Most children develop a particular interest in a subject, both in and out of the classroom. If you want to create more interest in a particular area – such as outer space or insects – there are various strategies: take kids on an inspiring field trip, introduce playful explorations, or arrange a class visit from an industry professional. These experiences encourage young learners for years.
Whether your child is in home school or a conventional classroom, you should always encourage field trips if the opportunity is available. As you might know, people learn in different ways, and while you might have an idea of your child’s learning style, engaging them in an experience can hit all those different ways.
Sending children on the perfect field trip or taking them on one as an educator gives them the chance to experience a subject holistically. Not only can they interact with the content, but they experience the environment that influences their memory. Don’t forget to quiz them on returning OR bring the discussion to the dinner table.
Playing and learning go hand in hand; that’s why it’s so easy for young children to learn things when subjects are introduced in a fun way. Conversely, if you want to teach something to a child and there is no playful element, it’s much harder to pique their interest and for the new knowledge to take hold.
Let’s say you want your children to be more interested in space science because you think they have an excellent imagination and skill with numbers. Why not create a space-themed day with fun lessons where they make spaceships, coupled with some space-based number problems? Or if your kid loves insects or spiders, try making bug tattoos and using themed worksheets.
Computer-aided learning is growing in popularity; not only are young children more computer literate than ever before, but computer game learning is proven to be excellent for developing keys skills. Computer games can create better focus, develop creativity as well teamwork. This computer game was VITAL to my kids mastering their times tables!
These days there are many software programs available designed to develop these key aspects. Add to this the fact that computer games are also a form of play, and you have a perfect learning device. However, avoid too much computer-aided learning in the classroom. It’s too easy to tip over into an unbalanced ratio of online to offline learning!
Nothing is more inspiring for a young learner than a visit from someone who works in an industry of interest. Right away, a young learner can see the uniform and the types of people who works there. Talking directly to someone who holds an interesting job can make the industry seem attainable and bring real life relevance to the industry. Whether or not students already have an interest in the subject area, people who are passionate about what they do help inspire them.
What child doesn’t want to feel grown-up and play the part of the teacher? There aren’t many, and what’s great about giving young learners agency like this. In order to LEAD the lesson, they must think about the subject in a different way and present it. This is a strategy that is great for ALL levels of learning.