Children can enhance their learning experiences through a variety of helpful methods. Kids are introduced to many concepts every day, but only a few of them actually stick. Conditions such as a lack of sleep, being distracted or trying to absorb too much information at once are all contributors to why children may not retain everything taught to them. Below are 6 easy ways to optimize learning and engagement.
1. Get Rid of Distractions
The smallest distractions can play a large role in the learning process. Make sure the classroom or study area at home is a comfortable temperature and that kids are dressed so they will not be too hot or too cold while learning. Minimize outside noise, such as television or off-topic conversation. If there is music being played, classical music tends to be the best type to promote learning.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Makes sure your child gets up and moves! Getting up and moving around is critical for the learning process. Present information in 10-15 minute increments and then give kids a chance to get up a stretch, do a dance or get a drink of water. Exercise and fresh air can be critical in aiding learning.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
A tired brain does not function as well as a well-rested brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preschoolers need 11-13 hours of sleep a day and school-age children need 10-11 hours of sleep a night. That’s a lot of sleep, but does wonders for the brain! Sleeping allows the brain to form connections. Kids who consistently do not get enough sleep will have trouble focusing on learning and retaining information.
4. Eat Chocolate
Studies have shown that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can get the blood flowing and improve memory. Before completing homework or studying, let kids have a small piece of chocolate or another brain-friendly food, such as an apple, blackberries, grape juice or foods containing cinnamon. This will help kids’ brains be turned on and ready to learn and retain information. Kids must have a healthy diet in order to be fully present in the learning process. Pay attention to what enhances your child’s attention, mood and overall being. Bank on these foods and keep them handy, especially before homework or heading to school!
5. Pay Attention to Learning Styles
Everyone learns differently. How does your child learn? Some kids are visual learners, while others are auditory learners. In other words, certain children learn best by hearing information, while others learn best by reading. Presenting information in a way that appeals to a kid’s learning style increases the chance that the kid will understand and retain the information. For visual learners, this means you may have to draw a picture or show a video. Logical learners will want to see a pattern or learn the information in the form of a problem that needs to be solved. Auditory learners need to hear a song or listen to a book on tape. For instance, watch “The Days of the Week Video” and listen carefully to the song. Learning is more likely to be effective when it is presented with individual learning styles in mind.
6. Take on a Positive Mood Towards Learning
Learning is fun and important! Remember to reinforce these ideas in your child to increase their learning motivation. A child is likely to follow your lead and pick up on your attitude towards learning. Keeping a positive outlook on things like homework and helping your child see the fun in such activities can be great in making sure your child has a good association with learning. One way to encourage the love of reading and spelling is to help your child find books that engages him or her.
Try to follow these 6 easy tips to help your child maximize learning. Children cannot do it alone! It is a team effort. Parents and teachers can help kids get ready to learn by preparing an environment that is conducive to learning and making sure their minds and bodies are focused and ready to learn.