We all know how hard it can be to get our minis excited about hitting the books and studying for their tests. Sometimes, kids would much rather be playing with their toys, watching TV or playing video games. We’ve all been there. But it doesn’t have to be like that! We need to be showing our minis that learning is fun and that even adults are constantly learning every day! Here are our 3 effective ways to make learning fun and exciting!
1. Know your mini’s learning style
There are seven main learning styles: Visual, Aural, Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social, Solitary. Every child has a different learning style that is best suited to the way that they learn things. Finding the relevant learning style and then creating activities in correspondence with what they react to the best, will ensure that they have an effective and fun study session. It is also beneficial to combine several of these learning styles together to allow your child to develop in all of these areas. Below are the descriptions of each of these learning styles with tips on how to manage these, so that you can get the most out of your study session!
Visual learners learn best with images, videos or other cues to help them process information.
o Tip: Get them to write out their thoughts or draw a brainstorm map for them to process what they are thinking.
o Aural learners learn best with sounds and music to process information.
o Tip: Make up songs and rhymes that will help your mini remember all of the information – make sure to include them in the writing process and have some fun with it!
o Verbal learners learn best under verbal instruction and writing.
o Tip: Get your mini to write out their thoughts and focus on learning a new word every day to increase their vocabulary.
o Physical learners learn best by doing hands on activities and keeping active.
o Tip: Create fun activities that are relevant to the topic that your mini is learning. These can be puzzles, maths games, activity booklets etc.
o Logical learners learn best when they understand the reason behind the content they are learning.
o Tip: Try to explain the reasons behind everything they are doing and give real world examples.
o Social learners learn best when talking with others about what they are learning.
o Tip: Talk to your mini about their favourite subjects to help them remember the information and to create a positive attitude about learning.
o Solitary learners learn best when they are by themselves in a quiet space.
o Tip: Make sure your mini has a clean and quiet space to study in and try to keep anything that might cause a distraction out of the study space.
2. Set goals and make a weekly diary
It’s so important to set goals for your mini - these can be daily goals, weekly goals or monthly goals. When goals are clearly written out, it is a big encouragement to your mini when they complete something on the list. It also gives them something to work towards and they won’t be feeling like the work they are doing is irrelevant or unimportant. Make sure to celebrate every time your mini completes a goal, it will give them the motivation to do even more work! Also try to keep a weekly diary that sets out all of the tasks for the entire week broken down day by day. This will turn a big mountain of work into manageable piles and will take the dread out of study and homework sessions when there is only a little work to focus on at a time.
3. Give constant encouragement
It has been proven by many different studies that when a behaviour is reinforced it strengthens and occurs more often and when it’s not reinforced it weakens and the behaviour fades out eventually. Thus, positive reinforcement is crucial in the children’s learning process as it makes them want to engage more so that they can get even more positive reinforcement. So, how do you use positive reinforcement to motivate your mini to learn? It’s easy! Tell them that you are proud of all the hard work that they have put in so far and that they are doing a great job so far. This will uplift their spirit and will encourage them to keep going.
And remember, if it just isn’t working and your mini is not responding well to the learning process – take a breath and break to reset! Sometimes children are so overloaded by all of the information they are presented with every day and just need bit of fresh air to settle their thoughts before they tackle more learning!