The human brain is blessed with a huge capacity for learning, especially during the childhood years. Unlock your children’s innate ability to teach themselves and ensure that they fall in love with the wonderful act of learning! Here’s a few tips you can use to encourage your kids to love learning.
1. Provide little (or no) instructions.
This sounds weird, but it works. Sergio Juárez Correa’s students (in Matamoros, Mexico) flourished when the teacher decided to take a different approach to teaching. For example, instead of showing students how to reach the correct answer to a math problem, he asked them how they would figure it out. And figure it out they did. These students went on to score the highest on the achievement test in the country.
Ideas of what you can do:
- Give them a toy that has several functions (bleeps, flashes, rolls, etc) and just let them figure out how to play with it without showing them anything.
- Hand them a tablet or a computer with a newly purchased app or game and let them explore.
- Take your kids to a museum and let them guide you to whatever exhibits they want to see.
- Give them a board game and let them teach themselves how to play.
- Toys like the Bilibo don’t even come with instructions, so every kid plays with them in different ways. Hand them this cool toy and watch them create new ways to play!
2. Allow for lots of time for play.
Recess is generally thought of as a break from learning, but recent studies have shown that playing is actually vital for optimal brain development. Playing helps develop problem solving skills, creativity, stimulates curiosity, and more. This in turn helps children do better at school, learn better, and love learning.
Things you can do to encourage your kids to play more:
- Host more play-dates at your home or at a playground.
- Bring in more games of all kinds for your kids.
- Engage in play with your kids whenever you can.
- Rotate your kids’ toys so there’s always something “new” to play with.
- Have your kids join an after-school program.
3. Let them teach themselves how to read.
This article claims that young children can teach themselves how to read, if they are allowed to do so. Different kids do it in different ways, but generally, parents of these children provide an environment in their homes that is conductive to reading. When young kids are able to read, they are able to teach themselves new things. They’ll love learning thanks to their love for reading.
Here’s what you can do to create a reading-friendly home:
- Make lots of books available to your kids.
- Take them to the library often.
- Let kids see you reading books and enjoying it.
- Don’t force kids into reading.
- Read to them on a regular basis when they’re young.
- Have them see you use a variety of reading materials to accomplish things, such as following instructions to complete a DIY project or trying out a new recipe.
Once a child loves to learn, they can teach themselves anything and there won’t be a limit to what they can do.
I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.