As a parent, I think I can safely vouch for the fact that no kid is a born book-learner. Their overall disposition coupled with the kind of environment that they’re being brought up in play an integral role in motivating or not motivating them to learn from books. Good students or top performers aren’t born that way, however, with the right kind of encouragement (from parents and teachers) and the extension of the process of learning beyond classroom walls will lead to an overall intellectual and academic growth in the child.
I have two kids, both of whom are incredibly fast learners and extremely observant for their age! They most certainly weren’t born with that kind of a constitution. Over a period of time, with the help of these strategies, I motivated my children to learn and find joy in the very process of learning.
Here’s what worked for both Huma and Muraad.
- I filled my kids’ worlds with books and encyclopedias: As scary as that might sound, motivate your kid to read as much as they can, for it not only helps build a rich vocabulary but also helps the brain understand diversified concepts and process new information. Start with something simple – for example, a Ruskin Bond novel. Eventually, they will learn to pick up a book all by themselves after a long day and I also think that reading builds a lot of character. If kids do not enjoy reading, they will never be able to enjoy learning (including technical subjects like science).
- I allowed them to take control of their learning processes and own it: When your child feels like he’s being controlled, he will tend to push away from whatever techniques of learning you’re trying to implement. For example, with my daughter, practice is everything, she’ll keep at a task until she becomes a pro. However, my son is more of an observer, he spends more time understanding a concept rather than trying to nail it through practice. He also likes framing answers in his own words (which is completely in contrast with Huma’s method). All in all, both systems worked out quite well for them.
- I indulged their activities with complete honesty: Do not dismiss your child’s areas of interests, rather indulge them. If he’s into aliens, watch space movies with him, buy him encyclopedias. Encourage your kid to explore his own topics, that way he’ll be truly invested and thereby develop a keen interest in learning new things! After all, if my son does want to learn about aliens and what lies beyond the universe, who am I to dissuade him?
- I fostered sincerely open discussions with my children: If your kid is genuinely troubled by the idea of studying, then there’s something you’re missing out on. Talk to him about the hurdles he’s facing and do not invalidate his feelings. Rather, encourage him to not lose motivation and work on a technique with him that he feels will be suitable. The path to loving the learning process begins when parents and teachers acknowledge your feelings of scepticism and help you through it!
Most importantly, let every day be a learning day for your child. Through this practice, your kid will be able to develop an internalised love for learning.
Do you guys have any other tricks up your sleeves that have motivated your child to learn? Do share them with me in the comments section!