Here are 10 easy ways to foster a love of learning in the middle of everyday life.
1. Read to them. Reading not only has physical and emotional benefits, there is concrete evidence that it helps brain development and academic growth. With so much possibility, reading is the perfect way to help kids fall in love with learning.
2. Let them see you read. While reading to your children has many benefits, letting them see you read shows kids that reading is forever. It’s not just for babies. It’s not just for school. Read in front of them (and Facebook doesn’t count).
3. Be outdoors. Time outside provides opportunities for fine and gross motor development, risk-taking, and exploring, all of which prove beneficial to learning. There is also a direct correlation between time outside and reduction of stress, confidence building, and exposure to different stimulation.
4. Sing, play, and listen to music. The brain benefits of music are numerous. Plus, music has the ability to bring joy, relaxation, and express ideas.
5. Relax. True learning goes far beyond grades in a classroom. Show them you believe that.
6. Embrace what they love. Give kids the opportunity to explore the things they love. If your child is into trains right now find books about trains, build a train, draw a train, watch trains at the train station. Allow your child to guide their learning through their passions.
7. Talk about learning. Let them know when you discover something new. “Wow, I never knew that popcorn could burn so quickly. I wonder why.” Kids need to see that we are always learning, even in the ordinary.
8. Ask questions. I know, as a parent, it feels like all we do is answer questions. So start asking. “How did that bird know I just put birdseed out?” or “Why are there police officers guarding the construction workers?” Questions are the foundation of learning.
9. Give them money. I know it can be painfully slow, but letting them pay at the store and count change is real life learning. And if you use plastic for all your payments, talk about how that works too.
10. Wonder. Encourage them to think freely about things, without boundaries. Some of the best ideas started with wild wondering!