How Can Parents and Teachers Make Learning Fun?

If you ask your son, daughter, niece, nephew, or a mere stranger this question what do you imagine the answer would be? I can think of many answers to this question, some that may spark an educational journey.

Joy is found in the child who has a positive answer to this question. The moment education is mentioned he or she lights up and can talk continually about their favorite teacher, subject, or book.

Conversely, one should be concerned with the opposite answer to the question. The child who says, “Nothing about education is fun," should be a challenge to the parent or teacher to get the child to recognize that learning can be fun. The response should probe questions of what their true interests are and why they are interested. From there, one should encourage them to further inquire about the subjects they are passionate about. Remember, the goal in education should be to get children to recognize that learning is a lifelong process. Here are a few suggestions to help make learning fun for a child of any age:

• Read books and articles in the newspaper together and have discussions.
• Go to the public library.
• At the checkout line, ask them to collect the change and count it. For older children have them calculate percentage discounts and sales tax.
• Plan theme parties that involve some research (i.e. an African-American History Underground Railroad costume party).
• Try to find a story that has multiple mediums i.e. a book, movie, web site etc. This can help tremendously with children who need help with reading comprehension.
• Have them write a journal on subjects they like. For example, if a child likes basketball he or she can write about the rules of the game, how to shot a free throw, how to dribble, the difference between man-to-man and zone defense, what makes a good coach etc.
• Visit museums, zoos, and historical sites.
• Watch documentaries and news on television that correspond to subjects they are studying in school.