All parents want their children to do well at school. Good grades are seen as proof of a child’s intellectual abilities and capacity to learn, but they don’t always reflect reality. Your child can be extremely brilliant but still perform poorly at school because being a good student is closely related to the attitude toward learning.
Besides, there’s more to learning than getting straight A’s. Education doesn’t stop when a kid leaves the classroom. Although school is where children receive most of their knowledge, parents must understand that nurturing and encouraging education in any environment is what will make a child love learning, and that will also lead to better academic results.
It’s important to know how to help a child value education and turn learning from a tedious task into an exciting process. Parental guidance is vital and can open a world of ideas and opportunities for children of all ages. Here are a few ways in which you can support your child’s education and help him enjoy learning:
Overcome the fear of learning
Most children associate learning with fear. That’s because they see learning as an obligation that, if they can’t fulfill, will lead to serious consequences. Fear is never a good pedagogical tactic, even if it works short term. In the long run, it will only make a child resent school and everything related to it. A child must feel at ease in an educational process, and learning must come naturally, instead of being a requirement or something they do due to external pressure. So, you must do whatever you can to ensure a comfortable environment for your child to learn and create a light and relaxed atmosphere.
Teach him how to handle failure
Fear is also linked to failure. Children can get discouraged if they’re not good at a certain subject or if they fail when they do something they’ve never done before. This can make them step back from trying new things in the future and limit their opportunities. You should make sure your child sees failure not as a defect but as a normal step in the learning process. Teach them that no one can be an expert from the very beginning, as it takes time and effort to master a new skill, but they must be brave enough to take the risk and try anyway.
Lead by example
Children learn by imitating grownups, so it’s obvious that your kid will mirror your own attitude and behavior. If he sees you have an enthusiastic approach when it comes to learning and you’re eager to discover and explore, he’ll also become interested in learning. Besides, children are naturally curious, so you should take advantage of their curiosity as much as you can and learn new things together. It’s much more exciting if he has a companion with whom to share his discoveries, and your passion for learning will eventually rub off on him.
Encourage diverse learning styles
Every child is different, and that means not all children learn the same way. Some may retain information better by reading, others by listening or by mixing different techniques and so on. One can only find his preferred learning style only by experimenting with each of them. Since there’s no one size fits all learning method, you should encourage your child to try new learning styles. Whether it’s watching documentaries, taking online classes from sites such as Chemistry Guru, joining a study group, listening to podcasts, or reading as much as they can on a subject, let your child explore and find out what works better for him.
Cultivate a love of reading
Reading is the oldest trick in the book to stimulate children’s imagination and curiosity and broaden their horizons. You can encourage your child to read by reading to him in the beginning. If he’s able to read by himself, create a reading nook where you can both spend some time with your nose buried in some books. Once he gets the taste for reading, he won’t need you to encourage this habit anymore and will start to ask for new books themselves.
Children won’t even consider reading books as learning, but rather as an escape into a fascinating world filled with unimaginable possibilities. But they will surely learn a lot as reading will expand their vocabulary, help them learn new concepts, and develop new interests.
Support your child’s natural interests
We all have our interests and areas in which we excel, and children are no different. If your child shows a natural interest in a certain domain or subject, don’t ignore that. Encourage his passions and hobbies and help him develop in that specific area. The more he’ll find out about the topic that fascinates him, the more he’ll want to discover new information, and learning will become a fun activity. If he’s crazy about space, surround him with books on the subject, take him to a planetarium and explore the night sky together through a telescope.
Focus on what he learns, not on his grades
As we mentioned before, grades are not always an accurate method to quantify performance. While they can help you evaluate your child’s abilities and skills in different areas, they’re not something you should focus on in particular. Children shouldn’t be motivated only by big grades, but by gaining new knowledge and the possibility to expand their intellectual universe.
So, don’t dwell too much on your child’s test results and instead ask him about what he learned later, what piques his interest, how he feels about certain subjects, and try to communicate openly about his learning experience in general.
Praise every achievement
Every little victory counts, and they should all be celebrated. Children need reassurance and validation; therefore, celebrating every achievement is important for boosting your child’s motivation to learn. This is a way to recognize and appreciate his efforts and make him feel that he is able to achieve even greater things, as long as he’s willing to try. When you praise him for his accomplishments, you encourage him to try even harder, learn better, and improve his performances.