Children’s minds are like sponges, they’re always learning. Any time is a good time to teach kids something new, but there is plenty we can do as parents or teachers to encourage spontaneous learning at all the best opportunities. Try these ways to be a better spontaneous teacher by Hello Genius.
Cultivate Their Curiosity
Look for chances to ask your child questions and get them thinking. Why do flowers grow with bright pretty colors? Why does fruit have seeds? How do airplanes stay in the air? These can be great questions for spontaneous learning in young children when the situation calls for it. Let them think on the answers to try to puzzle them out. Be excited for them when they know the answers, or even when they have a great guess. If you can help condition your kids to enjoy it, they’ll keep questioning and learning their whole life long.
Curiosity is an excellent first step to learning something new. A curious mind is engaged and thinking about the issue on a deeper level. Studies have shown that asking a question before providing information helps students remember information better in a classroom setting. When you ask your child a question, imagine their brain getting to work making space to fit the answer.
Promote Exploration and Discovery
Children love to explore and learn new things on their own. Exploration is a fantastic kind of spontaneous learning. Children allowed to discover with their own initiative helps support their self-esteem and helps train them to keep learning long after they’ve moved on from classrooms and parental oversight.
As teachers or parents, it’s our responsibility to provide the kind of environment where children can explore and discover safely, and in a meaningful way. Aquariums, science centers, nature centers, and local theatres are great structured places for children to learn, but there are many more to be found.
A child collecting colorful rocks at the beach is building the foundation for their understanding of geology. Kids doing their own coloring or painting are teaching themselves the basics of color theory. Teaching them to read books on their own builds their reading and writing skills. Any of these situations can easily turn into spontaneous teaching moments when you introduce them to ideas related to what they’ve just learned.
Make It Applicable
“But, Dad, why do I have to learn about fractions? Do you use fractions when you’re at work?” “Mom, do I really have to read The Scarlet Letter? When do you need to know about that book?”
Kids love to ask these kinds of questions. But we have the chance to help frame what they’ll learn in a way that will be helpful to them in the future. Case in point: a nine-year-old isn’t going to care about economics until you walk them through how being smart with money can help them get their new bike faster, and before long you’ll see them counting their pennies.
Taking advantage of spontaneous learning usually involves tapping into what matters most to them right at the moment, and then showing how it relates to something educational. If your children aren’t clear about their preferences or those that bounce from interest to interest in the blink of an eye, the AI technology of Hello Genius can give you an up-to-date list of what motivates and interests your child. Then the platform recommends activities in your area to support and reinforce those interests.
Help Your Kids Love to Learn
Cultivate an awareness of surroundings, promote exploration and discovery, and make what you teach applicable to their current circumstances to embrace those natural learning opportunities that happen for your kids every day.
You can always help your kids love to learn as you encourage spontaneous learning and embrace the spontaneous teaching moments that come up in your home. Use the Hello Genius app for your kids and yourself on all your devices to find, track, and cultivate the interests that keep your kids learning with you wherever they are.