These Strategies Will Help Your Child Learn at Home and Improve in School
Help your kid learn
The world we live in today has become very competitive and education is one of the means through which kids can form a solid foundation in life. Learning should not just be looked at as a means of helping kids pass exams, but also as a means through which they can start developing a good understanding of the world around them. Real learning, compared to cramming equips younger students with real knowledge that allows them to solve problems, explain events and become creative with the knowledge they have gained over time.
Benefits of learning
- Knowledge to solve problems
- With knowledge acquired from learning, they cannot be easily deceived and led stray (peer influences)
- Learning enhances their natural skills and creativity (it allows a lot of opportunities in life as they grow up)
- Education and learning helps empower kids from a young age
- Learning increases the likelihood of kids to be leaders rather than follow others (educated kids know better)
While education and learning is important for kids and their future, a good number of kids hate reading and learning especially at home. As soon as they get home from school, learning is the last thing on their minds given that they are preoccupied with an array of other activities ranging from watching their favorite television programs to spending time with their friends and socializing. Here, it is worth noting that these activities are not entirely bad given that they also allow kids to relax and loosen up. Some of these activities also provide a learning opportunity for kids. Regardless, it is important for kids to learn at home. This complements their school learning allowing them an opportunity to improve at school and actually gain knowledge that will benefit them.
Strategies to help kids learn
Identify their strengths and weaknesses
This is the first and most important step towards helping kids learn and gain knowledge. In order to help them, it is important to identify the areas that they have difficulties with and those they are comfortable with. In addition to talking to their teachers, these can be identified by going through their homework. For instance, which the child may be very good with English, he/she may have problems with science and mathematics among other areas. Having identified these areas, parents or guardians can start taking appropriate steps towards helping the kids with their learning. Whereas there are some kids who are naturally good with all subjects, some may have challenges with all the subjects and thus require more attention in order to get them started.
Compliment the child on their strengths
According to Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development, the behavior of a child is directed by what they feel is in their best interest (self-interest orientation). Here, it can be said that the child is selfish and will only show efforts in activities or behave in a given way if they benefit from it. It is for this reason that parents/guardians should Compliment the child when they are doing something right or putting efforts towards improving. By praising the child on their strengths in given subjects, they will even put more effort towards improving and even put more effort in areas where they have difficulties given that they feel that their efforts are appreciated. Here, even the least amount should be complimented given that the child is trying. Failing to recognize their efforts has been shown to be counterproductive in that kids are likely to feel that what they are doing is not important. Although complimenting the child is important in that it helps build their self esteem, parents still have to go an extra mile and assist children with their learning. This can be achieved in a number of ways.
Games and activities
Given that some books can be boring for kids to read, parents can help kids lean by developing or finding games o activities that kids find interesting. For instance, parents can get drawing material and ask kids to draw and label different type of weather conditions (cold, sunny, warm etc).Through this, the child actually gets to learn and retain information without knowing that they are actually learning. To learn mathematics at home, parents have a variety of options to choose from. From getting small home blackboards to downloading a wide range of apps, parents can easily assist their kids to learn and easily gain knowledge. For instance, one of the methods I found to be particularly beneficial is getting a small black board and having kids teaching each other. This is a fun activity for kids that helps hem enjoy as they play teacher. One of the biggest benefits of this strategy is that kids also help each other in the process and ask assistance or input from parents where they encounter difficulties. On the other hand, parents can identify the type of activities that kids enjoy and use them to help kids learn. For instance, if the kid enjoys playing doctor, the parent can ask the child to keep a record of their equipment “toys” or that of their “patients”. Ultimately, the child starts learning and applying their knowledge to the game.
There are a wide variety of books that can be used to help kids learn. In addition to the activities, books can greatly help kids learn given that they would have a reference resource to refer to. For instance, parents can simply get a book with different types of objects or items of different colors. For instance, a book may show different types of leaves, feathers, doors and cars of different colors. Here, kids will not only get to identify different types of items and their names, but also their names. This can be complimented by a range of activities to enhance learning. For instance, given that there are a wide range of microscopes in the market, parents can get a simple microscope through which kids can observe various objects (leaves, coins, hair etc) and try to identify them. Here, kids can use books to refer to what they have observed and learn more about it. Therefore, kids get to learn more while enjoying themselves.
The last and most important step of learning is helping kids apply the knowledge they have acquired. Parents do not just want kids to learn and gain knowledge, but also use that knowledge in different situations. This step involves going back to games and activities. Having read the books and learned parents can have kids engaging in a variety of fun activities to see how well they can apply the knowledge they gained. This may range from simply counting money (how many pennies make a dollar etc) to trying to explain the color of different types of leaves seen during different seasons. In the event that kids experience some difficulty, parents can start over again using other types of activities and books to determine whether they are improving. However, kids should be allowed to enjoy themselves during these activities so that they do not get bored in the process.