Question: What do you think is the best way to inspire children to learn? As an adult I look back and wish that I enjoyed where I was and the opportunities I had to learn, but I was bored and wanted to grow up. Now I wish I had more time to learn and read more.
Yes, kids have got to be kids and enjoy that phase in their lives. Actually, I think this is easier than it used to be: being a kid is more fun than it was 30 years ago! There are multiple ways, via social media, to engage children – not to mention the old-fashioned methods. Children have the world at their fingertips and I would say if anything they have too many choices. Learning involves cutting out the junk and getting them to focus on things that get them excited. My 10-yr old is fascinated by Japanese and calligraphy at the moment, and I am envying her focus and concentration.
Children in the western world are in a privileged position of learning and opportunity. But as adults we can keep learning!
First and foremost message for you – it is never too late, and regret is a waste of time, so if you want to get learning and reading, get to it! Most of us have things we would like to have done and did not – ‘its only too late if you don’t start now’.
Kids learn if they feel emotionally connected and attached to their teachers and their school, so we need to ensure that every child feels that connection, and is offered an environment in which they feel personally noticed and cared for, that they matter, and are safe enough to learn. Without that e.g in schools which focus only on the academic, where staff behave as if feelings do not matter, where bullying goes unnoticed, and quiet kids go to the wall while teacher focus on the trouble makers, many kids fail to learn. With all kids in an environment in which they are emotionally ready to learn, the school/ classroom to needs to find the right balance between challenge and security, structure and fun, personal autonomy and working with others.