Candy hearts, valentines, spelling tests! Wait…one of these things doesn’t belong! A love of learning may not be your initial thought when it comes to the Valentine’s season, but what better timing to begin encouraging your child to LOVE learning? And this journey begins with you!
- Enjoy learning Yourself: When I am teaching students I use the “I do” “We do” “You do” model. For moms, this means you get to be the first to enjoy learning. When your child sees you excited about learning, they are naturally more inclined to have the same attitude. This is definitely not another item to add to your list of “things to feel guilty for not doing.” It is permission to enjoy learning things that are of interest to you. Whether that’s learning interior design tricks from your favorite Instagramer, the latest Tiktok dance (…no judgment here), or a new family-friendly recipe, letting your children see you enjoy learning inspires them (and refuels you). Now onto the “we do” step.
- Embrace Your Child’s Learning Style: Are you fighting a losing battle by trying to get your child to learn or complete homework the same way that worked for you? Well, what is your actual goal? To just get it done because you have three other kiddos who also need your attention and there’s only one of you?!? Seriously though, what if you made it your goal to hear your child laugh during the time he or she is working with you? As multi-tasking mamas, many of us even with educational backgrounds, it is easy to forget about the end goal: to raise a child who is confident, teachable and hard-working. Does your child thrive in activity? Why can’t spelling words be studied while shooting baskets? Because you didn’t do it that way? Yes, this is one more time when we moms have to step aside and put our kiddos first. Is your child artistic? Why not use dry erase paint to cover a wall or a table in your home for your child to write on when studying? Is your child musical? When you review with your child, record yourself singing the concepts and then let your child listen to the recording while you move on to the next thing. When a child is learning in a way that clicks with his or her learning style, he or she will naturally LOVE learning!
- Celebrate Your Child’s Learning: It is human nature, even for tiny humans, to enjoy doing the things we are good at. In order to make learning enjoyable, it must be something that a child feels he or she is good at. Now, this may be hard to accept, but helping your child feel like they are a “good” learner may mean intentionally pointing out your child’s success in LEARNING a new video game level, or a sport, or math concept. So, stop comparing your child to other learners, and be the guide that shows YOUR child how great of a learner they are.
Learning is truly worthy of love! If, in this season, you do not feel equipped (or are just too stinkin’ tired) to help your child love learning as much as you’d like to, consider hiring a tutor. Tutors are professional learners, tailors of individualized education, and celebrators of student learning. It takes a village and a tutor can be a great addition to any village.