- Include child’s interests
Similar to adults when a child is engaged in something, they are more likely to learn. Being interested allows children to focus and process information better, as well as put in extra effort and persist for a longer amount of time. Easy ways to include something your child enjoys could be by basing an activity on a childs favourite book, game or TV character.
- Make it magical
It can be easy to make simple things feel magic; magic letters, safe chemical reactions, experimenting with the density of liquids… opportunities can be endless and the result is a more engaged learning experience.
- Create a treasure hunt
Treasure hunts can be easy and fun. We can’t emphasise on fun anymore. Fun equals better engagement which equals more voluntary, focused learning. You can hide letters/ words/ numbers/ coloured items either around your home, outside or in a sensory bin. You also don’t need to hide anything to do a treasure hunt and could create a treasure hunt of looking for items in your home or outside on a walk.
- Make it interactive
Learning phonics does not just have to be worksheet related and can include many different elements to make it more interactive and create other learning opportunities. You can use combine sensory exploration to help with this and base it around the child you are teaching.
- It’s all about the wording
Wording plays a huge part in the process of encouraging a child to engage in learning. Positive language that focuses on the fun process rather than the final result makes a significant difference in how much a child feels that they can achieve.
Sometimes learning isn’t fun and a child can really struggle on a particular part of a lesson. To move past these hurdles, it is important that we show empathy and an understanding of a child’s frustration if they seek support and help with giving an alternative solution to their problem.
For example, if a child couldn’t work out how to add 6+3 using mental arithmetic, instead of telling them the answer, it could be suggested that they use some objects (such as lego pieces) to work out the answer. This encourages problem solving skills and motivates a child to feel that they can achieve things even when they are hard.