Many parents know the problem: At the beginning their offspring is bursting with motivation to learn, but as the years go by it decreases steadily. But how can parents counter this and motivate their children to learn? Education expert and learning specialist Daniel Bialecki has been working intensively on children’s motivation to learn for years. He has summarised his best tips for better education. These five tools help children to regain the fun of learning and to tickle out their natural enthusiasm for learning:
Five aids for a fresh breeze of learning motivation
1.create structure through a learning plan
You have certainly already experienced it: Class tests or tests are just around the corner and the big learning should begin! But: Over time, a mountain of notebooks, notes and books has accumulated. To become master of this chaos alone can really pull the motivation to learn into the cellar. Where to start, where to stop? So it’s best to create order in a flash. On the desk and especially in the head.
The best way to do that is with a 5-day learning plan. This not only adds structure to the learning material, but also includes necessary breaks and rewards. Because: The brain also needs some rest to absorb what it has learned. The timetable also clearly visualizes what has to happen when, the goal is clearly in front of the eyes, and the head has room for the really important content.
2. creativeABC lists and colorful mind maps
Even if it is most convenient: The textbook is by no means the end of the line when it comes to good learning material! There are virtually no limits to alternative aids for more motivation to learn. The main thing is to move away from dry repetition (with textbook) and towards active design:
- Classic mind maps, for example, are particularly well suited for getting to the heart of the matter and presenting it in a visually appealing way (good for the visual learner type).
- The principle of the ABC list works in a similar way: Here on a paper each letter of the ABC is connected with a term from the current learning topic.
- And speaking of paper: Post-Its are great for learning vocabulary! Simply attach the word to the corresponding object, for example “door” or “desk”.
- Writing the classic cheat sheet also helps to summarize the most important things. The active filtering of the information anchors the knowledge in the brain. The cheat sheet is then no longer necessary. Perfect!
3. use fascination for digital media
They know it well enough themselves: children love digital media! Why not use this fascination for more learning motivation? Students also prefer tablets, laptops and the like for learning, as a recent FACT survey by scoyo shows. Because “Learning with PC, Tablet and Smartphone makes many students curious and motivates them. Parents and pupils can use this effect together to make the most meaningful educational experience possible,” says e-learning expert Florian Sochatzy.
Instead of using classic index cards, simply reach for the tablet and immerse yourself in colourful adventure worlds with the numerous high-quality learning apps and online learning platforms or embark on a journey through the human body. If children can experience the knowledge, the motivation to learn increases automatically, everyone likes to discover new things. Click here to find out how to recognise good online learning opportunities.
By the way, digital technologies offer even more advantages: For example, the audio function helps in learning and pronouncing vocabulary, or in learning a poem.
Four. Get the dice out! Learning with games
For fun, games and learning, you don’t necessarily need an Internet connection. Vocabulary, for example, can also be learned well in a vocabulary memory that, like the classic variant, only works with vocabulary and translation.
Memory is not only suitable for foreign languages, but can also be used for different fields of knowledge, where the connection of information is concerned: for example, the number of inhabitants of cities/countries or their location on continents, plant groups, math formulas, multiplication tables, German verbs/cases, word groups, etc.
By the way, the head learns best together with the body. Movement games promote the access to the Oberstübchen and the storage – for example of one-time series – in the memory.
Also many “classic” parlour games support learning: Taboo and Scrabble train vocabulary, Activity reduces the fear of appearances, Uno strengthens the multiplication tables, Halli Galli promotes the reaction speed …
Five. Role-playing: Learning with family and friends
Safe, independent learning is a fine thing and very important for the independence of children. But sometimes what has been learned is memorized even better when it is repeated in conversation with other people. This type of learning is particularly effective for the communicative learner. And the above-mentioned FACT survey of children on popular learning aids also revealed that parents and friends are also very much in demand alongside digital media.
So how about a little role-playing game, for example? Become a talk show moderator and ask your child about the learning content in German, history, biology and physics. Be stubborn like Anne Will or Frank Plasberg and let them explain the connections in detail.
Children can also learn by meeting with friends: Because everyone can support the other with his or her strengths, together ambiguities can be resolved. So that the kids don’t lose focus, the learning units should be set at a certain time. It also helps if a specific goal is set in advance that the learning group can keep an eye on.
Increasing motivation to learn: Conclusion
As we all know, the motivation to learn is one of those things: it can only be learned to a limited extent and cannot be forced. But it can be awakened again and again! Children have an innate curiosity for new things, but they must also be able to establish a link between what they have learned and their everyday lives. What do I learn it for and where can I apply it? And it can also be fun. Only then will the learned knowledge remain stuck. That’s why it can be helpful to help yourself with learning material apart from textbooks and workbooks – analogue or digital. Don’t forget: Many things, which at first glance seem like pure pastimes or games, offer unexpected learning potential and increase children’s motivation to learn immensely!
Daniel Bialecki is education expert and learning specialist. the diploma engineer looks back on twelve years experience in the digital knowledge transfer. Daniel Bialecki is managing director of the learning program scoyo. he developed on-line learning platform and the virtual learning environment of scoyo since 2007 together with educators.