There are a few values that, when instilled in a child, will pay off for them ten-fold. One of those values is the curiosity to learn and to be a student of life.
If you can cultivate genuine curiosity and motivate your child to get excited about learning and experiencing new things, your child will always be happy and fulfilled. Not only that, but when you are open to learning and experiencing new things in life, you are far more likely to have a growth mindset, which is another important aspect of living a fulfilled life.
You might be thinking, “But I am not a good learner,” or, “My kids hate learning.” The good news is, that most people are not born good learners. Instead, we become that way through our habits. And there are a few different ways you can instill good habits that will be conducive to helping your child become a good learner. Not only that, but you can help them to get excited about learning. And that alone is life-changing. Here are 9 ways to encourage your child to become a lifelong learner.
1. Think of learning as an adventure, and get your kids excited about that aspect.
When you are trying to pump your kids up for learning, emphasize the fact that learning something new is an adventure. This isn’t a lie, it’s extremely true because learning new things is exciting There’s nothing more exciting than opening your mind up to a new idea, learning how to craft something, or understanding something that was completely confusing before.
2. Stick to a schedule.
Having a routine is extremely soothing and beneficial, especially when you have children. And a major part of that schedule should include taking time to learn, read or discover new things. Set aside time each day as a learning hour. Sit down with your little ones and read to them, or give them books to read or go on a learning adventure together.
3. Make your child a learning area.
If you have the space, set up a chair and a small table for your child. You can even include a bookshelf and stock it with their favorite books and craft supplies. Then, during your ‘learning hour’ sit down with them and participate in a learning activity together.
4. Act as a good model & learn new things yourself.
You cannot expect your child to participate in good behaviors if you don’t. So, teaching your child or encouraging them to LOVE reading is going to be difficult if you don’t love reading. Make sure you are practicing what you preach.
5. Make learning tools easily accessible.
Make sure that your kids have what they need to learn. Have books on hand, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and more. And take them to the library often to replace their books or even to the book store.
6. Take learning adventures together.
Learning doesn’t just have to include reading. You can also go to local museums, art galleries, statue gardens, botanical gardens, or whatever is available to you locally.
7. Make reading fun.
Make reading fun by picking up books that tell about exciting events, or exciting adventures. Read them aloud together in a dramatic way, to make the books come alive. You can even use puppets, or after reading the book, show them the movie, so they can compare their imagination to the movie.
8. Make learning a group activity.
Don’t just place a book in front of your child and demand that they read. Get involved with them. Ask them what they want to read about. Go to the book store or library as a family and pick out whatever piques their interest. Read funny or fun stories together.
9. Focus on your child’s interests.
When you are just getting started, you may be tempted to push certain topics or books on your child. You don’t want to do that unless that is what they want. The more learning feels like a chore to them, the more they will dread it (thus creating a negative association in their brain.) You can make it fun by focusing on what they are interested in and encouraging them to read about that.