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Fab Fridays 91: 7 ways to help kids WANT to learn
Learning to Love Learning
For the past few months I’ve been working on a very special project that I can’t wait to share with you all soon. (Hint: It’s not my book!)
I haven’t had much time to write lately, so I’ll keep it short and sweet this week.
Here are 7 ways to help your kid want to learn:
1. Encourage Projects of Their Own
We tend to see education as something we do to kids: designing lessons, assigning books, making worksheets.
But kids learn best when they voluntarily tackle projects of their own. And kids know this. That’s why they drag their feet as they walk to school in the fall and sprint as far away as they can in the summer.
2. Prepare Their Environment
The environment plays a key role in creating the learning experiences your kid will have.
Make it easy for kids to access engaging challenges. Put necessary tools, materials, and resources at their fingertips, a variety of books within their reach, a bulletin board on the wall to hang their creations, and a dedicated workspace organized for independence.
This empowers them to take charge of their learning whenever their interest sparks.
3. Allow Healthy Obsessions
Kids crave mastery and love going into flow.
That’s why they might pitch a fit when it’s time to leave the park or stop playing a game. Try to recognize that their passion is natural and give them space to dive deep.
4. Let Kids Quit
Kids obsess over stuff—and then stop.
They might beg for a violin, only to get board after three lessons. It may frustrate us, but it’s important to let kids quit. Give them freedom to experiment and explore their talents.
5. Teach with Stories
When kids ask questions, we can wrap our answers in a captivating story.
For example, if they ask about statistics, wait before opening Excel. First talk about Annie Duke and how she won poker championships by using probabilities. I expand on this idea here:
6. Negotiate, Don’t Command
When kids are really learning, they start thinking critically, expressing their opinions, and disagreeing with adults.
Resist the temptation to “put them in their place." Instead, invite them into collaborative negotiations. Here’s how:
7. Connect Them with Peers
Humans are social and imitative creatures.
We naturally want to learn more when we’re around peers who want to learn as well. Find social learning opportunities like Synthesis where thoughtful kids connect, solve problems, and work together.
With these seven tactics, we can help kids get the most out of their most formative years. And most importantly, we can help them learn to love learning for a lifetime.
What other things have you tried at home that work for your kids?
Until next week,
Ana Lorena Fabrega