Children are naturally curious and inquisitive creatures who love to learn. However, the high expectations set by schools and the pressures created by exams can often lead children to see their learning as a chore. This post gives some tips and advice on how to foster a child’s natural enthusiasm for learning and keep exam preparation fun.
Learning is 100 times harder if it’s seen as a chore. Just think back to the subjects that you excelled in at school: they were most likely the ones you enjoyed. Research shows that fun experiences increase dopamine, endorphins and oxygen in the brain – all things that promote memory and learning. If children are in a positive frame of mind, they are going to be more engaged and more willing to persist in difficult tasks.
By leaving things until the last minute, parents run the risk of having to cram in tutoring and exam preparation for their children, a stressful and ineffective way to learn. Leaving plenty of time before exams means you can keep learning sessions short and incorporate plenty of fun activities.
Feeling that you have mastered a task is the most enjoyable part of learning. Often children complain that a task is boring when they are embarrassed or frustrated that they cannot complete it. Break tasks up in to small steps that children will be able to complete. For instance, if a child is writing a piece of creative writing, encourage them to write a small section at a time. At each stage, praise the child and highlight what they have done well; making a child proud of what they have done will make them strive for the same feeling again.
If children are learning about something that piques their interest, they are going to be more excited about their learning. For parents struggling to engage their children in reading, books related to their personal interests may be a great starting point. For example, they may be interested in:
Whatever your child’s interest, a quick Google search should identify some relevant reading.
Never underestimate the power of technology to engage children. There are hundreds of apps designed to support children’s learning. Although these cannot replace face-to-face teaching, they are a useful tool for making learning fun and can often be used as a reward at the end of a session.
There are many ways to incorporate games and fun in to learning. Here are a few ideas:
Those are just a few tips which I help make exam preparation enjoyable for both you and your child. Good luck!