The Best 12 Tips to Make learning fun
WITHOUT Yelling, Bribery, or Cajoling
“Being a student is easy. Learning requires actual work.”
– William Crawford
Who Am I?
Hello there, glad you are here. If you’re reading this, it means you’re interested in what I’ve to say or offer. And that’s wonderful. I’ve been teaching for some time now and it has by far been the most fulfilling job I’ve done till date. To say teaching the little ones is challenging would be an understatement. But what would be even more challenging would be to get them to work on it. So here I am, offering you some much-needed assistance.
What got me started
The big challenge for any teacher of primary classes is to keep the students interested. Getting them to practice what they’ve learnt is the next hurdle. With every year, I’ve innovated and improvised my teaching methods to suit the requirements of my students. Once back home, we need to have good, reliable and relatable resources for them to practice their concepts.
I often made fun worksheets and activity pages to get them to practice what they had learned. My years teaching primary classes has shown me the big gap that exists. What could be done at home with just a few practice worksheets are now being done by spending thousands on after-school classes or tuition. Learning has to be a fun process in the initial years so that they feel like doing it again and again.
Children in the primary class stage need to feel engaged and interested. So, I’ve decided to use my experience in the primary grades to create engaging and focused worksheets and workbooks. Do visit the Crazy Wise Owl store for refreshing resources. A bonus freebie is the Study Schedule made for your convenience. Just sign in and download the FREE Daily and Weekly Planners to organise your study time.
My best 12 tips to get your child to study more productively
If you want your child to enjoy studies and not come up with excuses for not doing it, then try some tried and tested tips that I found really helpful. Let’s start with #1
Tip #1: Set the pace according to the comfort of the child
Every child has his or her own learning pace and should not be compared to others. Let the child decide how much and what he wants to do initially. Forcing him to do something according to the schedule or curriculum may turn him off. That’s what is happening at schools.
Everyone’s expected to start and finish together. And that’s why some move ahead while some get left behind. Let learning be fun at home, in the comfort of his or her space with a person who can give the required attention.
Tip #2: Schedule a regular time daily
Set your alarm or plan it in such a way that daily you get the child to sit down to study at the same time. This is important as it makes it clear to the child that this is a job that needs to be taken seriously. It becomes a part of the daily schedule and hence easier to stick to.
Another benefit of the scheduled study time is that it helps the mind to focus and be prepared. Because you know you have to sit down to study at a scheduled time, you are ready for it. On the other hand, sitting down to study whenever it’s convenient makes the whole process casual or frivolous.
Tip #3: Organise your work and prepare a list
Now that you’ve got your schedule in place make sure you help the child prepare himself for it. Keep the books, notebooks, pencils, eraser, colour set and whatever else you need with you at your desk.
You can assist the child to prepare a list of things to do – a list of topics to cover or the difficult topics that need revision or a list of practice worksheets or assignments that need to be completed. Write them down and stick the list on the board so it’s right there in front of you.
Ask the child to make a schedule or timetable so he feels like he’s in control.
Tip #4: Identify problem areas
Before jumping into the studies, make sure you speak to the child about the topic being covered in the class. Ask about the difficulty level or what the child finds difficult.
This is important so that the work can proceed accordingly. If you know the problem areas, it will be easier to focus on them. You can then inform the teacher also so that it can be dealt with in the classroom also.
Keep interesting resources ready to use during the revisions.
Tip #5: Make the process fun and interesting
When revising what has been done at school, the child would like to skip what he or she hasn’t understood or will try to avoid it. Make the difficult topic fun by doing an interesting worksheet or activity to make it appear doable.
This helps boost the confidence in the child and makes the challenges easier to deal with. Use a variety of resources like worksheets, activity sheets, pictures, videos, etc.
Let the learning process be flexible to suit the needs and moods of the child.
Tip #6: Go one lesson or subject at a time
Asking the child to do the revision of all the subjects or topics on the same day may seem a daunting task both for the parent and the child. Go one subject or topic at a time.
Break up the work into smaller, doable bits. It makes it look less overwhelming. And the child is much more disposed to deal with it willingly.
You can use page separators of different colours if you are using a folder to keep all the worksheets. Or better still use different folders for each subject and ask the child to make the label or cover. This will make it a lot more fun and the studies less overwhelming.
Tip #7: Take breaks
Don’t expect your little one to sit still for hours together with complete focus. That’s not happening. Break up the schedule into smaller worktime (according to the timetable he had created earlier).
Small breaks between two subjects or topics allow the child to get a breather and, also some time to get back into focus. Children do not have a prolonged attention span and hence these breaks are essential.
During the break, serve a snack or talk to the child about the class or his friends, anything but studies.
Tip #8: Learn, write, repeat
Practice makes a man perfect – so the saying goes. And it’s not further from the truth. The more the child practices the better she or he gets at it.
The logic is simple – by repeating the work, it gets better imprinted on the young mind (this has been scientifically proven by researchers and educationists). It also develops the writing skills of the child. With such double benefits, it makes sense to encourage the child to practice by writing regularly.
Keep interesting resources ready to use during the revisions.
Tip 9: Set goals
The thrill of crossing the finishing line is not restricted to the race track only. It can be experienced even during studies by setting up achievable goals. Discuss the goals with the child and prepare a set of goals to be reached within a reasonable time period.
Involve the child in the process so that she or he feels responsible. Small incentives can be set as the reward (a smiley face tattoo or some funky stickers can do the job!). This encourages the child to put in more effort and get the desired results.
Tip #10: Encourage, motivate, celebrate achievements
No activity is fun without motivation and encouragement. The same is the story here. It’s a reflex action to feel disappointed or let down when the child hasn’t done well. Let the contrary reaction also be a reflex action – celebrate the achievements, doesn’t matter how big or small, of the child.
Motivate and encourage the child to do better. Maybe hang a small handwritten motivation or encouraging note on the board so the child can see it. Let the small steps be appreciated.
Instead of focusing on the number of spelling mistakes, compliment the child on the neat handwriting or completion of the work. Remember – your words are powerful tools so wield them carefully.
Tip #11: Make reading a part of the daily habit
Who doesn’t enjoy a good story? Make reading an integral part of the learning process. Parents must read out to the children to develop their listening skills. Reading helps them develop their creativity and imagination, along with an enviable vocabulary.
Also by repeated looking at the words and listening to the sounds, they will find it easier to identify the words and numbers as they grow up. Take them to the bookstore and let them decide which book they want to read next. And then sit back and watch the magic!
Tip #12: Keep a fixed location to avoid distractions
Try to have a place fixed to sit down to study daily. This helps the child to focus and not get distracted by the new location. Different locations provide different settings and different perspectives which can be distracting to the child.
A nice quiet corner, preferably not near the window or television, would be ideal. Try to schedule the study time when the house is comparatively quieter when the rest of the family is not yet in.
Just for you!
Let the learning process not overwhelm you or your child.
Download the weekly schedule and organise your study time. One step at a time. A little surprise bonus added to make the planning fun!
Disclaimer: These are some of the books I’ve often recommended to the parents of my students. If you feel inspired or motivated to buy them, you could use the affiliate links here and I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. So go ahead!