A common problem amongst children in modern times is the general disinterest in anything and everything educational. Many parents are having a difficult time trying to inspire their students to focus and complete all of their schoolwork because students are simply not seeing the relevancy of their assignments to their interests.
However, stimulating the desire to learn is not as straightforward as sitting the child down and monitoring the completion of homework – more creative solutions will need to be used in order to inspire the students’ intrinsic motivation. A good option would be to engage students through different hobbies and activities that stimulate the mind, so that they would be more inspired to pursue their educational works which also require the student to think and process a solution.
Playing a Board Game/Solving a Puzzle
One of the best ways to engage a child in active thinking is having them play a board game, such as chess or Monopoly, or solve a puzzle, like a crossword. Both of these activities require the child to actively think out their strategies and/or solutions to the problem at hand, but also provide a short-term goal for the child to focus on: winning. Since this is not directly related to schoolwork, it provides the student with a relief from their regular classroom experience, but also an opportunity to exercise the mind in a similar way.
However, students should not be restricted to simply board games or puzzles when looking for an entertaining way of using their thinking. Alternatives such as video games and even videos can be used as long as the content involves strategic or in-depth thinking. As long as the child is engaging in this type of thinking, it will actually help them in doing word problems or other procedural questions that involve also thinking of a strategy or process of solving for the solution.
Learning a New Language
Due to the globalization of the world, the diversity of children present in local communities is dramatically increasing. From this, the interest of learning a foreign language in modern students is also on the rise. Learning a different language is tough and requires the student to make mental connections between the meanings of words in one language to their native tongue. Believe it or not, this type of thinking is actually used in algebraic mathematics, as the same mental process is used when using variables to represent unknown values. Having your child learn a new language that they are interested in – and would not make a fuss about – will actually help them in not only their language arts, but also their mathematics as well.
Practicing a Musical Instrument
Musical theory and compositions provide a method of expressing the creativity of a student. Creativity links back to a students’ writing and oral communications skills, so any improvements or progress they are able to make with regards to playing their instrument can also inspire the students’ creative thinking for their classroom projects.
The above were just a few suggestions as to what a student could do to involve him or herself in some recreational activities that could also benefit their learning. Of course, there are many other beneficial activities and hobbies that a student can engage themselves in, not limited to just the above. As long as the student is being engaged in different thinking activities that he or she enjoys, the student would be surprised to find that similar thinking in the classroom environment might not be so irrelevant after all.