Encouraging a Positive Attitude Towards Learning

Every child learns differently. Some are visual learners, others are auditory learners, and there are those who are tactile/kinaesthetic learners, meaning they prefer a hands-on approach. It’s not always easy for children (and adults) to identify the style of learning that suits them best. But with some encouragement and exploration of learning styles, you can contribute towards a more positive attitude towards learning. In this article, we’ll explain how you can nurture this attitude to support your child’s love of learning.

Incorporate Interests into Learning

First, you may want to consider what your child enjoys outside of school. Are they a football fanatic, a budding chef, or love a YouTube star? Whatever it is they enjoy, the idea here is to be creative by weaving something they love with an educational activity.

For instance, if your child loves a celebrity or a YouTuber, why not ask them to conduct a project on them and create a video in their style? Or if they enjoy cooking, you could consider suggesting they plan out a menu based on a particular country or historical period. These examples not only demonstrate that learning doesn’t only have to be done in the classroom, but also teach research and communication skills as well as being relevant to specific subjects such as film studies or geography.

Celebrate Mistakes

The fear of making mistakes can hold many of us back – children included. But by creating an atmosphere that embraces mistakes, rather than punishes them, your child can be more open to trying new things in order to learn.

One way to nurture this mindset is to remind your child of the mistakes you’ve made and explain how you moved forward to correct them. This could be something in your personal or professional life. the premise here is to show your child what lesson/s this taught you.

At home, you may also find it helpful to shift how you would usually correct an error, be it when you’re supporting with homework, or your child is helping with chores. Where the opportunity allows, instead of saying, “No, that’s wrong”, think about how you can celebrate it; “Thank you for that suggestion. Let’s go through how we can do it next time.”

Fuel Curiosity

Many children are curious by nature, although this love for discovery might seem to wane as they enter the tween and teenage years. But that’s not to say your child’s spark for learning can’t return.

To help with this, asking open-ended questions can be a great place to start. Instead of asking them, “Did you enjoy science today?”, you could reframe this to, “What did you learn in science today? What did you think of XYZ?”. When they ask questions in return, encouraging this behaviour can be really beneficial in fuelling their curiosity. The topic they want to discuss might not be of interest to you, or you might not know much about it, but perhaps you could take some time together to turn this into a research project for both of you.

Encourage Reading

Reading can be a great tool for creating a positive attitude towards learning. If your child isn’t interested in reading, or rather, thinks they don’t enjoy reading because of a set text they’ve been assigned in a lesson at school, then you might find it useful to help introduce them to a wider range of genres or styles of books. Making a visit to the library to pick out a few books they resonate with more can be a good place idea for them to try out new authors and genres.

Alternatively, audiobooks can also be a fantastic way to ignite a love for reading. Audiobooks can also provide the opportunity for children to develop their listening skills and they may even be able to better engage in learning through listening, rather than through physical books.

Be the Example

After all, you are your child’s biggest role model. By demonstrating your own positive attitude, your child could be more likely to follow in your footsteps and this highlights the fact that learning is lifelong. Simply showing your own curiosity, asking questions, and even rediscovering a hobby you haven’t tried for a while can be brilliant ways to do this.