Little Ways To Make Learning Fun!
School is just about back in session after the long holiday break and your kids are chomping at the bit to get back to the books! Is this the case at your house? Perhaps NOT! For many kids, the thought of school, homework and learning are dreary tasks and not something typically viewed as fun. For many, learning and study correlate with serious and tedious. Believe or not, there are ways to make learning fun and effective and something your children will look forward to. Of course, there is always the moaning and groaning about getting back to a busy homework schedule, tests and turning in assignments but with a few tips and tricks, you can turn the negative into a positive and make the learning experience more fun for the kids.
Make Learning Fun!
The Washington Post wrote about this topic and found that children’s brains often respond better to the learning process when the learning environment is more fun, rather than serious. In an interview with Sean Slade, Director of Healthy School Communities, he stated, “truth is that when the joy and comfort are scrubbed from the classroom and replaced with homogeneity, and when spontaneity is replaced with conformity, students’ brains are distanced from effective information processing and long-term memory storage. The highest-level executive thinking, making of connections, and “aha” moments are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of “exuberant discovery,” where students of all ages retain that kindergarten enthusiasm of embracing each day with the joy of learning.”
How can we as parents make this happen? There are a few simple, yet effective ways to make learning fun for your child.
Make Learning Practical: How many times do you hear your children (or yourself) ask why will I ever need to know these math equations? How will these fractions apply to my life? If you can demonstrate how fractions and math are pertinent to our everyday life, the learning will be more enjoyable. Take a pizza or a cake and cut into quarters, halves, thirds, etc. Your child will be able to visualize what a fraction of a whole really is. How about cooking or building? These are ways in which to engage your child into learning proper measurements, equations and yes, the dreaded fractions.
Make Learning Real: What are your kids learning about in school this week? What is the news in your neck of the woods? Find a theme that your child is learning and look for ways in your community to visit something similar to make it come alive! Learning world history? Why not visit the local museum or historical society to see old pictures and news clippings from long ago. Learning about animals or anatomy? How about a trip to the zoo to see animals in real life? Sure, a museum trip may evoke a groan or two, but if it relates to something your child is learning, they will be surprised how interesting it can be.
Make Learning a Game: Do you get your weekly workouts from a structured gym, or from a weekly game of pickup basketball? Isn’t your workout much more fun when it’s in the form of a game? The same goes for learning. Think of the many family-friendly games that you can play with your kids. Card games such as Go Fish and Concentration and board games such as Monopoly and Trouble are a great way to help your kids learn numbers, math and, best of all, sportsmanship and patience.
Go ahead, try these tips and tricks and your child will be learning and having fun at the same time. What a perfect combo!