Part of Back-to-School Challenges Series:
5- Cultivating a Love for Learning in Your Children
by Jody Capehart
Here are a few tips to help your kids cultivate a passion for exploration and learning, even as they grow older.
If you observe babies and preschoolers, you will notice they are curious about the world around them. They are eager to learn about everything. Don’t you wish you could keep this passion for exploration alive in their hearts, even as they grow older and head off to school? Here are a few tips to help your kids cultivate a love for learning:
Remain Excited About Learning Yourself
A home with an enriched environment conducive to learning sends a message to your children that learning is important. The good news is that this doesn’t require a big budget. Reading to and with your children daily is one of the best investments you can make to nurture a love of learning.
Include Your Children in Daily Activities
Doing things together with your kids will teach them invaluable life skills. Let your children go grocery shopping and cook with you, do the dishes, fold clothes and play a role in other household chores.
In helping with daily activities, they may discover new interests, and you will be better able to hone their interests along the way. Additionally, as you talk with your children during these activities, you will develop the language area of their brain, which influences all aspects of their learning.
Discover Their Learning Styles
As your children grow, embrace the way they learn best, and set up learning environments best suited to their particular learning styles. You may be thinking, But I don’t know how my children learn.
To begin, become a student of your children. If you are a parent of toddlers or young children, you will notice that they are learning through all of their senses simultaneously. But as they begin the elementary years, their particular way of learning becomes more clearly defined.
Here are several learning patterns that you may observe in your elementary age children, plus suggestions about what you can do to enhance brain development on the home front:
- Visual learners learn best by what they see. Provide tools such as puzzles and other visual activities to enhance learning.
- Auditory learners need the dual process of listening as well as talking. In fact, in order to retain and retrieve information, your children need to talk about what they have heard.
- Tactile learners love to touch. They are not overtly active children, but you will find them busy with their hands. Learning will be enhanced by providing Play-Doh, building blocks and other hands-on activities in the home.
- Kinesthetic learners must move in order to learn. Once you see that their need to move actually enhances learning, it will help you to be more patient with them. Provide a lot of active learning opportunities, such as educational games in which they can participate. Keep the home environment rich with activities to explore and create. This interactive learning enhances brain development more than television, movies, video games and, yes, even computer time.
Remember, as parents, your passion for learning is contagious. If you model an eagerness to learn new things, your children will become more excited, too, and become learners for life.
Originally appeared on the Focus on the Family website. Copyright ©2011, Jody Capehart. Used by permission.