How to teach a child to learn and not ruin everything

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How to teach a child to learn and not ruin everything

The desire to learn new things is inherent in us by nature. Curiosity encourages experience and information. But how to maintain this natural desire? How to maintain the child’s interest in knowledge, to develop creativity and the ability to think?

The good news is that children love to learn without us. A small child learns every minute, no matter what he does. In addition, scientists have proven that the brain is able to change throughout life, learning is its natural state at any age. Another question is that children, as they grow up, often lose their impulse to cognition. The parent’s task is to create an environment that will help maintain this skill.

What is the ability to learn

Ability to learn consists primarily of curiosity, thirst for research, “pumping” of critical thinking. This refers to the ability to work with information: analyze, doubt the unproven, compare different points of view, draw conclusions, “dig deep”, choose the optimal solution.

In order to develop critical thinking, encourage your child’s habit and courage to think. Start a little as soon as he speaks with sentences. Talk with him about everything. When reading books, ask for an opinion about the characters and the motives of their actions. Let the child evaluate the event.

At the same time, pay his attention to different sides of the situation, its ambiguity. Speak not only about facts, but also about abstract concepts: “What do you think is friendship?” Speak cause-and-effect relationships, help to make arguments and draw conclusions based on them.

How the love of learning disappears

Speaking about the interest in learning, it is just connected with curiosity. Never blame the child for laziness and lack of interest. Because laziness does not exist. The brain begins to work only if it recognizes the benefits.

When this happens, dopamine is splashed out – a neurotransmitter responsible for remembering, processing information and anticipation. Therefore, trying to get another person to learn is futile. But we can create an environment in which the brain wants to collaborate with its master.

Dopamine spills out, for example, when new exciting information arrives that does not seem to us unbearable. Or information familiar, evoking positive associations and memories. The only way to motivate to study is to make it interesting for the child, encouraging initiative and creativity in him.

What we usually call laziness is actually a fading of interest. Interest disappears most often due to systematic failures and pressure, fear of mistakes or fear of being “bad”, “stupid.” If such emotions arise often, the motivation for avoiding the child becomes a driver for the child – when it’s easier not to do anything at all, just to not feel a sense of failure.

How to teach a child to learn - and not ruin everything

How to fall in love with study

To teach to learn is to awaken curiosity and fall in love with the learning process. Use the “5 why” technique. At three or four years old, the child constantly asks questions about everything in the world. But, growing up, he stops asking. Revive the “tradition.” For example, a second grader reads a paragraph on “The World.” “To observe the stars, the telescope was invented.” Get involved in the process and ask what the child thinks – why was the telescope named so?

On one topic of the lesson there may be about five such questions. Suggest looking for answers on the Internet or in the encyclopedia. Note how much the child has learned in addition to the information in the textbook. Accustom your child to the fact that not knowing is normal and not ashamed. Speak about the child does not “do not know” or “does not know how”, but “does not know yet”.

It is important to reinforce the feeling that you can learn everything. Encourage questions and always make it clear that stupid questions do not exist. Teach your child what to do if he doesn’t know something yet, for example: a) search in reliable sources; b) ask parents, teachers, friends.

It is important to create an atmosphere in which the child is not afraid to ask questions and knows what will be heard. Constant communication in dialogue mode, conversations on an equal footing (without discrimination “adult-child”) – affect the dynamics of learning. If the parent follows this rule, the child will be able to more confidently perceive the new information.

Make learning fun – turn the process into a game. For example, if you need to read “Eugene Onegin,” create social media pages with the child for the main characters and model new situations and dialogs that might arise. This will help to better understand the motives and characters of the characters, as well as the sociocultural context of the work.

Teach you to eat an elephant. Even adults can experience fear or helplessness before a big task, and especially children. It is impossible to eat a whole elephant, but it can be cut into pieces. So the task can be divided into small tasks. Help the child understand what the project consists of (for example, an essay on the story): resources, stages. In what order do you need to go through them.

Call learning failure growth zones, not weaknesses of the child, and treat them accordingly

Love the mistakes with your child. Mistake is the engine of growth, the most frequent and natural thing that happens to a person during training. But to make mistakes can be scary and unpleasant. To prevent this from happening, the child must get used to the mistake as a guaranteed part of the process that helps to learn.

To do this, you can play this game: you and the child take turns giving each other the task of doing something new. For example, a child may ask you to complete a quest on a tablet. And you – write dictated 10 words according to an unfamiliar rule of the Russian language. When both completed the tasks and checked each other, we proceed to the theory.

The child tells you how to quickly complete the game. You read him the rule of writing consoles. Then the exercise is repeated and progress is compared.

Call learning failures growth zones, not the child’s weaknesses, and treat them accordingly. Instead of “you have a bad math” say “let’s repeat fractions again”. Instead of “you are not given essays” – “you need to work on the syntax.” Remember that this will work only if you also relate to your own growth zones and do not scold yourself for mistakes.

Give balanced feedback when a child comes to you with a design idea, with a drawing, with an essay. This helps the child maintain motivation and creativity. First you mark what you liked, then – how you can do even better, then you tell – what will be the result after improvement. In that order. Try not to give out empty praise (well done, smart) and not to blame for the shortcomings.

An example of balanced feedback: “You very accurately managed to describe Pechorin through the story of Princess Mary. It seems to me, if you mention another example, not about love, then you will reveal his character from different angles. ”

An example of unbalanced feedback: “We need to add more examples, otherwise it’s not enough. But the princess case is well written. ”

How to teach a child to learn - and not ruin everything

If something doesn’t work, help your child do an analysis. What did not work out in the control? Where is my growth area? How can I pull up a topic to solve such examples well? Give freedom of choice. If a child wants to read only magazines about superheroes, let him read. Does he read? Already good. After sure there will be other, more complex plots and characters.

The main thing is to encourage the lesson itself. Do not contrast study with the hobbies of the child. Use other arguments. Because otherwise the child will think that learning is a routine, and other activities are a reward.

Make the computer a child’s friend. The computer helps in learning (for example, make associative cards for remembering historical events; make project presentations; check information on the Internet, build graphs and charts, and so on).

And the most important thing is to constantly learn for yourself. Through the parental example, the child forms the value of learning.

Andrey Lobanov

about the author

Andrey Lobanov – CEO of the International School of Programming for Children “Algorithm”.

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