Satya Sidhartha Panda
Digital Coach & Certified Life Skills Trainer
It’s necessary for you as parents to know the kind of interaction your child prefers while learning at home. You should also know the type of learner your child is. I was talking to a group of parents regarding how kids motivated themselves to learn at home. I observed that 9 out of 10 parents faced challenges to sustain the interest and attention of their kids to learn at home. Most of the parents of LKG kids shared their experiences that their kids were not doing well in dictation writing, and they got feedback from the school to practice dictation writing at home regularly. But the problem seems to be that kids are busy with mobile phones or TV at home. They don’t have an interest in studying at home after coming from school.
Let me share my small experiment and observation with my son, who is studying in LKG. He was not doing well in dictation writing. He scored 2/10 in the first-class test and scored 3/10 in the second test. I was not worried about the numbers he scored, but yes, my wife was worried about his poor performance in dictation writing in the class. Out of curiosity, I wanted to understand why he is not practicing at home or not showing interest in practicing dictation writing.
I asked my son to pick the colour paper sheets with letters of the alphabet, and then I asked him to play the game. I could make out that he was curious and excited to play the game inside the home. Then I told him that I would explain the game’s rules and give him 2 minutes to match the colour cards with the letters of the alphabet, thereby forming words. He was supposed to match these to create different words. But he practiced dictation through playing games rather than writing words.
I didn’t ask him to mug up and write 20 times in front of me. The learning place, also called PBE or Place-Based Learning, makes a difference to him and, more importantly, his mood, energy, interest, enjoyment, and behaviour towards learning. This is referred to as the human environment. I observed that he was actively involved in the task and was enjoying it thoroughly. His mood was also utterly different from that of others. I asked him, “Have you learned now how to write these words?” I also asked him, “How do you feel?” He replied with a smile, “Papa, I am enjoying and learning through games.” He further asked me if he could do it the following day.
As per the contract, I conducted a test on dictation the following morning, and he scored 10/10. The best part is that when my son went to his school the very next day, he shared this experience with his friends who were also facing a similar problem. He also asked them to try this, and it worked! I love such an attitude, for it helps people grow! It’s not about number games in the form of an increase in scores; it is about how the child can create his own learning space or environment at home.
My take is: parents need to act as facilitators and coaches to involve their kids to learn the way the kids want and not the way the parents want.
Parents, let’s accept the fact that every child is unique, and they want to learn in their own way, not the way you ask them to learn. Let’s provide them an environment (which is not the only place to learn but create an environment inside their minds where the joy of discovering the unknown begins.)
Let our kids discover the joy of learning. Kids can explore, learn new things, try new things, practice what they can do, talk about what they are doing, and learn inside the home. Playfulness is essential in learning because it allows children to practice skills repeatedly in their own time, develop ideas at their own pace, and build their imagination. It triggers them to stimulate their mind. Let’s not force our kids to mug-up things; let’s allow them to express themselves in their way to learn.