How Do Children Learn? Help Your Child Flourish
We were all babies once. From babies, we become children and grow into teenagers. Then, our transition from young adults into adults leads us to become who we are today. How did that process begin?
It’s not often that people wonder how do children learn. Usually, it is parents, teachers, and educators who ask this question because they want to ensure that they are helping all of the children in their range of influence to be the very best that they can be.
How Do Children Learn
Children learn in many fascinating and often unrealized ways. Whether you are hoping to set up a plan for your children or just curious about how they will make their way in the world, today’s article will break down seven different ways that children gain knowledge. Let’s get started!
Play is one of the main ways in which children learn. Every time a child plays is also a time when he develops his skills—be it his interpersonal, motor, or communication skills. Play is also a time of imagination and creativity, and these two things stimulate a child’s brain.
Because play is an integral part of how a child learns, you’d want to be sure you give them enough time for it. Many parents, especially those who are new to parenthood, stress about their children learning as quickly as possible, yet, in truth, allowing them to play is enough!
Play helps children develop the following skillsets:
- Language skills
- Emotional skills
- Social skills
All in all, play is an essential part of your child’s life. Without it, they wouldn’t have many of the experiences that help them to explore the possibilities of the world. Play makes a huge difference for every single child!
If you want to encourage specific types of play, that’s okay! A certain type of play encourages specific skills, and you can help your child grow in those areas by setting them up with the right kind of play. What does this mean?
For example, playing with sand or in the water promotes early introduction to science, while painting encourages creativity and expression. Dressing up and playing with dolls builds up his imagination as well as storytelling skills. If you wish for him to learn problem-solving and logic, allow him to play with building blocks and shapes.
In addition, allowing your child to play with other children lets him develop his social skills. Dancing, climbing, and playing ball games develop his agility, body movement, and coordination. Lastly, singing or listening to music stimulates his sense of hearing.
Another way that children learn is through listening. Even before they are born, babies hear the world around them. They hear the way that you interact with them, and they hear different sounds of the world. Over time, they begin to build skills and associations when they hear things.
Listening is a key way for children to learn. One of the primary skillsets that listening works to improve is the area of language skills. Familiar sounds, rhymes, patterns, and more show children the different parts of languages, how sound can be manipulated, and what sounds are most common.
Here are a few ways that you can work on listening skills with your child:
Talk to them
One of the basic ways to work on your child’s listening skills is to simply talk to him! Try to keep their attention on you while doing so. As they get older, have them listen to your requests and take action, as active listening is an important skill.
Tell them stories
For this, you can read books to and with them, discuss pictures, and make up a story about the world around them. No matter how you do it, actively telling your child stories is a great way to improve their listening skills.
Show them how to listen
When your children talk to you, make sure that you focus on them, and give them your full attention. They will learn that this is good behavior and, in turn, will do a better job of listening.
When asking your child a question, pick up related objects so that they can understand that what they are hearing is connected to what they are seeing. For example, ask them which shirt they want to wear while picking up a shirt.
Learning communication is essential for a child to be able to express themselves and understand the world around them, and it also helps them to have better cognitive and learning skills! When they can easily communicate with others, learning becomes a more natural part of their life.
Babies communicate by receiving their expressions and by expressing their own. To encourage better learning, continue to talk, smile, play, and read with your baby. Babies can pick up on all of these actions, and the practice of trying to understand what you are doing will help them learn.
Remember that when your baby babbles at you, they are doing their own type of communication! Respond to their sounds and gestures with your own. By doing this, you’ll create your own silly two-way conversation, but that silly moment is actually doing wonders to help their skillset grow!
By six months, your child will be able to understand their own name and some of what happens around them. By one year, you can expect them to say their first words. Communication is vital, so be sure that you put a heavy focus on keeping conversations with your child as they grow.
4. By Example
Another way that babies and children learn is by example. Almost as a type of mimicry, babies and children love to try to do what their parents are doing! We often teach children new actions or words by showing them how to do it first and then having them copy us, and this is how we teach through examples!
Beyond academic learning, children learn many of their behavioral and life habits from the people around them. People in their lives become role models for many of the following areas of life:
- Political preferences
- Religious preferences
- Character traits
Of course, these factors are not entirely decided by the parents’ examples. As children grow, they are very likely to change some of these opinions to better match their own attitudes. The fact remains, however, that the basis of knowledge, character, and attitude is built up by the examples of their family and the people closest to them.
Setting good examples of the type of person that you hope to help your child become is incredibly important. Don’t think that your children don’t notice what you do because they do! Specifically, it’s great for parents to try to model good behavior in the following areas:
- Being generous
- Setting boundaries and limits
- Being kind and compassionate
- Cleanliness and tidiness
- Knowing when to ask for help
- Taking responsibility
- Being his own person
- Taking care of both mental and physical health
One of the most effective ways for your children to learn about these things is to model the best behavior in your day-to-day life. In many ways, trying to be a good parent can help you to become a better person as well! If you wouldn’t want your child to do something, you shouldn’t do it, either. Keep that in mind as you move through life!
Children can also learn a lot about the world through exploration. A child that explores is usually one that has a wide variety of ideas, thoughts, and creative interests in the world around them. There are even ways that you can help make the time that your child spends exploring an even stronger learning tool.
When you have the opportunity, observe and create conversation while your child explores. Here are some tips you can follow:
Work with them
Work with your child and explore the world while they do. Point out the things that you find and listen to them whenever they find new things too.
Ask your child what you are wondering about as you both explore. Ask them what they’ve found, or to explore the world that they are playing in as they see it. These questions will help them to process what they are learning more effectively.
Watch and listen
See what types of things your child seems to be most curious about or what they have questions about. You can help them understand these things by telling them the answers, or you can ask them more questions so that they figure it out themselves.
Encourage them to talk to you or another child
Social learning is very important, and learning social skills while they explore comes very naturally to children! Let children explore together. If there are no peers around, explore with them so that they can have a playmate of sorts to become social with.
Problem-solving is one of the most important skills that children need to learn. Learning this skill actually helps them to learn other things, including logic, perseverance, and creativity!
In many ways, knowing how to solve problems is a critical skill for children to learn before they grow up. No matter how you try to protect your child, conflicts and problems will arise in their life. To be able to get through tough times with confidence, children need to know how to work through problems.
Plus, problem-solving helps children to be and think more dynamically as they move through the world. When they’re able to think through different perspectives or ideas to get through problems, they’ll become more educated about the world and the people around them.
Teaching problem-solving skills doesn’t have to be difficult. Try these suggestions:
Let them make mistakes.
Children will make mistakes sometimes, and these can help them learn how to fix or mend things! If you fix everything for your child all the time, they will never learn how to handle problems themselves. Of course, you can help them every now and then!
Create small roadblocks.
You can create safe situations for your child to solve problems in by creating roadblocks for them. For example, put their toys away somewhere different than usual. Ask them how they think you can find them together. Encourage them to explore or ask someone where they are to teach the investigative aspects of problem-solving.
Do some DIY projects together.
DIY projects have instructions, but often, it will take some thought to work through them. Work together with your child to do some projects so that they get the experience of following instructions and finding solutions.
Finally, and most obviously, children learn in school! Parents know that school is important, but educators play one of the biggest roles in not only how your children learn but also how they feel about learning. It is important, then, to make sure that your child is enrolled in a supportive and well-planned environment.
The biggest thing that you can do as a parent is to make sure that school is something fun and actively educational for your child. You can achieve this by doing the following:
- At the end of every day, ask them to tell you about what they learned so that they can remember it better.
- Ask them if they have fun at school. If they don’t, try to find out why and make changes to improve their experience.
- Let them use the lessons they learn in school at home so that they can feel accomplished in their learning.
Teachers and educators put a lot of time and money into setting up good environments for your child to learn in, but that doesn’t mean that you can never think about school. As it is such an important part of your child’s learning, you’d want to be sure that school remains an effective and positive part of your child’s life!
Help Your Child Get A Head Start!
By educating yourself about the different ways that children learn, you’re setting both you and your child up for a more enjoyable and successful life. How do children learn? Through every world experience around them!
As their parent, you can make the most of their time learning by actively engaging with and questioning them at crucial moments. Everyone, even adults, is learning as they move through the world. Make sure that your child has a good experience doing just that!