It’s no secret that getting kids excited about learning can sometimes feel like an impossible task when they have so many distractions on and offline to keep them entertained all day long, but it’s not impossible, and it is a good thing to do if you want them to excel and reach their full potential.
That being the case, let’s take a look at some of the best ways we parents can get our kids more engaged in the learning process in 2024, because it’s not all up to the teacher!
1. Game On: Learning Through Play
Transform learning into a game, and you will find that your kids learn without even knowing they are doing it!
Whether it’s educational video games, apps, or good old-fashioned board games, gamifying learning can boost engagement and motivation more than you might imagine because it gives kids tangible goals to achieve, while also having a darn good time in the process.
It’s like the Mary Poppins approach – a spoonful of sugar (or fun) helps the medicine (or learning) go down.
2. Movie Magic: Learning in Disguise
Let’s talk about the power of movies now. Yes, you read that right – movies! Films like ‘The Imitation Game’ for maths and computing ‘Finding Nemo’ for biology, and anything off this list of Christian movies available here for RE, can make learning more relatable and fun.
It’s a bit like when you sneak veggies into your kids’ dinners by blending them up – they’re getting the good stuff, but it feels fun!
3. Kitchen Experiments: Science with a Side of Yum
Why not bring science to life with kitchen experiments? Baking is basically chemistry, right? Volcanic vinegar and baking soda eruptions, edible DNA models (hello, candy!), or homemade slime – they are all things you can whip up at home on a rainy Saturday afternoon, and you know what? You will probably have as much fun as they do!
4. Nature Trails: The Great Outdoors as a Classroom
Take the learning outside some time and you will be amazed at how effective it can be. Nature walks can teach kids about biology, geography, and the environment. It’s a chance to get fresh air and learn, all while burning off some energy. It’s like a field trip, but you’re the cool tour guide.
5. Storytime: Learning Through Listening
Use storytelling to make historical events or complex concepts more engaging. Who wouldn’t want to hear about the Trojan Horse as a bedtime story? It’s like history meets Hollywood.
6. Creative Arts: Unleash Their Inner Picasso
Encourage creativity through art, music, and drama. These aren’t just ‘extra’ subjects; they’re key to developing imagination, critical thinking, and motor skills. Plus, it’s a legitimate excuse for them to make a bit of a mess.
7. Real-World Applications: Maths in the Supermarket
Show them how what they learn applies to real life. Use cooking to teach fractions, shopping to teach budgeting, or sports to teach physics. It’s like applying school lessons to the School of Life.
8. Tech Time: The Wonders of the Web
Utilise technology. Educational websites, online tutorials, and interactive learning tools can offer a fresh perspective beyond textbooks. It’s the 21st-century way of learning – digital, dynamic, and a bit less dusty.
9. DIY Projects: Build, Create, Learn
Get hands-on with DIY projects. Building a birdhouse can teach about measurements and engineering, while gardening can teach about plant biology and ecosystems. It’s like Bob the Builder meets David Attenborough.
10. Pen Pals: Writing with a Purpose
Encourage them to have a pen pal (but do so in a safe and monitored way, of course). Yes,m it might be old school, but this hobby not only improves writing skills but also teaches about other cultures.
11. Current Affairs: News as a Learning Tool
Discuss current affairs. This helps develop their understanding of the world and critical thinking skills. Just maybe steer clear of the more depressing headlines – it’s about learning, not instilling existential dread.
12. Educational Outings: Museums, Theatres, and More
Plan educational outings. Museums, theatres, historic sites – these are all goldmines for learning. It’s like an adventure, but where the treasure is knowledge.
13. Personal Interests: Follow Their Curiosity
Tailor learning to their interests. If they love dinosaurs, explore paleontology. Space fan? Delve into astronomy. It’s all about harnessing their passions, not just following the curriculum.
14. Reading Challenges: Books as Brain Food
Set up reading challenges. Whether it’s a certain number of books a month or exploring different genres, encourage them to read widely.
They’ll want to meet their goals, so they’ll get through more words.
Engaging kids in the learning process is about grabbing their attention, making it fun, and having a good time yourself in the process too. So, what are you waiting for?