The Love of Learning
Once children develop a love of learning, it will serve them well – both academically and in life – for years to come. Instilling a passion and curiosity in your children isn’t as simple as teaching them how to tie their shoes, but there are certain things you can do to guide them in the right direction.
Understand their learning style
There are three main learning styles – auditory, kinesthetic and visual – and understanding which one plays to your child’s strength is key to helping him or her develop a love of learning. Auditory learners learn new information best when they hear it and they are good listeners. Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement and touch and are often good at dance, sports and other physical activities. And visual learners absorb information best when it is presented in pictures or writing. Your child might show strength in all of these areas but will be particularly strong in one – and once you determine what it is you will be better equipped to work toward a love of learning.
Lead by your example
One of the best things you can do to help foster a love of learning in your children is to lead by your example. Show them that you yourself have a love of learning. Read, visit museums, stay up-to-date on current events and watch informative TV shows. Take up new hobbies and teach yourself new skills. Seeing you enjoy the process of doing new things will make them more inclined to follow suit.
Take an interest
Ask them about what they’re learning in school while studying for their international baccalaureate in Singapore and in their own time. Go through their homework with them, not just when they need help but to see what new lessons they’re being taught. Ask them which subjects they enjoy most, which they enjoy the least and why. If they’re struggling in a particular area, look for fun and creative ways to help them. For example, a student struggling in science might benefit from a trip to the ArtScience Museum or SEA Aquarium. Demonstrating your interest can help children feel more motivated and encouraged to learn and succeed academically.
Encourage their curiosity
Ask them about what interests them – and not just what interests them but what gets them excited – then look for ways to help them develop those interests. If they enjoy nature and the outdoors, let them watch TV shows Nat Geo Wild. If they enjoy coloring or painting, take them to an art museum or go to the library and look through art books. Studies have shown that learning is enhanced when children are allowed to choose topics that they want to learn about, making it one of the simplest ways to instill a love of learning in them.
Provide hands-on experiences
Ask them what they’d like to be when they grow up – the answer will likely change several times over the years – and let them get a hands-on experience of that career. If they want to write, you could look into touring the offices of your local newspaper and perhaps meeting with a journalist or two. If they’re interested in medicine, ask your family and friends if they know of a doctor or nurse who would be willing to sit down and chat with them. Giving them a first-hand look at the end result of their studies will be both motivating and inspiring.
Learn alongside them
Encourage children to learn new things by learning with them. Read the same book or go to a painting class. And when they ask a question, help them find the answer without the internet. You can also inspire them by asking them to teach you. For example, a child who has strong math skills might enjoy teaching you about fractions and a child with strong English skills might enjoy showing you how to diagram a sentence (two skills that you might have lost over the years!). Letting them show off what they’ve learned will give them a sense of pride and push them to keep learning more. Older children are most likely very savvy at all things digital and could easily help you set up your phone or computer!
Learning: a truly lasting love
At Stamford American International School, we believe that there is an interdependent relationship between school life and home life. We’re here to teach your children, and when you impart the love of learning to them they’ll bring that into the classroom – where it will continue to grow exponentially.
If you are keen on visiting or learning more about Stamford American, please do contact us.