Whether you are a parent or an educator, you know how difficult it is firsthand to get children paying close attention while trying to teach them something. If their attention span and focus are wandering away, their body may be present, but their mind might as well be on another planet. And there is nothing more frustrating for an adult that wants to share “important” information with children only to have them fall asleep on their feet.
But don’t entirely blame them. It is partially your fault as you are not presenting the subject and material the best way possible. After all, if you were, they would be attentive and enthralled to be learning about the topic.
Here are a few ways to approach teaching kids that will make them excited about learning the material you are presenting, no matter what subject area it is.
Show the Kids There Is Real-Life Application for the Material
I can still remember my days as a student. It seemed that half the information we were learning in the classroom did not have any actual use in the real world. Instead, it was “learn this material so you can proceed further in education.”
Kids are smart. Too smart sometimes. Most of them would like to streamline the things they are learning and want to use the new knowledge in real-life situations.
This means that if you are presenting a topic to them, one of the first things you should discuss is how it will affect them in the real world.
- If discussing percentages, talk about interest rates, sports stats, and how to play the odds in critical situations.
- History is not just something that happened in the past. Detail how decisions made centuries ago affect how we live today. And emphasize that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
- Economics should be a class every student takes every single year in school. Teach kids about the value of money and how to make a proper budget. Most adults could use this same information. It will save them from bankruptcy and other money problems later in life.
- Writing is not just something to do in your English class. Show the kids they can write their articles or books if they would like. They could even make a living from it! A couple of the most well-known novels ever were written by teenagers.
As you can see, it is all about tilting the lesson towards what will get the children excited about the most to learn the material.
Make Lessons Hands-On
Parents, if you want your children to pay close attention to what you are trying to teach them, present the lesson in a hands-on way so they can participate.
You may want them to know how to change a flat tire, but just talking them through the steps won’t be much good. Let them get their hands dirty and do it with them.
So you want them to learn how to cook or put together healthy meals? Work together and allow them to be your apprentice. After they get good at making a specific meal, let them do it independently.
A brilliant professor one day said to us that movement creates excitement. Get the kids moving and learning at the same time.
Don’t Give Them Busy Work
We have all had those teachers that would assign 50 math problems just for the sake of giving homework when giving 20 problems would have worked just as well. Give them 10 problems and tell them to take their time and do each correctly. They won’t feel overwhelmed and overworked.
If you don’t have a reason to give them so much work other than to keep them busy, rethink everything and narrow it down to the essentials. It will keep their love for learning intact.
Learn Along with Them
No one likes a know-it-all. Learn right along with them. Don’t pretend like you have all the answers when you don’t.
Give Praise When It Is Deserved
Not everyone deserves a trophy, but if your children are doing a great job learning something, make sure they know it. Give them some praise. It won’t cost you anything but a few seconds here and there.
Ask What They Would Like to Learn
The things your children would like to learn might surprise you. Give them a chance to lead the way by asking what topics they would like to know about, and then together, all of you can jump into the research.
Still, Need Some Help?
If you know of a child that still does not seem to get excited about learning, perhaps our professional tutors here at iAchieve can be of assistance. They have plenty of experience working with kids of all ages and every subject level. Sometimes kids would better learn from someone else rather than an adult they see consistently every day. That’s just how some kids are!