As the world moves at greater pace today, there are the types of skills your children will have to learn and develop to keep up. Kids have to adapt to new teacher’s teaching styles, they have to make new friends and, of course, learn new subjects and skills.
I think it can be quiet natural when kids get into a funk about school and learning. When I say, “7 Ways to Get Your Child Excited to Learn,” I don’t mean they are going to be like, “Let’s learn! Let’s learn!” I mean it more in a way that they can learn from every experience that encounters them and that learning isn’t just about the books but about the experiences.
We might become so caught up in mathematics, language arts, and social studies texts that it becomes overwhelming for our kids, and their enthusiasm for learning fades. There are opportunities to learn all around us and opportunities to get the excitement back.
1. Lead by example: Teaches leadership.
I, of course, want my daughter to be a leader. I want her to know herself and stand up for others. I want her to have a voice. One thing that we’ve really talked over and over about is bullying. We watched a documentary called “Bully.” Wow, it was really empowering.
My daughter saw a boy get bullied on the bus and her first question was why no one said anything. In my heart, I was like, “YESSSS…. She gets it.” We talk about how it is scary to stand up for someone getting bullied, but it’s our responsibility to stand up. In our house, we show her how we are vocal and we do stand for what we believe in, in a respectful way, but leading by example teaches her leadership.
2. Get outside: Teaches nature and the earth.
Walk outside. Plant a seed. Watch leaves fall. There are so many things outside that are perfect learning opportunities. One thing that I get really excited for is gardening. We grew so many vegetables but the one I was super excited for last year was the carrots. My kids were excited to see a seed turn into a carrot.
The light on their faces as they pulled them out was priceless. When you plant tomatoes, you see the tomatoes turn from green to red, but with root vegetables, you talk about the process and it’s a fun experience. The year, we’re going to try out radishes!
Another thing we do is recycle. About 6 months ago, my daughter asked why we don’t recycle. I told her, “We’ll its expensive to pay for it.”
She says to me, “But what does it cost our Earth?”
What an eye opener?! Now, we don’t pay for recycling, we do drop ours off at a center nearby, but by starting something like recycling, it changed our lifestyle and pay more attention to our Earth and isn’t that something that we want our kids to care about? Get into a habit now so it sticks with them when they are our age?
When you get outside with your kids, it may not seem like a lot, but it does teach time about nature and our Earth.
3. Library & Books: Teaches imagination
I have loved going to the library for as long as I can remember. I could spend hours there by myself and really get lost. I always hope that it will be the same for my kids. Of course, with 3, it’s possible that one of them will not like reading, but oh, I can push it and I can hope. I take my children to the library and we spend a lot of time there.
I LOVE our library. There’s nooks and fun spots for the kids. My daughter usually runs off on her own and finds a quiet spot to start reading. After picking books with my little ones, we spend our time doing puzzles or the puppet shows.
I believe that libraries hold a tremendous amount of imaginations just waiting for children to pick what they want to get lost in.
4. Community Service: Teaches compassion
We are starting community service. I think my oldest is old enough to start learning about compassion and how it’s human to feel for people. This is a new thing for us, so I can’t say too much, but I know it’s a good thing to serve our community.
5. Shopping: Teaches math and living within means
Shopping! What 8-year-old little girl doesn’t love to shop? Really?! I have this thing about living well within our means and we are not extravagant. When we shop, we are very vocal about the costs of things and how we might need to wait and save, or that’s just way to expensive because we can make it ourselves.
I know for my husband and I, we saw our parents struggle to make it and while we may not struggle like they did, we still have hard times. The point is, we saw our parents and we can vividly moments which means our kids are seeing us and going to remember too.
6. Playdates: Teaches friendship and working through
Yes. Kids and their friends. I’m not going to lie, I get this tense feeling in me when I bring my kids to play with other kids because I see a different side of them! And the entire time I’m like augh! But it’s normal!
I have really loosened up on my child and friends because that social interaction helps teach about friendship and working through problems so that everyone is happy. Getting a bunch of 7-8 year olds almost always mean the majority will be bossy, but telling them to work through it and seeing it in action helps them problem solve in other places as well.
Read also: How To Influence Your Child’s Friendships
7. Let them be kids!
Lastly, just let them be kids. Really. I have had to tell myself this phrase so many times and I’m not going to lie; I am comforted by the fact that other moms know what I mean when they can’t let go of so they can be kids. Teaching them and doing all this stuff fix important but the most important is enjoying childhood and letting them remember all those moments, because, again, they will remember just as we remember.
Learning is more than books and school. It’s about life. What kind of person you want to be? What kind of citizen. I know all the book learning I teach my kids means something but I know all the other stuff means more.
Kids should be curious and creativity should be encouraged. Their interest should be stimulated through fun projects and experiments, and reading should be developed, and they should be given the freedom to develop their imagination.
My children won’t teach their kids 5×5, they are going to teach them how to be human. And don’t we want a promising future?