Child not interested in learning? Here’s what you can do

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — June 23, 2019
  • 1 / 11

    A child who is interested in learning has a head start in the classroom – she relishes new learning challenges, she thrives with educational stimulation, and she enjoys making progress through the curriculum.

    Research has identified the following 10 factors that can make your preschooler confident and eager to learn in school. 

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  • 1. Praise success 
    2 / 11 1. Praise success 

    One of the best incentives for your child to become interested in learning is to praise educational successes. She loves to hear your pride in her school-based achievements – she can never get enough of this sort of recognition. Put her certificates up on the wall, brag about her to her grandparents and make a big fuss of her.

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  • 2. Relaxed attitude
    3 / 11 2. Relaxed attitude

    Your child is most fervent about learning when she has a relaxed attitude. Tension and anxiety in a learning situation clouds your child’s thoughts, making it more difficult for her to absorb new concepts. So make sure that although she is keen to learn, she is also relaxed about the challenges in front of her.

    Related: 9 things every Singapore parent must know about developing child’s reading and writing

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  • 3. Matched curriculum
    4 / 11 3. Matched curriculum

    She is most likely to be confident and enthusiastic about learning when the curriculum is matched appropriately to her level of understanding. Assignments should be difficult enough to stimulate her curiosity, not so tough that she feels they are totally beyond her skills.

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  • 4. Parental interest 
    5 / 11 4. Parental interest 

    Your interest in her learning also increases her zeal for it. Asking her about her subjects at school, about her lessons in class that day, and about her homework, demonstrates that you care about her learning. In turn, this concern with her work stimulates her enthusiasm for school.

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  • 5. Good relationships
    6 / 11 5. Good relationships

    Like it or not, the reality is that the relationship between pupil and teacher affects a child’s attitude towards learning. That’s why it helps if she likes and gets along well with her teacher. Encourage your child to have a positive attitude towards member of staff, and highlight ways they can help her.

    Related: 10 activities that make learning Mandarin fun for the kids

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  • 6. Strong concentration
    7 / 11 6. Strong concentration

    Learning is much easier for a pupil when her concentration is good. Suggest to her that she should remove distractions when tackling educational assignments; for instance, she should switch off the TV or radio when doing homework, and she shouldn’t talk unnecessarily to classmates when studying in school.

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  • 7. Asking questions
    8 / 11 7. Asking questions

    An eager learner has the ability to ask questions when she doesn’t understand. This isn’t always easy to do in a busy classroom, but your child’s passion for learning intensifies when she is confident enough to seek information from the teacher. Help her find ways of asking questions politely and sensibly.

    Related: 4 games to boost your child’s creativity

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  • 8. Listening skills
    9 / 11 8. Listening skills

    Listening is such an important part of life in the classroom. A child who doesn’t listen well misses key parts of information, and is therefore uncertain about how to approach the new learning task. As a result, her eagerness for learning fades. Practise listening games with your child at home.

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  • 9. Broad interests
    10 / 11 9. Broad interests

    She’ll be a more confident, eager learner when she has a broad range of curricular interests. Make sure that she tackles a wide range of subjects, not only literacy and numeracy, but also environmental studies and art and crafts. The more achievements she has in different topics, the keener she is to continue learning.

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  • 10. Play activities
    11 / 11 10. Play activities

    All work and no play is an ineffective strategy for stimulating your child’s enthusiasm for learning. Of course, she should work hard, but there should also be a liberal sprinkling of leisure activities each day. Help your child structure her time so that her nose isn’t buried in a school book from morning till night.

    (Photos: 123RF.com) 

    Related: Life skills for kids beyond IQ

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