The most effective way to encourage your child to love learning is to model it, engage in it, and above all to enjoy it. And to do this you do not have to be wealthy or even highly educated. When you engage in learning activities with your child, your child will see it, and the encouragement to love learning will be natural.
Even after bringing up two children myself, I did not realize the endless number of ways a parent can teach a child to love learning until I saw the creative ways my daughters and their husbands went about teaching my young grandchildren to learn.
Besides reading to the kids and reading with the kids, these new parents research answers, watch educational videos with their kids, take them to museums (not only children’s museums) take nature walks, draw with them, cook with them, play games with them, and even watch the starry heavens with them; all the while answering questions as best they can, and encouraging the children to think for themselves.
There are many possibilities in addition to these. The key is to teach your kids to do things you enjoy doing, and to appreciate the things that you appreciate. The secret is to let your child see your pleasure as you do what you love to do, explore new things that interest you, and go where you love to go.
Children are precious little sponges. They will soak up your enthusiasm and possibly be turned on to reading for the rest of their lives. And then, lucky, parent–they will teach you!
Here are some other tips for teaching your children to love learning.
* Read, read and read some more to your child, and let your child read to you, even if it is just a picture book.
*Tell stories that have an educational component. Use books or make the stories up.
*Take the kids to exhibits, shows, public gardens, historic places, nature preserves, and zoos.
*Walk on the beach and look at shells. Walk in the woods and notice everything you can even if you do not know the botanically correct names. Just take it all in and appreciate the beauty.
*Go on field trips where you see things being made, and yes even to amusement parks.
*Notice the things your child is curious about and design activities around them.
*Support and encourage their efforts and their budding knowledge bases.
* Where safety is assured, let them help you in the kitchen, the garage and the workshop.
*Support and encourage their academic learning with as little pressure as possible, making the experience as enjoyable as possible.
*When doing homework with them (not for them) do your best not to complain about how hard it is, but rather turn the process into a way to learn together when there is something new to you.
*Refrain from making any learning activity a disciplinary measure, but rather consider making a special learning experience a reward.
*Above all, have fun with them. Your connection with your child, your enjoyment with them will fertilize their love of learning and love of life.