There has already been much talk about children’s innate talents to learn in their own ways. Yet, let us point this out again – human beings are born curious, and the ability to learn has been given to us by mother nature. Have you noticed the zeal in kids’ eyes, when they get to know how things work, connect and interrelate with each other? They absorbedly grasp the why and how of everything that surrounds them. Early on, when kids gain just a little bit control over reality, they start exploring their bodies and capabilities. At that moment, they don’t think they actually learn, but that’s exactly what kids do every time they interact with the world.
As children start out with an inborn desire to know the world, the main purpose is to foster that curiosity into a powerful drive to learn throughout the lifetime. It is one of the biggest issues for parents and preschool educators, as they need to inspire young learners all the way through, both in a classroom and in a home setting. Their mission is to motivate kids to wise up on their own, rather than directly instruct them on everything they know.
The Role of Teacher in Kids’ Learning
The true essence of teaching goes far beyond curricula and lessons. The curriculum is an important thing, but it comes second after teacher’s attitude and enthusiasm that cultivates a lifelong love of learning in children. Well, yes, educators do teach kids to enjoy and value learning, but they do that by being children’s best partners, observers and supporters. Teachers help children acquire a love of learning, when they are on the same side.
The supportive environment is a centerpiece of the learning process. At our Montessori preschool Los Angeles, children enjoy an engaging setting that responds to their interests, abilities and learning styles. They are free to provide ideas, test abilities, express feelings, take decisions, and what’s more important, grow smart and thoughtful. It is in the shared moments of discovery and pleasure from being a part of a tight-knit preschool family that teachers and children draw inspiration for learning activities.
How to Encourage Children to Love Learning
Kids who can learn from themselves and enjoy doing it on a daily basis prove to be more successful in their academic and life achievements. Here are key aspects to focus on in homeschooling and preschool education to fuel kids’ desire to learn.
• Leverage power of child’s interests
The idea seems to be like that, instead of rigorously following a plan on how learning should progress, let children take the lead. Based on innate needs and interests, kids can take care about learning on their own and, in the course of time, get inspired to become lifelong learners. There are no worthless or ridiculous things that children may want to grasp. Leaves, bugs, shells and flowers – all these do matter and encourage them to be avid explorers in early years and, later on, in adolescence.
• Bring real-life experiences
While talks and storytelling are good, it is vital to provide children with opportunities for authentic, real-life experiences. They create a sense of purpose for them and let them directly negotiate and interact with the world.
The ideas for such experiences can derive from daily conversations at home or in a preschool classroom. For example, when kids discuss nature, it can be a good idea to go for a weekend trip in the countryside and let kids explore its diverse flora and fauna. Real-life experiences support past learning and encourage kids to explore new areas of focus.
• Adjust learning to child’s personality
We all learn differently, because we are unique in our personality types and temperaments. Children with different personality types have the same goals in learning, but they are different in the way they achieve them.
Introverted kids are hesitant and reserved – they test news skills after much listening and watching. On the contrary, extraverted children are more sensitively vulnerable and emotionally expressive – they better learn through direct experiences without need for external guidance. By understanding what exactly drives kids’ motivation, parents and educators can better cater to their developmental needs and, in this way, help them get joy from learning.
• Provide ground for questioning
The matter of so many “whys” and “hows” is not because little learners want to fray parents’ and teachers’ nerves. The ability to ask questions is a building block in children’s cognitive development.
Their inquisitive nature drives them to better know and understand the things they see and hear. When children ask questions, they stir up their curiosity and desire for knowledge, which means they are more likely to love searching for answers and enjoy learning.
• Keep it joyful
The best way to teach children is a game, whereas for children, play is an active work. When integrating learning and play, it is important to make the activity look funny first and then guide kids on their play roles. For example, to help children polish vocabulary, flashcards are the right thing, but wrapping it into a pleasurable situation can bring more excitement to the process and keep little ones interested in activities alike in the long run.
Love of learning in children is strongly related to their curiosity and motivation. At our Los Angeles universal preschool, children’s engagement is combined with teachers’ skillful interactions that stimulate never-ending passion for new knowledge. In the atmosphere of support and encouragement, kids grow to be inquisitive and motivated, which inspires them to make learning be a part of their life.