowledge their capabilities
You need to have a clear understanding of the capabilities of your child and acknowledge this from the start. Not all of our children are meant to be Einstein and you should not tear your hair out if the report card is not too great. You have to adapt how you teach them in order to engage with your child in a more productive way. This will help both you and the child in the learning process and minimize disappointment in the future. Learning should be a beautiful and easy process for all involved.
6. Inspire their greatest potentials
At the end of the day, your child will be a willing participant in the process if they know the possibilities are endless. You have to encourage their aspirations and inspire them to be best versions of themselves they can be. This means that you should not attempt to stifle their interests and crush their dreams. It may be your dream for your child to become a doctor but your child’s wish to become a musician.
7. Learn more about their interests
Take the time to learn about your child’s interests and do your part to encourage it. Your child may be interested in swimming, athletics, poetry, fashion or art. Do not try to be too critical if it is something you don’t like or you feel does not match your expectations. However, be concerned if their interests may be harmful to themselves or others.
8. Read more about development stages
You can boost your own learning by becoming familiar with key milestones and development stages in your child’s lfie. There are many well-researched materials out there which can help you to devise a good structure for your child.
9. Understand your own motives
You have to become aware of your own motives if you want your child to grasp your instructions. Much like teachers, you need some sort of curriculum to guide your own actions. For example, house chores. Why do you ask your child to do chores? It may be because you want to instill cleanliness and good hygiene from an early age in order for them to maintain their own house in adulthood. House chores is not a form of punishment and your child needs to understand that in order to better appreciate your guidance.
10. Be patient
Learning is a long and very slow process. Be patient. If you feel irritated, take a breath and walk out of the room. Choose your words carefully as it will stay with your child for a lifetime. A harsh word is also a teachable moment for a child. Your child will learn better in a safe and friendly environment. Every day is a moment for learning so if they did not grasp it today, there is always tomorrow and the day after.
Contact us for more information on the Sacos Education Plan!