How to Get Kids Excited to Learn?

Why isn't remote learning effective? The school's focus has been teaching kids knowledge—the 'what' only, not the 'why', or the 'how'.
How to Get Kids Excited to Learn? Dr. Ivy Ge's mini-post series.

Homeschooling has proven to be one of the most difficult things yet on our pandemic to-do list.

Your kids sit in front of a computer with that glazed-over look, as if they had an out-of-body experience. You worry about their future, but nothing you say can motivate them to learn.

Now, let’s take a step back and figure out why remote learning isn’t effective.

The school’s focus has been teaching kids knowledge—the ‘what’, not the ‘why’—the importance of learning that knowledge, or the ‘how’—ways to use it in real life.

If you want to get kids excited to learn, they have to understand why they are learning it and how to apply it in real life.

It doesn’t help just tell your kids they’ll end up living on the street if they don’t study well and go to college. Find a more pertinent way to show them the difference between an educated person and an uneducated one. If you teach them age-appropriate life skills, such as money management, cooking, cleaning, and folding laundries, they’ll realize they can change the outcome if they put in the effort. They’ll become more confident in their abilities, and want to do better in other areas, such as learning at school.   

Kids need to learn and grow. However, academic learning is NOT the only thing kids need to learn in this crisis. 

How about resiliency, resourcefulness, and money management skills?

During this pandemic, many of us are anxious and angry. There’re so many things out of our control. How to process negative emotions and still maintain our focus on what we can control? Explain to your kids how you are handling these negative feelings, so they learn to be strong and wise. There will be a time when they have to meet such challenges alone. You want to make sure they are well prepared. Teach them how to cook simple meals, how to do laundry, what is the best way of folding clothes. Create small challenges to help your children build confidence and resilience. Allow your sons and daughters opportunities to be proud of overcoming something themselves.

All of us were more creative when we were younger. Encourage kids to be resourceful by thinking outside the box. Include them in the decision-making process on family matters. Listen to their points of view and explain to them why their opinions are sound or not. Our goal is to raise independent and socially responsible adults. This crisis gives us the perfect opportunity to start those life lessons.

When you are stressed by the financial outlook, include kids in the conversation. Explain to them the value of healthy spending, and calculation of return on investment. Help them understand how this pandemic will affect different industries and the stock market. There are eBooks on money management for kids that you can check out from the local library to improve their financial literacy.

These life skills and lessons are what benefit your kids in the long run, not algebra 2.

Dr. Ivy Ge

Dr. Ivy Ge

Doctor of Pharmacy, author of The Art of Good Enough and Life Transformation Journal. She writes to inspire women to design their own fate. Her writings and interviews have been featured on MSNBC, Thrive Global, Working Mother magazine, Parentology, and The Times of India.

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