Motivating Your Child to Love Learning
Is your young child hesitant to attend school? Is your child nervous about the idea of leaving home, or does not want to be away at school with “strangers” all day?
If you sense apprehension in your youngster about attending school it’s time you start preparing your child for the thought of not only attending school, but loving it too.
That’s right, you can help your child learn to love school (and love learning) by implementing a few simple routines into your normal day at home. When started at an early age your child will face the upcoming school years with a sense of fervency instead of dread. But don't worry, this list of things to do isn't difficult of daunting, in fact, you'll likely have fun along the way too.
Read to aloud to your child, or let her listen to books on tape
Encouraging a love of books naturally instills a love of learning and will prepare her to sit still during reading time. Simulate traditional “reading circle” time by letting your child sit cross-legged on the floor or on a special mat or rug. Show your child that even though you’re not in school anymore you still enjoy reading books and magazines.
Video: Motivating Your Children to Love Education
Play school with your child.
Make learning fun by playing school as often as you can.
Head to a dollar store or raid the $1 bin at Target for some inexpensive school supplies such as a small dry/erase or blackboard. Practice forming letters or phonics blends. Older siblings especially enjoy showing off what they have learned in school, and love playing “teacher”.
Make the first day of school special.
In addition to the requisite new schools supplies and clothing, make the meals extra-special by including a favorite food in the school lunch or by packing a photo or letter in her backpack or lunch. Take pictures of each first day of school, at the beginning and end of the day. If possible, take photos of your child with her friends all in their best clothing and with big smiles.
How Can Parents Encourage Their Children?
According to the video "Create a Love of Learning" parents should:
- Avoid Labels
- Give Specific Directions for Improvement
- Praise Effort
Set up a success center.
Does your child have a place dedicated to success? Set up a desk in a special place in the house, so your child knows how important learning (and being successful in school) is to your family.
Ensure that this desk has everything your child will need to complete his homework. Decorate it with her favorite colors or cartoon characters so she enjoys spending time here. When she enjoys doing school work, and enjoys where she works she is more likely to want to complete homework. Consider placing the desk where you can monitor your child, and be available to help when needed.
Meet the teacher before the first day of school.
Volunteer to help your child’s teacher set up her classroom, or invite her over for lunch. Knowing the teacher before the first day of school, and being familiar with the teacher, eases first day jitters, and lets your child know that the teacher is approachable, and wants her success.
Books on Teaching
Plan both work and play time.
Don’t over-schedule your child with extra-curricular activities, or she may resent all the opportunities. Consider picking one sport or lesson a season to help her master one well; you don’t necessarily want a “jack of all trades but master of none.” Let kids be kids and enjoy noneducational activities as well. For example, don’t feel the need to explain why bubbles are round, just let your child blow bubbles.
Talk about school every day.
Ask your child what their favorite part of the day was, and if she learned anything exciting today. Encourage questions about schoolwork, and don’t feel intimidated. Instead of answering “I don’t know” to questions say “let’s look it up!” Use the internet to look up information she may need or want to know, and show her how to learn more about the subject.
If you start early in engaging your child in educational activities you're more likely to have a child exciting about attending school instead of a child dreading it.
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