The students are sitting quietly. The teacher is demanding full attention to the lesson being taught. After all, she spent hours putting it together and learning the words to present the content masterfully.
At one point during her dissertation, one of the students interrupts, and the teacher reminds the class that all eyes should be on her.
She hasnt finished. They have been sitting for a while, but there is more content to cover.
From a childs perspective, thats the picture of a classroom that most children consider anti-fun.
The Anti-Fun Movement
The Anti-Fun movement has been a fundamental issue in education today.
After all, more than ever we have common core standards to meet, content to learn and tests to take.
To my surprise, that’s the same way I learned when my generation went to school.
- Memorize material
- Take a test and then
- Become experts in forgetting it the next day
Thats the reason we are not able to remember a lot of facts from our school days, and some of us even hide from our children when they ask for help with their homework in later grades.
Why do we still assume that learning only happens when children are serious, work independently through repetition, and quiet?
The Good New Is…
Now there is evidence and research that supports the theory that learning should be FUN.
According to brain research experts, we now understand that educational experiences that lead to stress, repetition, and anxiety do not promote authentic learning and long-term memory.
The problem is that many of us have forgotten how to have fun as parents or teachers. How can we bring joy back to learning?
Remember the days when we just had fun learning as kids? How can I start teaching my child that learning is fun?
Strategies for Joyful Learning
Here are some strategies that lead to teaching your child joyful learning:
- Refuse to be boring. Find new ways to learn and play. Children love to laugh and have fun. You can learn and have fun at the same time.
- Tailor the learning experience to what your child enjoys. If your child enjoys singing, learn the alphabet with songs. If he likes to build, learn to create letters with logos, or if your child loves to paint make notes with play dough.
- Be mindful of the moment and enjoy every second of the experience. Children need time to learn new skills and be engaged in the process.
The gift of joyful learning starts at home. It starts with your commitment to enjoy learning every step of the way.
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By Marnie Forestieri
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