Friday, January 23, 2009

Why we learn..

The effects of the Gaza war have been closer to home. One of M's teachers lost two relatives,and over the last weeks Janaza prayers continue to be held after the Jummah prayer.

But our somewhat mundane but safe life goes on, alhamdulillah, and a post on Always Learning, encouraged me to write a bit about motivation and learning, something I may have touched on before. Don't expect an in-depth analysis, my sleep pattern's still a bit strange at the moment as I deliberate over sleep training versus attachment parenting. Invariably Hz's cuddly body ends up close to mine for much of the night, seeking a bit of comfort.

Anyway, the other day H surprisingly got a certificate for maths from nursery. He'd been away on the day they had a 'Nobelfest' party for the Nobel Prize, and every child was given a certificate for something. M also got a 3rd prize for dictation (a home made mini certificate). My MIL once realising what they were, gave a small monetary award. In H's case he was v pleased especially as he was increasing his savings for having done something he enjoys. M also was motivated to be top of his class, although I hadn't noticed any particular increase in practice before the weekly tests. I remember friends of mine receiving a set amount for each A they got at GCSE. I can't remember being particularly resentful that I didn't get such rewards. Somehow I knew that doing less than your best was not an option. Maybe it was having an older sister setting the example, or the not always overt message that you had to go to University to get anywhere in life.

Ideally all learning should be self-motivating. S checks his spellings quiet carefully when typing stuff on his You-Tube channel, or in the RPG games, maybe knowing the readers are likely to have a negative attitude to any mistakes?

I myself quickly try to find out why Biryani has got cracked lips and read that it could be due to a Vitamin B deficiency (which doesn't surprise me as her range and amount of food intake is v limited at the moment) I make sure she gets her vitamins. Looking something up for a reason, and it's likely I'll remember it too..

The bigger picture, the end goals, are things that are hard for children to always comprehend. That's why we end up dressing some work up with certificates and stickers, with material rewards.

It is frustrating that the brain being like a sponge at a young age have owners who want to use it for seemingly trivial things, like RPG. And this is where I try to relax about how they're doing educationally. S has managed to learn to read and spell in English with a minimal amount of input from my part, why shouldn't the others do the same?

Having said that, I've still managed to order the next lot of Peter and Jane books for H (but only because he seems to like them!).

1 comment:

ummrashid said...

Yes, ideally all learning should be self motivated. Still tricky though!