Color & Control:

7 ways to inspire love of learning

By Kylie MacKenzie

Most school-age children have been involved in some sort of online or out-of-classroom learning over the past year. However, while some have continued to thrive, many have struggled or fallen behind academically without the support of teaching assistants, extra help and custom programs.

We have also seen cases of digital inequality because some children don’t do well with remote learning or don’t have access to computers and/or the internet at home. “Regardless of the situation, family members can still have a significant impact and, rather than let them fall behind, can take action and do what they can to help kids keep up and even pull ahead,” suggests Professor David Florence, founder of the Oxford Method, whose mission is to help as many students as he can. Here are a few of his ideas:

1-Prioritize sleep
It’s crucial for a child to get enough sleep each night, which will help them to be more focused, as well as improve their behavior, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Experts suggest children ages 6-12 should get 9-12 hours of sleep per night, and teens ages 13-18 should get 8-10 hours.

2-Teach value
Whether or not a child values getting an education is usually something that is picked up at home. Parents who want their kids to get a good education will instill a love of learning in them.

3-Get them help
If your child is struggling, you may be able to help them, but there also comes a time when kids need a tutor or another family member to step in. A good tutor can make a world of difference in ensuring that a child gets a good education.

4-Show them how
Oftentimes, kids don’t know how to effectively study for a test or to take notes when they are in class. Take the time to show them how to do it effectively. When students are organized, they are more likely to succeed.

5-Ask them questions
Be sure to ask your kids how it is going, if they got their homework done, if they need any help or if there’s anything they need to be more successful. They like to know that you are interested in how they are doing, so it’s good to show an active interest.

6-Get involved
It’s always a good idea if you can get involved with the school and have good communication with the teacher. That way you will be aware of what is going on and know how to help your child more effectively at whatever level they are at. Teachers love it when parents take an active interest in their child’s education.

7-Praise your kids
Help kids to know what they are doing is right or what they are doing is wrong. Praising and encouraging kids builds their confidence and helps them to succeed as they grow at their own pace.

father teaching son to read

Study tips for different types of learners
Everyone has their own unique learning style. Is your child a visual learner, an auditory learner, or a kinesthetic learner? Once you’ve figured out how they learn best, you can take steps to make sure that type of learning is reinforced in the classroom and during home study. The following lists will help you determine what type of learner your child is:

For visual learners try:  
Using books, videos, computers, visual aids, and flashcards.
Making detailed, color-coded or high-lighted notes.
Making outlines, diagrams, and lists.
Using drawings or illustrations (preferably in color).
Taking detailed notes in class.

For auditory learners try:  
Reading notes or study materials out loud.
Using word associations and verbal repetition to memorize.
Studying with other students and talking things through.
Listening to books on tape or other audio recordings.
Using a tape recorder to listen to lectures again later.

For kinesthetic learners try:  
Getting hands-on. Do experiments and take field trips.
Using activity-based study tools, like role-playing or model building.
Studying in small groups and take frequent breaks.
Using memory games and flash cards.
Studying with music playing in the background.

Kylie MacKenzie is a staff writer at Today’s Kids in Motion with an interest in early childhood education and special needs.

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