Not every child learns the same way. While some are visual learners, some prefer to read or listen and so on. Often, the lack of knowledge of what can make learning seem interesting to children prevents us from unlocking their true potential. Understanding children’s learning preference and encouraging them can prevent many study-related tussles that regularly take place between parents and children.
Let’s look at some ways you can unlock your child’s learning potential.
1. Create a stable home environment: Children’s abilities blossom when they feel that they experience a stress-free, happy, and stable environment at home. Make sure that you and your spouse maintain a cheerful disposition and settle your differences away from your child’s eyes and ears. Let your child have lots of unstructured time to indulge in her hobbies; you can invite her friends home or even allow her to simply stare out of the window, engaged in deep thought – all these will act as stress busters.
2. Talk to the child: Communication between parents and children is very important. Not only would it help your child connect with you, but also help him purge his emotional energy. It would also provide you the opportunity to ask open-ended questions and understand what is going in your child’s mind. But, while talking to your child, remember to talk slowly and in a language he can understand.
3. Foster love for reading: Begin the process of encouraging your child to develop an interest in reading early on. Try to spend at least half an hour every day reading from a book to your child, or with him. Make reading fun and engaging by asking her questions or eliciting her opinion, or engaging in a conversation about something that you have just read.
4. Urge your child to write: Encourage your child to express himself through writing. Ask him to write a story, compose a poem or keep a journal of what he does daily. While going through his writings, pose questions or give ideas on how he can do things better. Encourage him by sharing his writings in your social circles, or getting them published in the school magazine. The habit of writing will also reinforce the habit of reading.
5. Encourage creative pursuits: Nowadays, most young children spend a lot of time with computers, smartphones, or other such gadgets. Limit the amount of time your child spends watching the screen and try to involve her in activities like pretend play, arts and crafts, or learning music. All these activities help children practise what they learn.
6. Don’t overload: While all parents want their children to learn more than other children, it is important not to overload the child. Entrusting a child with too many tasks can overwhelm and frustrate her. Instead, give her more time to complete any activity or task you have assigned.
7. Promote good study habits: Make completing school work a priority to promote a healthy attitude towards studies. Tell your child the importance of studying well. Involve yourself in his studies by regularly enquiring about how he is doing in school, helping with homework, attending parent–teacher meetings and so on. Praise your child’s efforts when he does well in studies.
8. Teach effective study methods: While every child puts in effort to do well in studies, only those who study effectively become toppers. Teach your child how to listen attentively in the classroom, take notes, memorise key facts, and revise frequently.
9. Enrol in a good school: Schools play an important role in shaping a child’s future. So, before you enrol your child in a school, gather as much information as possible about the school; for example, how does it address the academic and emotional needs of a child, does it have resources to develop other talents your child may have, does it provide a safe and secure environment and so on.
While schools do their bit to educate a child, parents also have an important role to play in helping the child unlock her learning potential. Encourage and motivate your child to put in her best effort, and let her know that she can accomplish anything she wants.
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