Children are born learners. Just think of the first time your infant discovered his or her hands and stared at them for long periods of time just trying to solve the problem of how to make them do what he or she wanted them to do. Children are inherently curious and they love to explore everywhere you go. Children are creative and love anything that messily teaches them how to create, much to many parent’s dismay Children are naturals at this learning thing, so why do we feel the need to shove facts into them and teach them in a way that may not foster this love of creativity and curiosity? Too often children who love to learn become complacent and frustrated when the learning becomes a formal event, but there are ways to continue to foster the fun- loving curiosity and creativity in your child.
Look at things from a different angle.
If your child is learning numbers and basics of mathematics but is finding it wrote and boring, look for ways to spice it up with things that he or she is already interested in. Your son loves Legos, for example, take his math worksheet and have him work out each problem using his Legos. Your daughter loves to play with your nail polish, have her line the bottles up and use those for counting problems. Instead of learning science in worksheet form take the opportunity to go on a walk with your child and see firsthand the caterpillar cycles, the leaves changing, the sun rising. Looking at things from your child’s eyes requires a bit of creativity but doing so can engage them in the learning process by showing them that extrapolating what they are learning into the real world helps make the learning process that much more interesting.
Take subjects to the next level
When your child begins talking with you about how they learned the difference between north and south, buy them a compass and map out a scavenger hunt using directions. When your daughter tells you that she learned about the habitat of a bear have her make a diorama using a shoebox and nature articles she finds outside to recreate a bear’s habitat in 3D. Allow your child the opportunity and experiences of pursuing their curiosity when a topic stimulates their natural curiosity. If need be, make a list on your refrigerator of topics to begin exploring together when time allows you to do so. Focusing on what your child is interested in also shows your child that they are valued and that the curiosity is something to be kindled.
Teach your child to think critically
This may sound difficult but it is really educating your little prodigy in the art of analytics that will help continue their curiosity. When a child thinks critically they don’t just blindly follow the masses. When they can figure out logically how things work it leads to greater questions and bigger thoughts. You can do this with your child by simply asking questions. When faced with a tough problem such as, how do the water droplets form on the outside of a cold beverage on a hot day, encourage them to experiment and think logically by questioning the process of how they came to the conclusion they have. Then invite them to test their theory to see if it is accurate. As the parent, you can work right alongside them but not give away the answer just allowing the creative thought process to occur by guiding them towards the answers. Allow your children to ask for clarity when they do not understand something and encourage this behavior. Finally, praise your child when they can logically work through a problem of any sort, from beginning to end.
By showing our children ways to keep the curiosity, passion, and creativity in learning we are creating a generation of passionate learners. When we help our children see beyond the worksheet, textbook or test we allow their eyes to become opened to endless possibilities of excitement. Passionate learners are world changers, which is primarily the goal of every parent who desires the best for their child.