Parenting Insight: Basic Principles to Foster a Love of Learning
Multiplication tables in the car on the way to school, each morning. Fifteen minutes of reading, every night. Projects that need to be done over the weekend that you hear about on Sunday night (or on Monday morning!).
We know these common activities help children learn critical skills by reinforcing their learning at school. And, every parent knows the frustration of getting a reluctant child to complete these tasks on time, or worse, to start a task in which he or she has absolutely no interest!
That’s because when learning feels like a chore, kids are going to resist.
Academic experts agree that play can be a great tool to help kids learn, especially when it is related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. When kids have fun, they love to learn. And when they love to learn, education happens naturally.
There are many things parents can do to foster a love of learning in their children. Follow these five proven principles and watch your child blossom into an enthusiastic lifelong learner.
1. Get involved and stay involved
Kids are born with the desire to learn. They are naturally inquisitive, and if given the right support they will remain that way until they graduate from school. Your best way to show support is to remain involved in school and extracurricular activities. Kids with supportive parents have a solid foundation on which to embrace learning.
This is hard – believe us, we know! We have a busy household like everyone else. But we know it is true.
2. Observe and listen
Educators know that learning isn’t one-sided. It’s not just a teacher giving a lesson to the student. Rather, a great teacher will observe, listen and watch as much as they teach.
As a parent, you can support your children’s individualised learning styles by following suit. Listen to their thoughts. Let them ask questions. Follow their lead!
3. Use familiar objects
When you use objects kids recognise, it’s easy to promote learning. A perfect example is LEGO® Bricks, which encourage kids to develop spatial intelligence through hands-on building that stimulates the imagination. There are also numerous ways to use LEGO Bricks to learn and develop maths concepts.
When building models at BRICKS 4 KIDZ, children develop enhanced spatial awareness, visual processing and fine motor skills. Plus, because our After School programs feature our unique in-house models centred on engaging themes, kids have fun while they learn.
4. Make time for play
The typical Aussie family lives a hectic life, and children succumb to stress just like adults. It’s imperative that kids have time to play and explore. This playtime can be a scheduled class or it might be an impromptu visit to a park. Either way, play is a fantastic opportunity for kids to practice social and cognitive skills. Never underestimate the benefits of play for the mind and body. As Maria Montessori put it, “Play is the work of the Child”.
5. Read together
Your kids are never too young or too old to read with you. Reading together is a wonderful way to bond, plus it promotes learning on so many levels. In addition to building reading skills, you’re modelling essential language skills such as vocal inflection.
Encourage your child to ask questions about the story and inquire about the characters. Ask your child questions to encourage inferring and articulation skills. From inspiring imaginary play to promoting problem-solving skills, opening a book always underscores a love of learning!
It’s a daily battle, and sometimes parents may feel they are losing the struggle. But you’re not alone. Remember these five principles and steadily build a love of learning!