Learning can be fun, boring(gg) or annoying. It all depends on what teaching style or method is adopted. Even the most boisterous or disinterested kids would pick interest if the teaching style is “right”. Regardless, here are 12 interesting facts that could help rekindle your learning interest or help your kids/students learn better.
1. Playing Video Games Help Children Deal with Their Fears
Video games are very popular especially among children and young adults. In 2018, over 165 million adults in the United States played video games and three-quarter of Americans have at least one person who plays video games in the family. They are a leading form of entertainment and have become an integral part of modern culture in many communities.
Asides their entertainment value, well designed games have been seen to improve both the educational and psychological development of the child. Video games are beneficial to the mind and body. Studies have shown that those who play action games have better eye coordination and visual-motor skills, thus, boosting their resistance to distraction. Their increased focus and sensitivity to information that are often fast paced enhances their mental alertness and concentration.
Scary video games serves as a medium for the release of toxic and harmful emotions boxed up in a child. It is also a great way to deal with stress, mental fatigue, fear and anger.
2. Playing Chess makes Kids Smart
One of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin once said that the game of chess “is not merely an idle amusement since life is a kind of chess, in which points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and evil events that are in some degree the effects of prudence of the want of it”. Franklin suggests that playing chess develops foresight, circumspection, perseverance and sportsmanship.
Educators and parents have discovered that playing chess helps in the learning process of a child, it activates their inductive and deductive reasoning, improves precise thinking as well as helping them to recognise and deal with complex patterns. Some of the other benefits include: Cognitive skills which include pattern recognition, decision making, algebraic and geometric reasoning, critical thinking, etc. It also Increases attention span, memory capacity, provides healthy competition, fosters interest and mental alertness, improves communication through written and oral presentation.
3. Gardening Improves a Child’s Desire to Learn
Research has shown that spending quality time outdoors improves the condition of the mind and bodies. When we are stressed or bored, going outside lifts our spirit and refreshes our thoughts.
One good way to spend good time outdoors is to garden. Today, most schools are beginning to pay more attention to gardening, touting it as a crucial learning and developmental tool for children. Some of the various findings from various researches include:
- Teaches responsibility as well as manage living organisms.
- Absorbs surplus energy in hyperactive kids.
- Improves concentration level
Getting in touch with bugs help to deal with fears.
- Enhances literary creativity
4. Music and Dance Improve a Child’s Communication
Music and dance are deeply rooted in the fabric and composition of human beings. The two are related but are different from each other. Music has a calming effect on children and adults alike and is often used as tool to reduce stress and suffering.
Although, most of modern teachings are centred around visual learning, the auditory process is gradually growing and is proven to be as equally effective in passing knowledge to a child. Music plays a vital role in the development of a child. For instance, children relate better with nursery rhymes and songs, they try to sing along and this becomes a part off them overtime.
A study done in 2016 at the University of California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that musical experiences in children can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. Beyond academic growth, music ignites the innermost creativity and promotes critical development including intellectual, emotional, language and literacy.
5. Drama and Comedy Encourages Children to Listen and Participate
Educators are constantly thinking of creative and ingenious ways to engage young kids in drama. An interesting drama with comic relief ignites their interest and desire to participate. In order to bring out the best in the them, a well thought out drama and a number of processes should be established, they include:
- A drama that triggers questions and further investigations
- Some prior understanding of the material
- Independent thinking
- Room for collaborative work
- Games, dance and humour
Drama plays are important in the mental and academic growth of children. Some of the benefits include:
- Improves concentration
- Builds confidence
- Develops language and communication skills
- Encourages team work and cooperation
- Builds emotional intelligence
6. Interest Areas Promote Autonomy in Children
When a person cast their mind to an experience that had in the past, research shows that the person is more likely to remember the place or location than the people involved. This precise sensitivity is one of the core reasons architects and educators need to pay more attention to the kind of design they make for classroom.
Interest areas help educators help educators think intentionally about how to organise the space in way the children can make independent choices as to what they like and are naturally attracted to.
Different sections focus on certain skillset like science, social collaboration, painting, reading, arts, block play, construction area, etc. When children are allowed to make choices by themselves, it gives them a sense of control, independence, and self-worth.
7. Engaging Children on Planning and Reflection Improve their Analytic Capabilities
Just think of a schools curriculum in action and you might suppose that lessons are planned for the children to learn from. These days however, educators are beginning to see the benefits and importance of teaching children how to plan.
Planning plays an important role in our everyday lives. It is a skill needed and prepare a framework and clear path to achieve a specific target or objective and to navigate through unplanned situations. It involves making cogent decisions and solving problems.
Encouraging children to be architects of the decisions allows them to follow their interests and fosters a sense of control and responsibility. According to some research, students who were allowed to plan their activities performed better in language and other skills. When a child is allowed to plan, they are forced to evaluate their behaviour and actions and whenever a plan goes wrong, they must analyse why the plan didn’t work and what must be done to make it work.
8. Children Learn More when they Initiate an Activity
Curiosity is the birthplace of discovery and innovation – two powerful tools in educational and technological advancement.
If you take out time to observe a two-year old without disrupting him, you will see how he explores the world. He takes his time to observe everything he comes across from how it feels, to what it tastes like to how it sounds and react. Parents who understand the power of curiosity encourage their children to freely explore with their guidance. They know allowing them helps the child to grow intuitive instincts and discover new ways of doing things.
The Centre for Development and Learning gives parents and educators useful guidelines on how to maximize a child’s early experiences. They place emphasis on the need for a child to follow their curiosity, to initiate the learning process while their parents or educators watch from the background to ensure their safety as well as offering the child helpful ways to explore. This is a sharp contrast to the traditional method of giving instructions and having a mindset a child will only get hurt when they explore by themselves.
9. Rapping Helps Children Learn Mathematical Concepts
When you think of a classroom curriculum in action, you might suppose that the teacher plans the lesson and then the children carry it out. But more and more, educators are seeing the importance of teaching the children how to plan.
This important skill is not only useful in everyday life, it seems that it enhances a child’s capabilities as well. In a journal put out by the NAEYC, they noted that the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation found that students who were given a chance to learn how to plan out their activities, performed better in language and other skills.
When a child is brought into the process of planning and reflection, it forces them to evaluate what behaviour and actions are necessary to complete a task. When the plan does not work, they must analyse why it didn’t and what must be done to get back on track.
10. Children Encouraged to Talk to themselves Aloud have Increased Probability of Learning
It is common to find people stand in front of a mirror and rehearse a presentation or important conversation they are about to have. This approach helps them to refine their speech; filter the things that are not needed and add those that are relevant. By so doing, they repeat the presentation until they are able to memorize every word in a manner that is articulate, eloquent, and fluent.
The Council for Exceptional Children in their article noted that the idea of self-talk is important to awaken the enthusiasm and determination in the children. If a child is struggling with a mathematical problem or dealing with a difficult challenge, a good self-talk can inspire fresh ideas and logic.
When a child speak aloud, it activates their auditory senses and helps them to catch tiny details the eyes might have missed even when they state at it for hours.
11. Lego Improves a Child’s critical Thinking
Schools need to do more to enable children learn outside the classroom. A shift from the traditional method of doling out knowledge and information is necessary for the mental growth and development of children.
Limiting playtime has a negative impact on their creativity and reasoning. With the trend moving more and more towards having a more standardised classroom lessons, psychologists are worried that this will be a bad move.
Lego games have far-reaching developing benefits for kids; way more impactful than just fine motor coordination. According to a study done in 2007 of children living in low and middle income families on the United States, the parents of the kids who played with building blocks reported better communicating skills in the children. Some of the benefits of Lego include:
- Promotes patience and organisational skills
- Solve constructive and lateral thinking
- Opens them up to adventures and experimentation
- Enhances the development of fine motor skills
- Improves focus and awareness
- Increases spatial awareness
12. Children do better when Parents are Involved in their Education
Education does not stop at sending a child to school. Learning should not be the exclusive responsibility of educators . Parents have a vital role to play in the development of their children especially when they are very young.
They should create time and actively participate in the educational development of their children. Parents should take interest in their schooling activities and assist them with their homework, reading and having good playtime with them. They should also find time to find out their behavioural patterns in schools and offer advice and solutions.
When parents take active roles in their child’s education, boost the morale of the child, reduces emotional disturbances and propels them to give in their best.
By Panshak Newman