We’ve all gone to school, had to learn, study and study some more. Some of you may also have gone to college or university like me, but the truth is, you never stop learning your entire life. There will always be some new information gained, a new skill acquired. Some of this, we come by pretty intensely, others we’ve got time to get to grips with.
I remember the day I decided I would no longer use someone else’s website design and learn to create my own. I could have done this before, no doubt, but as technology isn’t my area of greatest interest, I was happy to have someone else do it for me. I preferred spending my time learning and doing things that were fun – for me. But once I had made that decision and that switch in my mind flipped, I actually enjoyed the process and I had a usable website up and running within a week.
Helping my children with their homework or school projects and observing how they learn best, each one in a different way, which ensures, I never rest on my laurels, but have to constantly think up new ways of explaining things to them whenever they need my help. But one thing, everyone has in common, no matter how different individual learning styles are, we all learn a lot more easily when it’s fun.
My daughter came in after school today, happily singing “Let’s go fly a kite” from the Disney movie Mary Poppins with Julie Andrews. She had just learned that the English word for German “Drachen” is kite. However, yesterday, she had trouble remembering her new vocabulary and I went through it with her several times.
When we got to “kite”, I sang this song, gestured and danced and she mimicked me. We watched it on YouTube as well. You can imagine, she won’t forget the word kite in a long time. With children, making them laugh is a great way of removing blockages like fear, “Maths is too difficult,” or lethargy, “I’ll never use that again in my life, anyway.”
When a child laughs, it is in the moment, in the joy of just being and that is the best state to be receptive and soak up knowledge like a sponge. The laughter may die down, but the feeling of joy will not leave when exuberance makes way for more serious concentration. The satisfaction of this atmosphere that invites to learn in a fun and creative way doesn’t evaporate in a single moment.
As adults, we are not really any different to children. We learn better when we find joy in the process, but we cannot rely on parents and teacher to play the clown for us all the time. We have to reach deep within ourselves to find this joy, this drive and this self-discipline to keep us going and motivate us to the point that things stick in our minds that we want to get stuck there, so we reach that final goal.
Let’s determine how you learn best:
Are you more a visual type?
Do you learn better while listening to music or kneading a stress ball?
Do you need absolute silence while reading?
Or do you prefer to listen to audios?
I love to read in silence and I find great joy in sitting outside, if the weather permits and only have some birds chirping. My 15 year-old daughter listens to music while writing assignments, my 18 year-old son likes to get up at intervals, stretch and walk around the house before sitting down again, while my 10 year-old daughter comes hopping through the door singing Mary Poppins and laughing when she makes a funny jumble of the lyrics.
I’d love to know how you learn best and how you motivate yourself to enjoy it, to keep going. What techniques do you have or did you use at school to study and what kept you going?