A love of learning and a natural curiosity are traits I am seeking to develop in Rebekah and our future children. A heart that loves to learn (in my opinion) is more valuable in life that straight A’s or a 4.0 GPA. Part of cultivating young hearts to love to learn is realizing that most kids love learning already. It seems to be innate to their very being! They are curious about the world around them. Sweet Rebekah will sit and slowly flip through a board book, pondering each picture. (Though she is very much in the “independent” phase of reading. She will pretend whisper read to herself.) Kids also love having fun. And learning should be fun! But somewhere along the way, we make it dull and stressful.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for disciplined learning. But the more we can encourage learning in fun ways, the more our children will walk away with a desire to learn, grow, and explore.
Here are some tips for making learning fun:
Follow Up A Lesson With A Fun Activity
If you’re focusing on a particular lesson at home, make sure you follow up the lesson with a fun activity. The fun activity should reinforce what you’ve taught your kids, but in a fun way that they will help them retain the information and learn better. If you can’t make something up alone, take a look online. You could even ask your child’s teacher what you can do if you’re doing this on your own time.
For example, baking a “second breakfast” together after reading the Lord of the Rings series. Or going on a nature walk to identity plants and take pictures.
Play games that are educational and help with different subjects. A number of games out there will help your child to develop skills. Scrabble, for example, can help them with their vocabulary. Just make sure you don’t always go easy on them and let them win! Online games (if not overdone) are a fun way for kids to practice their math, reading, and spelling skills. Games like monopoly could help them if you’re teaching them about money. There are tons of educational as well imaginative games out there–have fun picking some out! Plus, playing games together creates memories that can last a lifetime.
Go On Field Trips
Going on field trips is so exciting for kids. They love to see new things and experience new places, so research places that can reinforce what you’re trying to teach them and plan a trip. If you’re learning all about wildlife or animals, you could go on a field trip to the zoo. Take a nature walk. Go to the Laura Ingall’s Wilder house after reading her books or visit the Mississippi River after reading Huck Finn. Check and see what programs local museums and capitol buildings have to offer. There are often a ton of free and fun educational activities right under your nose!
Read A Lot
Reading is more fun for people who have been doing it from a very young age. It’s a good idea to get your child into reading while they’re young so they enjoy it more as they get older. Encourage them to read a lot. Set an example by reading a lot yourself. You can get into a routine where you read to one another before bed, if that makes it easier. Reading is one of the best ways to encourage a love of learning. A child who develops strong reading comprehension can teach themselves almost anything by reading it.
Encourage Your Child
Allowing and encouraging your child’s natural curiosity, as long as they are safe, is a great way to allow their innate desire to learn to flourish. Encourage them when they are exploring and investigating new things. Teachable moments are the best teaching tool, but probably the least utilized.
Find Out More About How Your Child Learns
Each child learns differently, so the best thing you can do is find your child’s learning style. You may also want to pay attention if they seem to be struggling more than usual in a particular subject. Dyscalculia and education don’t always mix well, but you can make it better by finding and addressing the problem as soon as you can. If we handle it with a positive attitude, prayer, and endurance, a learning challenge can be not only overcome, but in many cases a blessing in disguise.
Create A Fun Area To Learn
Give your kids a fun area to learn and do homework. Make it free from distractions, such as TV sets, but full of books and motivational quotes that will inspire them to learn.
Buy Exciting Stationary
Exciting stationary is a simple but effective way to get your kids learning. There are all kinds of fun notebooks and pen packs you can get them to encourage them to learn. As a kid, I loved writing letters to friends and pen pals. I was so excited the year my aunt gave me a beautiful stationary set. Even as an adult I love stationary!
How do you make learning fun for your kids?