Although getting children to engage with learning might be challenging, the benefits are well worth the effort. Learners who are motivated are more eager to take part and contribute. And while some children have a natural passion for studying and can self-motivate, others might need a little help to find the motivation to learn or take an active role in activities. It is up to you to make learning fun and help motivate the children to participate actively and learn. To help you out, here are five ways to encourage children to learn that might help you catch their interest in subjects that might not otherwise motivate them.
Give positive reinforcement
The first thing to remember is that positive reinforcement and encouragement can go a long way. When it comes to learning, kids are more likely to be enthusiastic about learning if they enjoy a subject or believe their effort will pay off in some way. Learners, especially the younger ones, will look to you for approval and positive reinforcement. By promoting an environment of open dialogue, and critical, independent thinking, you will be able to show your pupils that you care about their ideas and show them their value. If the children can see that the learning environment is a welcoming and safe place, they will feel encouraged to ask questions, participate and find the motivation to learn.
Involve your students
Engaging children in the classroom is one approach to inspiring them and teaching them to take responsibility for their own learning. Make participation something fun by assigning each student a task that they would enjoy. Assign learners to organise or beautify the learning space. Give the young learners the responsibility to pass out learning materials or clean up after themselves. These activities will teach them responsibility and increase their active participation in the learning process. When reviewing a book together, have the children take turns reading aloud sections and have them discuss the material together. Put them into groups to discuss or give them a group task relating to the subject they are learning. These methods of giving pupils a sense of ownership of their learning can help increase their engagement and promotes their active involvement in the learning process.
Give them reasons to participate
Children are more likely to participate when there are reasonable expectations to meet. By setting achievable goals and rewarding them for reaching them, you can help motivate young learners. Even giving them small rewards can help encourage them to work hard, making the learning process more enjoyable. By offering learners when they do well, such as throwing a fun little party for meeting a significant milestone in learning, you can have the whole group look forward to participating and doing well. Adding rewards to completing learning objectives can go a long way towards helping learners feel successful and motivating them to work toward a specific goal.
Get creative with the teaching
By varying where and how the children are learning, you can avoid monotony setting in. Encourage the young learners to debate with each other, add some fun games and make conversations a part of the learning process rather than just giving lectures. You can also help enhance their immersion in the subject matter using creative and fun visual aids like eye-catching graphs, images and videos or incorporating activities related to the subject. Even a movie that helps convey a topic or theme can help make the learning process more fun and give the learners a nice little change of pace. Use activities such as projects and apply seasonal themes when possible to encourage participation and enhance the learning area simultaneously to create an ongoing atmosphere of involvement and learning. By ensuring that the physical learning space is welcoming and fun, children will be more motivated to participate and learn.
Connect the learnings to real life
How often will I actually use this in real life? That is a question that learners often ask. And this disconnection of the learning material from real-life examples is often a reason why learners are disinterested in a subject. It is essential to show kids how the topic relates to them or will prove helpful to them in the future. Because if they do not think what they are studying is vital to their future, they will not be as willing to learn about it. If you are teaching advanced maths, spend some time looking into the practical applications of the subject, such as in engineering, and share some ways that engineers apply it to their projects. Showing them practical uses for what they are learning will give them more reasons to learn and new ideas for their future. Giving them evidence that a topic is utilised regularly by professionals or even in regular life gives it more importance and proves the value of the subject. They might never be enthusiastic about it, but if they can relate it to actual use, it should be enough to get them to pay closer attention and learn.
These five ways to encourage children to learn are just some ways to make the learning process more fulfilling for young learners. There is so much more you can do to add to make children more excited to learn. Even the most minor things can help children want to learn, from praising them to showing that you appreciate them for taking part in the lessons and being active in their learning. Encourage them if they fall behind so that they know you are looking out for them, and you will find that they are more active in their learning.