#1: Be a Role Model:
A primary form of learning for younger children is modelling and mirroring the actions and lifestyles of their parents. So if you are the type of parent who hasn’t picked up a book or attended a course since graduating from High School, do not expect your children to develop a love for learning, because they want to be just like you.
We often forget what an important role our own actions play in developing our children’s mindset towards the world, and as a result we lead them down the wrong path unknowingly. Its even worse if you are constantly talking about how much you hated school and exams, etc. How will your children develop a positive attitude towards learning in such an environment?
In a family in which learning is a normal part of life and nobody stops learning Children grow up in a home in which their parents, uncles, aunts, grandmother, etc are always learning, reading, listening to lectures, discussing things with each other and growing together. As a result, they never even consider the possibility of hating to learn as it is something they aren’t exposed to on a daily basis.
So the first thing you can do to get your children to love learning is to start loving it yourself and get into the habit of learning something new on a daily basis.
#2 – Create An Environment of Learning
Children adapt to their environments. This is something we see all around the world, and is an important part of parenting and education. So as parents we need to look at the kind of environment we have created for our children. Is it conducive to learning or not?
An example of a home environment which is not learner-friendly is a home in which the primary means of entertainment are non-beneficial television shows and video games, or a home in which children who show a love for learning are categorized as nerds or geeks and made fun of, or a home which simply does not have any educational resources.
Children growing up in the above environments will not learn naturally because they have not been given the tools, encouragement or resources to learn. So the solution is simple, we need to create the right environment to learn in.
Some tips for doing this include:
1. Fill your home with educational toys, games and videos
2. Have a home library with books suitable to each age group
3. Encourage and praise learning and education
4. Be a role model learner yourself
5. Set up a study room in which children can go when they want to learn
6. Plaster your walls with educational charts and pictures
7. Encourage questions and research and be ready to answer a lot of questions
8. Avoid any negative remarks and labels aimed at children who enjoy learning
These steps will help create a culture and environment of learning at home.
#3 – Give them motivation to learn
Teaching a child Maths, Science, History, etc can be extremely boring and difficult. However, if you teach a child the importance of Maths, Science and history, you will find yourself not needing to even teach them these subjects. They will learn them on their own because they now have a reason to learn it.
#4 – Let Them Learn Naturally
One aspect of the regular school system that I dislike is the idea that learning is associated with the classroom, teacher and homework only, and is not a part of the child’s life outside of those spheres. This mindset will hamper a child’s love of learning and ability to optimize their daily intake of knowledge.
For a child to enjoy learning, it needs to be a natural part of life. This can be facilitated by allowing them to ask as many questions as they want to about everything they see and being patient in answering their questions; and by giving them freedom to read, write, draw, cut, stick, explore, experiment and make mistakes. This freedom allows a child to develop beneficial hobbies and these hobbies become a part of their daily learning experience.
If your children are learning naturally, you will find them learning all the time. This includes weekends and holidays. This is because they are not pressurized into learning to pass any tests. They are learning because they are enjoying it, it is helping them grow and they love the impact it is having in their lives.
#5 – Invest in their education
Anything worth having is worth investing money in. So if you truly want well-educated, righteous, well-mannered and productive children, you need to invest your time, money and resources into facilitating that.
Instead of distracting your children with television and video games all day so that you can do what you want, make time to sit with them, talk with them and teach them on a daily basis.
Likewise, our money should be invested in things which benefit our children, these include family field trips to the local aquarium or zoo, educational cartoons and games, and fun learning resources. Spending our money on such things are a long term investment and will contribute greatly to your children’s education and love of learning.