Raising children is a mixed barrel of laughs, stress and cuddles, it has its ups and more than its fair share of downs too. When it comes to school time, unless you have a particularly academically strong and outgoing child, you’ll find it is one of the primary sources of stress in the family household. Whether it’s getting up and going to school, behaving throughout the school day or the ever-going battle to get them to complete their homework. Luckily, there are ways to encourage your child to love learning and get them researching and looking up certain subjects by themselves.
Find Out What Type of Learner Your Child Is
Everybody learns and retains knowledge in their own way, whether they prefer to read text, peruse picture books, watch videos and get hands in with some interactive learning. Finding out if your child is an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner can help you offer ways to learn in a way that suits them;
Auditory learners better respond to sound stimulus, as babies these kinds of leaners were always drawn to speech, external noises and may have been able to notice noises ignored by others. If your child is an auditory learner, they may prefer sounds of music or instruments, are comfortable speaking in front of others and are strong in following oral directions.
Visual learners have an interest in the world around them, you’ll often find a visual learner in a book or learning from digital resources and a preference for art, photographs and imagery from a young age. Visual learners tend to have strong memories and a vivid imagination, easily able to recognise places and people they’ve met before even if it was some time ago.
Kinesthetic learners tend to always be on the go, they are more likely to use gestures when talking, use physical objects or their fingers to count and may fidget when sitting and learning. You may find your child hit their physical development milestones such as sitting, walking, running earlier than standard and they are drawn towards physical actions like sports and dancing.
While it’s best to educate with a combination of each learning type, you can encourage focus towards the methods that best speak to your child. For instance, find some educational musical resources available that teach through song, YouTube is a fantastic resource for this. YouTube can also be used to encourage visual learners by finding educational videos that are able to hold attention – there are some brilliant options available such as the VSauce channels. Kinesthetic learners require a bit more thought about using movement for education, consider using wipe clean floor mats that can be written on and get children moving to stand on or next to the answer they believe to be correct.
Allow Your Children Access to Educational Resources
The best way to encourage your child to love learning is to allow them to discover knowledge for themselves. While access to the internet and use on the computer should always be supervised for children younger than teenagers, giving them pre-recorded shows to watch, books to read or encyclopaedias to explore in their own time is a great way to get kids excited about knowledge.
Children who find and research their own interest tend to hold these subjects closer to their heart, sometimes attending university to study their favourite subject and even seeking out a future career in their preferred subject area.
Expand Their Interests by Introducing Them to New Things
Change can be scary and not every child is going to take to a new subject like a duck to water, however, no one can truly say they like or dislike something until they have tried it. By allowing your child to be exposed to new things in everyday life, they’ll have a greater chance of opening their minds and accepting new interests.
You can expose your children to new ideas and interests by visiting museums, travelling around your local area, reading new books, enjoying different food and joining social groups. Not only will your child be more willing to try and accept new customs, interests and foods but a well-rounded child makes for a happier adult.
Children that were exposed to new things during their developing years are more likely to grow into confident young adults who are likely to explore and connect with others in unfamiliar environments. Particularly in a university setting where students are in complete control of their lives, likely for the first time, and the best resource for making friends and acquaintances is to join university clubs or social groups.
Allow Your Child to Be Themselves
Children are not an extension of ourselves, they are their own individuals with thoughts and feelings separate to their parents. Which is why it’s important to encourage your child to share their likes and dislikes and ask them how something makes them feel. Your kids shouldn’t be pushed to take part in an activity you want them to enjoy, let them find their own way and in turn they will be more confident in themselves and feel more comfortable exploring interests of their own.
Is your child a seeker of knowledge or is school one of your biggest fights? It might be that they are having to learn in a way that’s boring for them or doesn’t engage with them. Try some alternative teaching methods and encourage independent learning through entertaining resources. Knowledge is power and good education leads to confident, happy adults that can hold their own in society.
DISCLOSURE – This is a collaborative post.