Five Easy Ways to Help Kids Learn

Japanese educationist and music teacher Shinichi Suzuki once said that the destiny of children lies in the hands of their parents and teachers.

It’s quite a statement – very true and very scary!

One way to impact positively on children’s futures is for parents to help children value learning for learning’s sake.

This sounds a little bizarre as children are natural learners. They have to be or they would never develop. Sometimes children shut down from learning. They do so when they experience failure or someone tells them they can’t learn.

But children can’t afford to shut down from learning as life now rewards those who continually learn. It always has but the benefits that go the way of continuous learners in terms of financial rewards and satisfaction is accelerating due to our rapid change society.

Help your child value learning:

1. Model continuous learning. What are you learning yourself? Are you taking any courses, reading any books or taking a new program? Let kids see that you value learning and continual improvement.

2. Make it easy for kids to learn. Build scaffolds for success by breaking big tasks into small tasks. They learn to make the bed by first arranging their teddies and smoothing the pillows.

3. Teach kids something. Life with kids should be one long teaching session. Teach them how to set the table, answer the telephone correctly, complete a lunch order, fill out a tax form – get the idea. There’s lots to learn and you can teach a great deal of it.

4. Point out learning. Point out to kids when they learn something new. Make them feel good about themselves when they learn. Praise the act of learning rather than the results of their efforts.

5. Remind kids there are many ways to learn. Some of us learn better when using our hands, some when reading instructions or some need to copy someone else. Understanding this helps kids get over the “I’m dumb” syndrome they can experience when struggling to learn through one mode.

Learning is a lifelong task. We help shape the destiny of children as Suzuki so eloquently described by helping them see themselves as learners and valuing the act of their learning.