Children learn better when they want to learn, when they have an active interest in the subject matter and when the teaching methods are personalised to their unique learning needs. The first step in getting a child to absorb and retain information is to instil a love for learning in the child and ensure that they are self-motivated in their studies.
Forcing kids to study when they don’t want to can create a negative association with learning and this can damage the child’s perception of learning throughout their schooling career. It is important for parents and educators to develop a child’s love for learning from an early age.
In this article, we will provide you with a few easy tips on how to motivate your child to want to learn.
Personalise their learning environment
At CambriLearn, we believe that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to education, every child is different and absorbs information through different means and at a different pace. The first step in instilling a love for learning in a child is to understand their preferred learning style and provide them with a self-paced learning environment that harnesses their unique abilities.
By understanding your child’s preferred learning style, you are able to personalise their learning environment to their unique needs and preferences. Homeschooling or online schooling provides the opportunity to personalise the learning experience whilst still providing an internationally accredited education.
Create a safe learning environment
When we refer to a safe learning environment we aren’t talking about a padded room with locks and security measures, but rather an environment where a child feels safe and at ease with their physical and emotional well-being. Many children struggle with social and peer pressures and this can greatly impact their confidence and willingness to learn.
Studies on mixed-aged classes have shown that children learn better and feel more confident in mixed-aged learning environments - like the ones provided through a learning pod or micro-school.
Children thrive on praise and acceptance from their peers. By encouraging children to socialise in mixed-age groups, younger children learn skills from older children, and older children, in turn, learn skills like patience and how to teach. Both age groups benefit by learning the essential life skills that they will carry with them into adult life.
Learn through doing
If your child is learning about the ocean then take them to the beach or if they are learning about animals then take them on a trip to your local zoo. Make learning an adventure by encouraging hands-on learning and exploration. By encouraging a child to engage in activity-based learning they can use all their senses and intuitions. This is beneficial in their motivation levels when teaching all subjects from maths or science to art and languages.
Combining hands-on activities and experiences into lessons makes learning fun and interesting. This will help the child’s memory and knowledge retention. Encouraging a child to engage in activities like music, art, practical experiments and role-playing will greatly assist in making the learning experience more enjoyable.
Encourage your child to read
Reading is an essential part of learning. Encourage your child to read regularly in order to develop key language and literacy skills. The books that your child reads do not have to be typically educational - a child learns by enjoying the subject matter that they are reading. Let your child read books or magazines on subject matter that is interesting to them.
Let them teach you
Children love sharing what they have learned and students who spend time teaching what they have learned show improved understanding and knowledge retention. Allow your child to prepare a lesson and teach you what they have learned. This will boost their confidence, and a child who is confident about what they know will be more motivated to continue.
Show interest in the subject and ask questions to help bring out the details and aid their memory and knowledge recollection. Children like to discuss topics that are of interest to them and by asking them questions about what they are learning, you are not only showing them that you are interested in their interests but you are also helping them develop comprehension and memory recollection skills.
Be supportive and encouraging
“A love of learning has a lot to do with learning that we are loved.” - Fred Rogers.
Possibly the most important practice to motivate your child to want to learn is to be supportive and encouraging to them. Make sure that you have reasonable expectations for their learning goals and be encouraging when they struggle or fail. Recognise their achievements and praise them when you see that they have put in a lot of effort.
A simple pat on the back or a word of appreciation can have wonderful effects on a child’s confidence, self-esteem and motivation levels!