7 ways you or a private tutor can reignite your child’s love for learning
Learning is an important activity which is necessary to keep our brains healthy and active. We begin to learn from the moment we are born and continue to do so throughout our adult and geriatric years. Learning forms the basis of how we interact with others, how we deal with situations and how we view the world. How we learn and how we process information also differs from person to person, and therefore it may sometimes be challenging to find ways to impart knowledge.
During the foundation years, infants and toddlers learn by touching and feeling as they explore the world around them. Their young minds can be kept stimulated through activities such as finger painting, singing, using building blocks and through visual means such as animated shows. As children get older, the ways in which they learn evolves and where a toddler would easily be entertained by wax crayons and colouring books, pre-teens and teens may not be as receptive to this. Here are 7 ways to reignite your child’s love for learning:
Children’s ability to focus on their studies may improve if a parent or guardian sits next to them while they are doing homework. Although the intention is not to help them with homework directly, but rather to create a shared workspace that will help to keep each other focused. Having a shared workspace is also a great way to spend more quality time together. Another plus point of having a shared workspace is that you will be nearby for any questions your child may have and it will shows that you are interested and invested in their learning. Your child will be reassured that you are supportive and always open to questions.
Design an exciting workspace
The environment in which one works is conducive to how well you can focus or how much you are distracted. It is important to consider creating a communal workspace for yourself and your child by decorating it with images and things you both like. Try something different like using yoga balls as seating. Make it a team effort and involve your child in creating an exciting workspace. A good workspace will maximize learning potential. Make sure that the workspace is well lit, clutter free and visually stimulating.
When your child needs your help with homework, you can set up “office hours” – just like your university professors did. Your child can then schedule a time to ask questions or ask for your help with homework during your “open hours.” This lets you help your child without actually doing the work yourself and will encourage them to be independant and willing to solve the answers first before coming to you. This will build your child’s confidence and also allow them to become more in control of their learning, by becoming resourceful and only seeking guidance unlike having you do the work for them.
Creativity is a sure-fire way to keep the spark for learning alive. Have your child tell you all about the things he or she has learned and let your child quiz you afterwards or ask them to explain certain topics to you and build a conversation around it. Your attentiveness will show your child that you are interested in their learning, and that is a great assurance for young people to know that they always have your support. Also, not only is this a way for you to learn something new, but it is also a fun way to bond and create some memorable laughs with your child.
Make it a group effort
Start a study group where young people get to invite classmates to read, write and do math equations together. If your child is old enough to handle organizing and delegating, let your child take on a leadership role. This is effective in also assisting your child in gaining organisational skills. This new found responsibility is sure to leave your child feeling confident in their abilities and leadership skills. You can support your child by making a workspace available for the study sessions. You can even offer to see to refreshments and any other resources needed to make the study group a success.
Engage the senses
We are all sensory beings, and it comes as no surprise that stimulating your child’s sense of touch, sight and smell can be beneficial and help them to focus. A stress ball or fidget spinner placed nearby the workspace can assist in stimulating the senses and therefore, help your child to focus. Playing some white noise can also assist to break the deafening silence in the room, which can tend to be distracting to your child. Allow your child sensory experiences to facilitate their learning, but be cautious of things that may be a distraction.
Good nutrition is of utmost importance in ensuring that your child can remain focused and have all the vitamins essential to function at school. Provide your child with healthy, balanced snacks and use snack time as a way to engage with your child and instil learning. Parent and child baking sessions are a great bonding experience, and things such as the basics of food hygiene and healthy eating habits can be incorporated into this.
Your child’s education, whether in the classroom or outside of the classroom, is a shared responsibility between a parent or guardian and a teacher. It is therefore important to make an effort to be involved in their learning, as well as to give them space to learn independently. Pressure and stress to perform well in their studies can often hinder a young person’s ability to focus. By making learning fun concentration and learning can definitely improve.
The GT Scholars Programme is an after school programme that includes high impact courses, workshops and programmes to give young people between the age of 11-16 the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. Visit the website to find out more about their enrichment days and skill-building workshops.