In a perfect world every child would arrive at the kitchen table enthusiastic and eager to learn. Let’s face it; it’s not a perfect world. Some times we have to encourage kids to learn.
3 Tips to Encourage Kids to Learn
1. Offer Different Options
There’s many ways to learn any subject. For instance to learn to read you can write letters or words on a slate, play with magnetic letters, or even read a book together.
If your child would like more hands-on options, head outside to practice letter sounds while playing hopscotch or write on the sidewalk with chalk. There’s even card games available to help your child learn to read.
Do the same thing with math. When your child is tired of doing worksheets, offer the option of playing math games. Study geometry and shapes for a time.
Remember that variety is the spice of life. Learning happens beyond the worksheets, books, and curricula. Pull out the history projects, science activities, math games, and audio-books to enjoy alternative ways of learning.
2. Be Silly
Laughter makes everything, even schoolwork, better. Tell your child you’re having a pirate day. Dress up in fancy clothing with eye patches and scarves, before spending the day saying aargh. Set up a plank to make children walk when they don’t do their schoolwork.
If being a pirate doesn’t float your boat, try pretending to be a school for princesses, a dragon academy, or a t-rex family. Send the children to dress up in their favorite dress-up clothing and set up stuffed animals as students.
There’s also no need to go all out in being silly. Sometimes simply changing accents or talking like a hungry tiger is enough to set your children laughing and doing their schoolwork with a light heart.
When your kids are resisting learning, encourage them with silliness. Laughter distracts everyone from their problems, changes the focus, and encourages children to learn.
3. Sneak School into the Day
Sometimes the best approach is to drop school for a time. Children get into the habit of resisting school and the best way to break the habit is to stop and take a break. When you restart formal schooling again, concentrate on building good habits.
In the meantime, there’s no need to stop learning. Sneak a bit of math into the day by having the kids help you bake in the kitchen. Count cups of flour going into the pancakes. Teach fractions by doubling, tripling, or even quintupling recipes. Yes, I do have a large family. We regularly quintuple recipes. What can I say, teenage boys eat a lot!
Keep magnetic letters and words on the fridge or set up a magnetic chalkboard. You can pass notes and even paragraphs to each other. My teens adore seeing what crazy words they can create out of the magnetic letters while my first grader practices spelling.
When your kids don’t want to learn, it’s best to be creative. With a bit of thought, imagination, and humor you can encourage kids to learn.
What are your favorite ways to encourage kids to learn?