• The Villages Mag

Learning is fun!

Making school more enjoyable for children can have a positive impact on their education but some of us find it a challenge to motivate our child to go off to school with a skip in their step?

Here are ten things that you can do to help your child enjoy learning a bit more.

1. Be a role model - As a parent, you’re often the most influential teacher in your child’s life. When parents read a book or take an adult education class, they’re letting their child see that everyone continues to learn all the time.

2. Maintain respect - Think back to when you were in school, we all had some teachers we absolutely loved and some, to put it mildly, we weren’t too fond of. But regardless of our own feelings we were taught by our parents to respect our elders. These same values should be instilled in your children. It always sets a good example to speak respectfully about teachers and the children will respect them too, giving them a good grounding for life-long learning.

3. Get them involved - School isn’t just about time spent in the classroom, it’s also about fun after-school activities, whether they be sports or clubs. Encourage your children to pursue their interests outside of class and it will give them something else to look forward to when the school day is over.

4. Resist overwhelming - Music lessons, football practices, art classes, karate tournaments, these are all brilliant activities for children, but many children have schedules that are so packed that you almost need a full-time personal assistant to help organise them! While your child may love all of these after-school activities, and they are great for socialising and improving future university applications, you don’t want your child to become overwhelmed.

5. Set up a homework routine - Homework is a big part of the school experience, many of us grew up believing that the best place to do homework was alone in a quiet room at a tidy desk, sharpened pencils in hand. But lots of children do better sprawled on their bedroom floor or sitting at the kitchen table. Let your child pick the spot; just make sure there’s a relatively clutter-free surface on which to write, good light and no TV or blaring music.

6. Encourage meaningful friendships - In making new friends, quality is more important than quantity. Don’t force kids to be ‘popular’ by making tons of friends.

7. Be interested - Keep the positivity going during homework hour and ask about assignments, such as what homework children have and what their favourite subject is to get the conversation going about school.

8. Keep the communication going - Keep the home environment relaxed, open and non-judgemental so your children will come to you with the conflict or issue they’re facing in school.

9. Reinforce lessons - If you notice that your child has taken an interest in a particular subject area, see what you can do to extend that learning. Set up some science experiments in your kitchen or visit a local museum to get up close to the fossils your children have been reading about in textbooks.

10. Set the tone - With early morning wake-ups, it’s easy for adults to get out of bed on the wrong side. But if you’re cranky in the morning, that attitude can transfer to your children. It’s not always easy, but help your kids anticipate an enjoyable day by sending them off with a smile!

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