Learning new things is not something easy to do. It requires lots of effort, time and willingness to get out from our comfort zone. The main difficulties lies not in understanding the concept of things we learn. Hence, it lies in dealing with our own feelings. So, before we decide to learn new things, we have to set our minds and be ready to deal with any obstacles lay ahead. If we don’t do so, when things are getting difficult, our minds may fill with negative thoughts like:
” I can’t do this!”,”Why am I doing this?”, or “I don’t have time for this!”and so on. Eventually we may give up… Sound pessimistic ? Well, it may happen – as I said earlier- if we don’t set our minds in the first place. By setting our minds and be ready, when negative thoughts come, we can create positive words to counter act the negative thoughts and think of ways to keep learning till our goals are reached. We may even create new goals which will make us becoming expert in the new things we learn.
Now… Do you know that children may feel the same as adults when they have to learn new things? They are fast learner, but when the lessons or new things they have to learn are getting difficult, they may feel as if not wanting to learn. The feelings may be shown by some actions such as avoid learning or be angry. For example: a kindergartner refuse to read book (when he’s learning how to read) or he/she yells and says,”I hate reading!” Like adults, they have reasons why they feel and do the actions. Every children have their own reasons. From the example above, he or she may be thought that the lesson is too difficult and he can’t do it. At kindergarten age, children don’t like the feeling that there’s something they still can’t do as they thought that they have grown and not baby anymore. The contradiction between their thought and the reality make them refusing to learn new things or being angry. When they show this kind of reactions, of course we can not expect them to deal with their own feelings as it’s still out of children’s ability to be handled by themselves. It’s our duty to help them to deal with the feelings and going through the learning process. Here are 5 steps we need to do :
1. Be sympathetic with children’s feelings and find the reasons why they avoid learning or being angry.
We can do it by making statement about their feelings such as:
“You are angry, aren’t you?” or “You don’t like to do this, do you?”
The statement will make children know that we understand their feelings. Our understanding usually makes them willing to open and tell the reasons why they don’t like to do things.
2. Give encouraging words.
By knowing their reasons, we can figure out ways to support or persuade them to overcome their negative feelings. Hence, there is one message should be delivered in our support. The message is that we will be there with them if things are getting difficult and they’ll always get our support. It’s important to be delivered because our support is really mattered for them.
3. Be patience with children’s pace in learning new things.
Learning new things as I said earlier requires effort and time. Every children have their own pace in learning new things. They may whine for quite some time when they learn and may not show a lot of progress in certain amount of time (which it may be – in our point of view- the time spent is quite too long). We must be patience with this and never bored to keep encouraging our children. As a matter of fact, this is one proof of the message we give in second step. And it’s important to do because a promise (the message) will be useless if it’s not kept. If we are not patience, we may say discouraging words which will make them not wanting to learn. Why it is so? As I said before, everything we say and do is really mattered for them.
4. Set the learning process and goals in steps.
Each steps must consider children’s ability and the goal set in each steps must be easy to reach (again by considering children’s ability). This will make children able to achieve the goals in short time. The achievement will give them sense of pride and it will make them willing to learn more and not feeling frustrated of not able to do something.
5. Praise children of every small achievement.
The sense of pride doesn’t come just like that. It comes from our appraisal. So, praise them for the achievement they’ve reached.
Those are the steps we can do when children learn new things. The steps can be applied for children in every age level and learning. We only have to adjust of how we encourage them, words we say and the learning steps as those will be different based on children’s age, learning pace, likeness and individual learning ways. If we applied these steps for every new things they learn, eventually this will become habit and later on they will be able to encouraging themselves and creating their own steps & goals.