How do you motivate young children to learn?
I read that one of the most important factors that determine whether children will learn and do well in school is motivation. --Photo Attribution:
By Bharti Foundation Communications (Satya bharti School) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons--
That is a great question. It is true that children learn and do well in school due to motivation. How do we motivate young children to learn? Through our own encouragement and love of what we are teaching. They almost feel our enthusiasm and sense that it is important to learn whatever we are trying to impart.
Also, their interest level is important.
But, there is something else going on...within the child there is an internal force causing him to absorb and adapt to whatever is in his environment. They love the world they have come into. Through an innate joy of life they embrace everything! They are programmed to learn...you cannot stop them.
(Well, you can, by crumpling their joy of life... by belittling them, being constantly overly angry with them, punitive and generally suppressive of their basic happy natures.)
The natural child is full of life and loves learning. Fish have fins and love to swim. Humans have brains and really do love to learn!
I believe children are born with a desire to learn. Think of a toddler, they are like sponges taking everything in. I think in school, a teacher has to make it interesting. It can't always be made fun, but it can help.
For example when my daughter was in 3rd grade, her teacher handed each child a choc. chip cookie. and two toothpicks. She told them to excavate the chips from the cookie. She talked about archeology and how artifacts are found and removed from the ground. With a little extra thought, the kids learned a great and fun lesson. And of course they got to eat the cookies when they were done. She still remembers that lesson and teacher fondly.
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