What a Child wants to Learn

What is it that inspires a child to learn?  What engages them?  These answers are simple when you look through the eyes of a child.  When a child sees their father shaving for the first time, they imitate what they see because it stirs their curiosity.  The same is true when they see their mother making a batch of cookies. 

A child by the age of four always asks why.  Why is the sky blue?  Why is the grass green?  Why do monkeys have tails?  Each of these questions is a direct way to interact and help a child learn.  Allowing a child to ask questions and then participate in the process of learning fuels their fire for learning.  The thirst for knowledge is never quenched as long as they are consistently engaged and inspired. 

Building a volcano from dirt and ash, adding small details likes trees and moss, then adding the baking soda, red food coloring and vinegar to cause the chemical reaction is an exciting way to teach a child and engage their thought process.

Walking a creek bed and dipping water to analyze under a microscope inspires the child to see that there is more to learning than just what they can see with their eyes.  These types of lessons can encourage the child to continue to ask why and how, and help them to focus on the aspects of learning that truly inspire them.

Hands-on learning experiments are so much more exciting for a child.  They can use all of their senses to experience what learning really is.  Sensory experiences are more likely to stay with a child throughout their entire lives. 

It also inspires the child to find new ways to engage themselves in learning.  They are less likely to give up, drop out or choose not to participate.  They learn the value of exploration and cause and effect so that they can continue to apply those processes to all the other areas of their lives.  Therefore, they succeed in all areas of their lives. 

One of the most successful ways to help a child learn is by parental participation.  When a parent participates in a child’s education through homework, school events or other types of support, the child has a higher success rate.  Spending just an hour a day asking your child what they learned and letting them explain the process to you helps them retain what they learn.