Learning is supposed to be fun. It is ironic that we have to choose either one for our children- giving them the chance to indulge their childhood with play time or shoving endless list of tuition and enrichment classes down their throat.
Be judicious in choosing what’s for them, because today’s choice can profoundly impact their tomorrow.
Is there a way we can give them their deserving childhood without sacrificing their learning?
Yes. I know it seems impossible, let me walk you through how you can bring back your children’s childhood while letting them learn at the same time.
1) Learning comes in all forms, not just textbook and classes
A lot of people associate learning with textbooks and classes. We need to start thinking out of the box and include learning as a part of our daily routine.
How? Let me give you some examples:
(a) Movies, tv shows and documentaries
When you are watching movies, documentaries or TV shows with your children, get them to reflect and discuss the things they noticed or learned. Get them to write an essay on their favourite characters as a way to improve their writing and language skills. Debate and justify based on a tough decision that a character needs to make to develop their communication and critical thinking skills. Children can learn a lot of things just based on movies and TV shows.
(b) Real world application
Children often have no idea why they are learning certain subjects. We need to get them to understand the lessons in an easier way. The simplest way is to use real world application to help them understand better. For example, we can use money to illustrate the importance of simple Mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).
2) Parents involvement – get them to tell you what they’ve learned
Learning reinforcement does not only happen in schools or tuition centers, it can also happen at home. Parents can easily get involved in their children’s learning by asking questions. Leisurely ask them to explain what they have learned. Children learn better when they have to process what they have learned rather than listening and store it in their memory if not forgetting the next day. If you want to know more about this, you can refer to Feynman technique
3) Hands-on learning
Have you ever felt that you didn’t learn anything no matter how long you spent to learn something new? Children have the same feeling too. Learning the same way over and over again does not work. That’s why we need to change the way children learn by using hands-on learning. We have covered 5 surprising benefits of hands-on learning in our previous post.
But, how can we do that?
(a) Hands-on project
There are so many hands-on do it yourself (DIY) projects you can do it at home with your children. If you do not know how to start, you can find these projects in Instructables. You can learn Science by setting up an experiment. You can learn circuits and electronics by playing with Arduino. Pick a topic and turn it into a hands-on project.
You can learn a lot of things from games. Monopoly teaches you to manage your finance well. Charades can develop your children to think fast, polish their language and critical thinking skills. Breakout Edu can transform any boring subject into hands-on engaging game. You do not need to develop everything from scratch because the content is open-source.
Get your children to decide how they want to learn. But we need to guide them throughout the process. You can have a brainstorming session to deliberate ideas on ways to help them in learning. Get them to voice out their opinion on each idea. State your opinion too. Then, discuss and even debate together to decide what is the best for them. Make sure you listen to what they are saying. Get them to commit to it.
The whole process shows them how a decision should be made. Children feel respected as their voice is heard. They won’t feel overwhelmed by the pre-made decision by parents because they are involved in the decision making process.
About Brain Bytes
Brain Bytes focuses on hands-on project based learning to create an engaging learning experience for students to spark their interest in S.T.E.A.M. subjects. We strongly believe in learning from playing and making, that’s why Brain Bytes provide tools, programs and events to engage students to learn.