Growing up, I was a very playful girl and the best way to dampen my playful spirit is by telling to “go and read your book.” The moment the sentence is out, my world will automatically pause. Give me few minutes later, I’ll fall asleep.
I don’t like reading! It was like a herculean task back then but that has changed anyways.
The bottom line is that I struggled with studying as a child mainly because it was not interesting to me like playing, jumping up and down the house. As for learning, maybe I learnt how to sweep the house in an African way.
Don’t just bother to explain the difference, these three words as a kid meant “book.” But allow me explain what these three words mean.
Reading can be described as a process of identifying words, and understanding the meaning and terms used in a subject.
Studying is a process of gaining understanding about a subject (matter). This is done by devoting time and giving total concentration towards understanding a particular concept.
Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skill through study, experience or being taught (Oxford Dictionary).
It’s glaring they’re different in performance but intertwined in nature. A part of learning is done through studying while studying involves reading.
Learning for Kids
In no particular order, kids learn by listening, exploring, observing, asking question and even experimenting. As much as these learning qualities can be found at different rate in children, every child learns differently with his/her unique learning style.
Common Learning Styles
Visual learning: Visual learners learn by observing what they can see such as images, pictures, diagrams and watching faces.
Auditory learning: Learning by listening to sound and rhythm. These learners learn through verbal communication.
Verbal learning: Learning through written and spoken word. Verbal learners use reading and writing as their learning tools.
Physical learning: Learning by experimenting with objects and textures. Physical learners learn through the sense of touch.
Logical learning: Learning by solving problems. Logical learners learn through numbers and reasoning.
Having been able to understand the common learning styles and what to look out for when trying to identify your child’s learning style, it’s time to look into how to make learning interesting for them.
How to Make Learning Interesting for Kids
1. Try new things. Yes, that’s correct. Thinking about how reading books made me sleep back then, I realize that I was made to use the learning style that my parents think was the best for me and not what I wanted. Maybe, watching a video about the subject would have done the magic.
Be attentive to what makes learning boring for your kids, introduce new learning method and incorporate the one that interest them into their learning process.
2. Put them in charge. Yippee! Commander-in-chief. That’s amazing right?
Not like giving them total control over what they would like to learn but involving them in making decisions about their study time, drawing up reading timetable, number of times a subject will be studied and so on. This will make them stay committed to learning and make the process an interesting one.
3. Study together. This might sound a bit unrealistic giving what you need to get done as a parent but it’ll be rewarding. It necessarily doesn’t have to be you reading each letter together.
Just be enthusiastic about learning. As they begin to see the excitement in you, their interest will grow in return. It’s simple right?
4. Introduce different learning styles. Remember the five styles discussed above? Try out different styles, pick their favorite and encourage them to explore the style while you take note of the changes in their learning preference.
5. Reward and celebrate their efforts. It’s time to roll out the drum.
There little efforts must not be overlooked for whatever reason. It kills their learning morale. As such, recognize the effort they put into learning, appreciate it, reward it and celebrate it. This motivation will make learning more interesting.
In conclusion, learning for kids is a process and making the process an interesting one should be a goal for the parent. Both parties involved must put up a united front to achieve the goal.
Go down the memory lane, identify your drawbacks and analyze what your learning habit looks like. Don’t be hard on your kids, take one step at a time.