2013/10/09 10:12 am

Is Time to Learn and Have Fun

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You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.

Clay P. Bedford.

Based on my experience with my three kids, I can say that children have an infinite curiosity. If I’m talking on the phone they want to know with who I’m talking, if I take a medication, they want to know,  why? If I’m writing a tale they will ask What I am writing and why? etc, etc, etc..

But, if kids are so curious and want to know everything, then why some of them do not have the same curiosity when it comes to studying in school and do their homework at home? The answer that my kids have given me is that all this is BORING!!

Then, what can we do so our kids want to learn? The answer is simple, but usually difficult to implement. We must make the study time fun. In past articles we talk about the rules when it comes to study and how to motivate them to do their best. But above all we must remember that they are children and what kids are fascinated is with play.

 

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

-Benjamin Franklin

 

Definitely the best way to make children learn or help us is involving them. And in my experience the best way to engage them is to make things fun. Does not mean that I have always the energy to make things fun, but  when we are having fun, everything is different.

So how can we make things fun? Here I leave these 3 examples:

1.  Storytelling.

My husband is an expert in this. All start when my husband was looking for a way to have something to share with our children. One day my oldest son read about a old war in a school’s book. My husband researched on it, then he told the complete story to our kids. Our three children became involved with the story and asked for more. The curiosity and desire to learn from our sons was so positive that my husband continued learning and telling our kids all those stories.

Currently our sons (10, 8 and 7) know the life of Alexander the Great, Hannibal Barca and many other characters of antiquity. They have learned about the strategies they used at that time, when those strategies has worked and when not. They have learned the stories so well that a few week ago my husband was telling one of them while riding in the car and made a mistake. The largest of our sons said that it was not like that and explained how really happen.

For my part, when I learn something, say some details of the life of someone who has achieved success, when the opportunity arise I tell them what I learn as story. They often are the ones who ask me about what I’m writing? so I’ll tell thrm what I’ve learned and the details of the life I want them to remember.

The important thing about storytelling are that kids ask question and say what they think. Most important thing is that the children participate regardless of whether we finish telling the story. Often has happened to us that We need to interrupt the story, because we have to get out off the car or already arrived at school. Our children are the ones who remind us about the story and ask us to please finish it.

2.  Videos

I love youtube!!!! and all programs that are fun and also help kids learn. When it was the time of my second son to learn the numbers up to 100 in English and the alphabet in English (our first language is Spanish),  I almost went crazy. I just say the number and  my son was bored. We already had, from  my oldest son, some videos to teach the alphabet in English we use it.  He watch the video over and over again and that is how he learned the sounds of the letters.

With the numbers, I had no time to order anything so it occurred to me to find some videos on youtube. My son learned the numbers like magic. I did the same with the times tables. A few weeks ago, my second son need to study the layers of the earth and as I’ve told you before, he takes his time to learn. On that special day I had to leave so I asked my spouse to study with him.

When I return I asked who had gone? My son quite happy said ‘My daddy set me a video and I already know everything.’ In the exam my son won an excelent grade so I congratulate him. My son replied ‘That is something I will never forget.’ Videos are definitely a good tool to learn.

3. Use the imagination

Learning to add. Last year, my husband and I decided to change our sons from school.  To be able to get in, my youngest son had to know how to add and subtract (in the other school have not teach him yet). Very determined, I started to teach him only to realize that it was not so easy. One day it occurred to me teach him with reals candy, so I said ‘If you have 2 candies (giving the two candies physically) and give you two more (I gave him two more candies) how many candies do you have? “Magic! now he was focused on what we were doing. Like every child, my son loves candies. Similarly with subtraction, “if you have five candies and ate two, how many do you have left?”

 Dictation of words. When we have to practice dictation words rather than dictate all the words for many days so they can learn them. What I do is that I dictate all the words and they correct it by themselves. They can use colored pens to make it more fun. They feel as if they were teachers.  As they check the word they learn how to write it correctly,  in my opinion more quickly.

Speeches and Poems. Some times my kids need to learn poems or speeaches, what we do is to record the poem over and over again in my husband’s recorder, last time I use my phone. At night while they sleep, my husband and I put the tape recorder under our son’s pillow.  They learn the poem little by little when they sleep.

Hopefully you found some new idea to make learning fun. If you study with your child in other fun way please share it with us.

Another article that might interest you is how to get the little ones of the house help around the house in a fun way.

 

If you liked it, share this article with your friends and please leave your comments. See you in the comments.

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