What to Do When Learning is Not So Fun?
Returning to school from holiday breaks has its challenges.
DID YOU KNOW?
The average student loses up to 3 months of academic knowledge during the summer break alone per research studies! That means, they lose even more academic knowledge when you include the holiday breaks.
The school breaks learning skills loss is real. When students break from the daily learning routine and the structured learning environments it can have a tremendous setbacks effect on student learning.
When students are out of school and not actively involved in learning their brain loses the skills they have learned-the sluggish brain-sleep mode brain that won’t easily remember or retain the skills they were taught.
And for the students with learning disabilities or naturally, struggles with learning they have even a “harder time” to adjust and cope fast enough to catch up with their peers. And so, they continue to fall behind and eventually lack the learning enthusiasm.
Here are some strategies to put the fun back into learning and help your student restart school with positive and enthusiastic attitude:
When parents’ set up into their children’s learning, good things happens-you optimize their learning, you build their self-confidence, you enhance performance, you reduce their stress and boost their learning focus.
Parents can help your child get back on track and stay there by giving your child the pleasure of your company. Children become excited and love it when their parents are involved in their learning world.
Support your child’s learning by being part of it, on top of it, and know what is going on in your child’s school-become your child’s home substitute teacher, guide, mentor, and pre-teach skills/subjects he or she need to master and closely monitor his/her progress.
Discover Your Child’s Interest and Nurture it
Much as parents would like and wish their children could do it all-i.e. to be smart not passive, to like the school but they do not dislike school, to love learning not hate learning, etc. children too have those moments-they have their own sets of interests, likes, and dislikes. Help your child to realize his/her interests, likes, and dislikes.
Learning doesn’t occur naturally or easily to others, nevertheless don’t force learning either-it may backfire, instead cultivate it strategically and develop the passion one step at a time; and in doing so you will help your child learn to his/her full potential-it will help both know how to improve his/her talents, abilities, creativity, and or find new one.
If you can afford them specialized programs that can expand your child’s horizon, instill knowledge, self-confidence, and improve his/her skills and nurture his/her interests go for it, e.g. if your child is interested in drama, there is a drama class that will cultivate his/her curiosity.
Know When to Get Help
Early intervention matters and can make a tremendous difference!
If your child is having learning difficulties find out what resources needed to help the situation. Seek professional experts-from tutor who can intervene through various instructional strategies and programs proven to deliver results, improve skills, boost learning and performance, skills occupational therapists who can evaluate a child’s sensory and cognitive development, speech-language pathologists who can evaluate social communication and interpersonal skills, etc.
Therapists and teachers can also provide specific strategies to further facilitate your child’s learning interactions and involvements when needed.
Early intervention will turn your child into a right path quickly and easily rather than deny that the problem exists and delay to act in a timely manner, and by the time you decide to act the damage has been done making it hard to reverse the course!
Nurture Growth Mindset
According to Carol Dweck, a psychologist and an author of a book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, a Mindset is a self-perception or self-theory that people hold about themselves. For example, believing that you are either smart or unsmart is a mindset, a mindset about your personal or professional life is like, “I am a good teacher” or “I am a bad parent”. People can be aware or unaware of their mindsets, and this per Carol Dweck theory can have a profound effect on learning achievement, skill acquisition, personal relationships, professional success, and many other aspects of life.
When you are aware of who you are and what makes you, you and or how you can be what you want to be, you are likely to be just that because you are open and willingly to see and seek what it takes to get where you want to get or be what you desire to be-you give yourself a room to grow!
For example, if I believe I can be a good teacher and nurture the traits and strategies of being a good teacher, surely, I will be a good teacher. And so, as a student! If a student set his/her mind to seek knowledge diligently, he/she is sure to achieve his/her desired learning goals.
So, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work-brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” asserts Dweck.
Students who embrace growth mindsets can believe that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere-they may learn more, learn it quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills.
It is crucial therefore to nurture growth mindsets when teaching and supporting children in their learning journey-encourage learning, value education, bring learning home.
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all”, said, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The biggest difference lies in our attitude towards learning-once you build that positive attitude towards learning, learning will take place, and most likely effective and successful learning.
Contrary to a growth mindset is fixed mindsets which we have to work against because “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success without effort…students who have adopted a fixed mindset, believe that they are either “smart “or “dumb” and there is no way to change this, for example, they may learn less than they could or learn at a slower rate, while also shying away from challenges…fixed mindsets also tend to tell themselves they can’t or won’t be able to do it (I just can’t learn Algebra), or they make excuses to rationalize the failure (I would have passed the test if I had had more time to study)”, suggested Dweck’s findings.
Therefore, when we motivate, when we inspire, and when we lead by examples we nurture the growth mindset which is a tool to help children learn. Never stop learning, for every day there are new things to learn about, and learning or acquiring knowledge (education) has no limit.