Imparting a Love for Learning

lovelearn.jpgLearning should be a lifelong process. Learning encompasses far more than just getting good grades in school or passing a test. One downfall of schools is that due to pressures to get good test scores the learning process is sometimes neglected. The focus has shifted to passing tests and meeting curriculum goals not imparting knowledge. Many times children view learning as something that is difficult, boring and not fun.One of the first steps in helping your child enjoy learning is to see that it can be fun. As a teacher I often use games or other fun activities to teach skills and lessons. Those are the lessons children are more likely to remember. To teach graphing and the use of Excel I would have my students graph the colors in a package of Skittles or similar candy. I have had former students tell me that is what they liked best about my class. They also learned how to create a graph and the concept of graphing as well.Decrease the amount of time your child spends watching television and playing video games. Provide activities and toys that develop thinking skills. Legos or other building toys develop math skills as well as encourage creativity. Hands on science kits such as magnifying glasses and magnets are also good. Look for activities that are open-ended and encourage exploration.

Books are great learning tools. Be sure to have non-fiction books for you child as well as fiction. Find non-fiction books about topics in which your child is interested. Allow your child to become an “expert” on a topic of choice. Be sure to listen to what they have to say. It is okay to challenge misinformation but be sure to do it in a constructive way that encourages your child to find the correct information. Ask questions that require your child to do research. If even you know the answer let your child discover the answer.

Help your child see real world applications for learning. Cooking is a good learning activity. It reinforces math, reading, science, health and functional skills as well as developing a sense of independence. Children enjoy cooking.

Hobbies are a great way of teaching lifelong learning. Learning a hobby can reinforce reading and problem solving skills.

Finally, modeling is the best way to help your child enjoy learning. If your child sees that you enjoy and value learning, your child is more likely to share those views.

One of the goals of education should be to impart a love for learning and a zeal for knowledge. Unfortunately there is more emphasis on outcomes based education and getting good tests scores.

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