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Redefining ‘Learning’

You learn something new everyday. This means that learning is a 24 X 7 process. Learning is a process that starts right from the womb and never stops. It’s happening right now, as you read this article!

The key to learning something new everyday is to redefine what we mean by learning. Everything we see, every new experience, each new book, every movie we watch — they are all learning experiences. Learning involves anything we didn’t know before, or something we understand better. There are many things you can do to enhance the learning process of your child. Here are a few ideas.

Take the weight off

When a child is reading a book, it should not be done to memorise and internalise. That becomes a mental weight she bears while she learns. When she consciously reads to learn, she doesn’t read calmly, peacefully and unhur-riedly. She does it just so that she can get done with it. Children should read without worrying about whet-her or not they will be able to remember what they read afterwards.

Our minds naturally pick up information from the environment — in this case, from the book being read.

Let the mind work

The mind works best if we don’t hinder its natural process. To do this, allow your child to read in a relaxed manner. After she’s done, let her repeat it to you/herself in the way she best remembers it. This way, she associates the story with the characters, or concepts with information. This way, she wont merely ‘mug’ it, but will use clues within the story to remember and understand it better.

Memories are created when synaptic connections in the brain are stimulated or existing ones are strengthened.

As a child attempts to recall a story, each time her synapses get stronger. More re-reads of the book under stress-free conditions, followed by this process, will help her remember and understand better.

Of course, this is not the ideal process for the night before the exam, but a new learning process that can be gradually made the norm.

Let her indulge and enjoy learning

By keeping the learning process light, and working with the minds natural process of learning, your child can enjoy what she learns. She will discover the joy in it and pursue it on her own — and not just limit it to class textbooks. Her basic approach to knowledge and learning will change.

Developing the right attitude towards learning in early childhood can uncover the joy of knowledge for children and push them in the right direction. True, learning this way does not necessarily bring the highest marks, but it will help the child enjoy the process of learning throughout life.

Reading more, research and self-exploration can happen when learning becomes a pleasure. So let the learning adventure begin!

– Sunil Noronha

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