No matter how excellent a teacher you are, and no matter how much time and effort you spend helping your child learn, your efforts will be in vain if he or she does not willfully choose to do so. People don’t learn unless they decide to. In order for that to happen, we need to focus on the following.
- Help them see the learning as important and relevant to them personally. If they understand why they need to know this information or these concepts they will “attend”; engage their brains. If students don’t see any reason to learn this information, or if the tasks seem like busy work, they won’t retain it.
- Cause them to feel capable of learning the subject. If the learning seems too difficult or they don’t feel capable, they won’t even try. Find a way to help them achieve success with some aspect of the learning. When they see that they can do it, they will try more vigorously.
- If possible give your children first hand experiences: take them to the store to see discounts and percentages, go to museums to learn about history, visit farms and zoos, experience a night under the stars with a telescope, etc.
If that is not possible try to find documentaries or other vicarious experiences. This takes learning from the abstract to the concrete.
You are your child’s first and best teacher. Never forget that!