Leisure learning is a turn of phrase used most commonly by modern homeschooling parents, though a few have adopted the expression as company mottoes and even used it in naming their businesses and/or other ventures which are typically related to the realm of education.
The concept of leisure learning is not a foreign one, though it has emerged in more recent years, perhaps owing much to the advances in technology, that it has become more widespread and popularly used in many locations. With apps and programs like ABC Mouse and Starfall, the ease with which the younger generations can now access educational tools and resources is unprecedented in human history.
While the many applications available to enhance our youth’s ever-expanding minds are seemingly insurmountable, they are not the only recourse available to parents and guardians seeking to create a more educationally enriched environment for their youngsters. Listed below are a few concepts that are more tangible in nature, to develop an inherent love of learning in your little one(s).
Pardon the pun, but the addition of aesthetically pleasing decor can have a dramatic effect on the students’ morale during the process of learning. Taking your child with you to pick out their own decorations with an educational theme throughout will excite them to no end. Children are constantly seeking to express themselves. Allowing their unique personalities to filter through in the choices they make when choosing how to adorn their space will instill a strong sense of confidence and pride in the child. Not only will the room in question present an educationally focused environment, but it will also radiate positivity as your child’s vigor and lust for knowledge in their academic pursuits are reinforced by their personal investment in the interior design choices. Whether you are transforming a room or rooms in your current home, or have taken advantage of the 1031 exchange and found yourself in a new abode, making bold, decisive changes to the benefit of your child’s education is always a step in the right direction.
Cater to Skills and Interests
Everyone is born with their own inherent skills or talents. These abilities, while not wholly indicative of a successful future in any given field, should, nonetheless, be fully explored. When a child expresses interest in a certain subject or activity, providing them with the tools to enhance their skills and engage in said subject or activity will develop within them the determination of their own desires. When a child is afforded the luxury of exploring areas that they find appealing, they are better able to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. After all, understanding one’s virtues and shortcomings is essential in attaining success in life in general. The earlier we recognize and accept these dispositional qualities, the more time we might have to better educate ourselves and our offspring in a more relevant way.
Praise, Praise, Progress, Praise
Many homeschooling parents and guardians have developed their own techniques for encouraging a desire to learn in their children. One of the strongest methods used in many homes is a balancing act of praising and pointing out areas that need more progress. This is a great concept to employ even when the conversation does not revolve around schoolwork. Children are founts of endless queries and consistently curious about, well… everything! Every interaction with a child is a chance to educate and excite. Taking that notion into account when applying the Praise, Praise, Progress, Praise technique is an instant and sure-fire way to ignite that spark with your child. For example:
Child: “Mommy, why is the grass green?”
Mommy: “That’s a very good question!” (Praise 1)
“Okay, my smart boy/girl…” (Praise 2- attributing positive nicknames indicating intelligence is considered a beneficial psychological confidence booster)
Proceed with the explanation (Progress- any action which progress or enhances the students’ knowledge)
“…and now you know all about why the grass is green. You did a great job listening!” (Praise 3- ending on a positive note decreases any aggravation or tension surrounding the learning process).
Don’t forget to proudly display your children’s work in a dedicated area. Using the tips given in the aesthetics subsection, work with your child to create an appealing space to showcase their best work. This will motivate them to strive for better grades and teach them to take pride in a job well done.
about the author…Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS. As busy as he is with his career, Kevin has made his family a priority and has found creative ways to give them the time they deserve. Whenever possible, he writes about his experiences and shares them to help others.