How to encourage your child to learn

One of a parent’s greatest fears is that their child hates learning because this equates troubles and problems in school which eventually leads to failure in life.

First of all, parents must understand that living is all about learning. No one can or should stop learning. It is however, the attitude we have towards learning that makes it a torture or a joy. If you as a parent see learning as a chore, and constantly use it as a punishment for your child when he is misbehaving, there is really no way the child will relates joy with learning. How many times have you told your child to get into the room and study when he is getting on your nerve?

Recently, so much emphasis is placed on learning through play. We assume that children love playing and if we can somehow incorporate learning into playing for them, then learning is fun and effective. So we think.

In fact, if you observe children who are surrounded by toys all the time, you will realize that they don’t particularly enjoy playing with these toys. 10 percent of parents have the experience when their 3 or 4 years old child approached them in the kitchen or laundry and offered to help with these chores. According to Dr Maria Montessori’s extensive research and observation, young children generally prefer work to play. If we can provide them purposeful work, they will do it repeatedly, without feeling tired or exhausted. We definitely can’t say that about them playing the doll or teddy bear.

The main reason many children are uninterested in learning in the school or nurseries is because they are forced to learn many things which are irrelevant at this stage of their lives. Imagine assessing a 3 years old on his spelling ability, or asking a 6 years old to learn 4 to 5 foreign languages which no one around him speaks. To the young child, he cannot connect to spelling. What he wants is to learn about the environment around him; why does cat have fur? Why does the bird fly? In short, he needs to see and feel and touch the knowledge he is absorbing and learning. Not something too alien or abstract for him.

Therefore, we must bear in mind that in order to enhance the learning process, and to help our children reach their fullest potential, learning must be purposeful. When the child is young, we are helping him to lay his foundation for the future. We should not base our teaching on what we think he should learn, but on what will be most beneficial and relevant to him at this stage, and is able to catch his interest so he is willing to explore deeper. Children are forever thirsting for knowledge. Do not be worried when your 3 year old is not interested in learning about the solar system even after you have purchased the whole model of the solar system. Take your cue from your child, if he is not interested at this stage, he be will later. It is only a matter of time. For now, let him explore the areas of his interest without subjecting him to constant judgment and assessment. A child whose wish and preference is respected will be able to shine in the future.