Polymath: The Blog for Parents and Educators

Why is a love of learning important for young children?

March 07, 2022

Intrinsic motivation

If you love learning, you’ll naturally want to learn throughout life without someone telling you that you need to. If you want to learn and are motivated to do so all by yourself, you’re likely to bring more learning into your life, throughout your life. It’s pretty well agreed that learning is a fantastic habit to have, especially as you get older. Developing a love for learning means you will always want to learn and will likely do more of it!

Puts you in good stead for the future

Any career is more enjoyable if you are motivated to improve and engage with your tasks and skills. A love of learning fosters this ability to reach and grow within work.

A love of learning often makes individuals more open to opportunities too, as you feel excited rather than anxious at the prospect of developing new skills or acquiring new knowledge.

A love of learning keeps your mind active

If you’re always asking why or wanting to learn more, your mind will naturally be more active. An active mind is a healthy mind. A critical mind is a healthy mind. Enjoying the feeling of your brain being challenged and pushed means you’re more likely to engage with difficult mental activities which will stimulate the formation of new cell connections and generation.

Boosts self-confidence

Every new skill you learn and every improvement you make in a skill makes you feel more confident. Life long learning, whether acquiring a new skill or picking up a forgotten skill later on has been shown to add meaning to individual’s lives as well as boosting self-confidence.

Additional knowledge and skills can also help us to feel better prepared in more situations, thus increasing our confidence.

How can you help to instil a love of learning in your child?

Facilitate hands on experiences for your child

Helping your child experience the world in different ways and through different senses often makes learning more exciting for children. Hands-on learning helps children process information differently whilst also making the learning process more enjoyable! Acting out maths problems is a more creative way of finding the answer than reading the question on a page.

Make learning fun with games and more

Games, songs, creative writing, art projects. There are numerous ways to learn through fun and all of them help kids foster a love of learning. The more positive and enjoyable interactions kids have with learning, the more they will want to learn!

Set an example by showing your own passion

Children really do learn from their environments and those around them. Seeing adults they love interested and passionate about their own skills will show your kids how amazing it can be to learn new things! Talk to your child about what you’re learning: the best bits, the hard bits, why you’re doing it! If they see you excited about learning, they’ll probably get excited about it themselves.

Have discussions rather than lectures, lead with the question “why do you think that is?”

Humans are naturally despondent when being “told” what to do or really being “told” anything. Kids often find it boring. Opening topics up for discussion and asking kids what they think and why immediately encourages them to engage with a topic and express their own opinions. Their opinions might not always be right (and that’s okay and totally normal!) but having discussions about topics and understanding their thought process and reasoning can make learning a lot more exciting and engaging for children!

Help your child discover their interests and passions by exposing them too different experiences

Allowing your child to have choice while learning and exploring will allow them to build a collection of preferences. These preferences will foster into interests and passions that can be applied to all sorts of learning topics.

Be supportive and encouraging

One reason children can lose a love of learning is having a bad experience. Whether they begin to associate learning with the pressure of getting the “right answer”, or whether they’re tired of being lectured and find learning boring, learning experiences can easily feel negative for kids.

They can also really easily feel positive. With focusing on the process of how children came to their answers and praising the effort the child puts in, it’s much more likely that children will have a positive association with learning.

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