With a little creativity and a few fun
activities, parents can help put passion into their kids'
When it comes to ensuring their kids are getting a good education,
many parents go to great lengths - choosing the right schools,
monitoring progress reports, hiring tutors, and the like. But
there's more to school success than making good grades, and parents
today are taking an active role, not only in helping their kids
learn, but also in getting them excited about education.
"A parent's objective should be not only to help a child achieve in
school, but to enhance the child's ability to learn," says Charles
E. Schaefer, co-author of Help Your Child Get the Most Out of
School (Dutton/Plume). That means in addition to the three Rs, Mom
and Dad should be taking steps outside of school to foster a love
of learning, something that isn't as difficult as one might
"Kids are born with a desire to learn. We see this eagerness in
toddlers learning to walk, kindergartners learning to tie shoes,
and first graders learning how to read," says Kathy Seal, co-author
of Motivated Minds: Raising Children to Love Learning (Henry Holt).
And, according to Seal, getting your kids motivated and excited
about school can pay off on the report card. "Research has shown
that when kids are eager and interested, their learning is higher
quality: They learn more, they understand it more deeply, and they
retain it longer. That makes them more successful in school."
So how does a parent instill an educational passion? A good start
is to encourage kids to pursue the subjects they're interested in,
both in school and at home. That means supporting a child's
development of hobbies and passions, be it stamp collecting, LEGO
building, bug or rock collecting, sports, Scouts, skateboarding,
reading for pleasure, comic book or baseball card collecting -
whatever that child enjoys, assuming it's safe and legal.