Every good parent wants their child to have the best possible start in life, and a major part of this is — of course — ensuring that they have the best standard of education.
Today, there are many different resources and services out there to help parents help their kids to meet educational milestones, from research report writing, to exam practice.
But how do you keep your child interested in learning outside of the classroom, so that they consistently maintain their sense of curiosity about the world?
Here are a handful of tips that might prove helpful when it comes to keeping your child interested in learning.
Help them to develop and explore their interests
You’re bound to discover that your child has certain interests, and that certain topics grab their attention more than others.
It could be the case that, for example, your child becomes fascinated by astronomy and the stars, or maybe they become really interested in cartoons and how they’re made.
Helping and encouraging your child to develop and explore their interests is likely to be one of the best ways of keeping them interested in learning as a whole.
Kids tend not to be very motivated by, or enthusiastic about, memorising lists of facts that they don’t find interesting or engaging — and if you undermine all the topics they do find interesting, and tell them to “focus on important stuff instead,” they are likely to associate the idea of learning as a whole with boredom, frustration, and bitterness.
Even if your child’s interests aren’t at all “academic,” helping to encourage those interests where appropriate can enhance their curiosity about the world at large, and their desire to learn more.
Make learning a more embodied process by visiting museums and other interesting sites
Some kids love reading books, but all do. Even for the children who love to sit and read, learning is generally best achieved when it’s done through a variety of different means.
Making learning a more embodied and a less purely cerebral process can often do a lot of good — and you can achieve this by, for example, visiting museums and other interesting sites, and looking for interactive learning activities that your child can get involved in.
Always be willing to talk with them, and to hear their questions out, even if you don’t have all the answers
Children are naturally inquisitive and want to learn about the world, and their questions may sometimes become tiring, and may touch on subjects that their parents don’t know much — if anything — about.
Becoming short-tempered with your child or shutting down their curiosity because you’re irritable or don’t know the answer, however, can be devastating in its ability to undermine their sense of confidence in pursuing knowledge and understanding.
Simply being willing to talk to your kids and to hear their questions out consistently, even if you don’t have all of the answers, can go a long way in terms of helping to support their natural curiosity about the world.
When you don’t know the answer to a question, be willing to admit it and to say something like “that’s a good question, I’ll have to find out,” instead of just shutting down the question or changing the subject.