Friday, February 29, 2008

Teaching Children to Have Fun

I have been having difficulty lately with regards to my daughter's study habits. My patience is being tested everytime she has homework and tests. I try not to pressure her because of her age (barley 4 yrs. old) but me, schooled in the old ways and studied my lessons all by myself when I was young, have a hard time tutoring her. I found the following article enlightening and would definitely put it to action.
Here is an excerpt from the website of Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi.
Secrets of Getting Children to StudyNurturing Creativity in the Child
The principle behind effective education and learning is a simple one that applies to children of all ages as well as to adults. This principle is joy. When we understand that joy and happiness arise when we are growing and displaying an ever larger portion of our inherent ability and infinite potential, then our objective is clear.
This is a different way of looking at the process of learning. If we regard joy as the essential ingredient, the ingredient that brings life to study, then we realize that where there is no joy, there is no life and study that is lifeless is of very little value. When this principle is kept in mind then what is created in the child is a desire to pursue his interests and talents to their maximum and his life is filled with joy and happiness. Parents often have been conditioned to think that study is work, a kind of chore, something that must be done whatever the effect on attitude. Here often the opposite result is obtained. Children grow up disliking study of any kind because in their minds it is equated with lifeless drudgery. For them life becomes an endless treadmill of existence that seems empty and joyless. This is so because inside the true self is not expressing itself in growth.
Children by nature like to study. You may think that children want to play all the time but it is not true. The reason why they appear to be playing in the eyes of the parent is because they are judging from the standpoint of its usefulness. When children are playing with mud, they are not playing but they are actually studying. They are learning about the nature of mud. What happens when they dig into it? What happens to the color of their hands when mud is on them? What happens when it gets in their eyes? Their hands get rough if they play with it too long. Children are studying and learning by experimenting with these things. When they start to take interest in their studies, they will develop artistic ability, if they have talent, or take interest in physics or chemistry experiments, if they have scientific talent. The modern chemical industry is a product of the growth of those children's talents who started by playing in the sand or mud. The parents are so caught up in the immediate usefulness of what a child is doing and think that playing in the sand or with mud only makes children dirty and really has no merit. That's why they stop them and tell them "to go study." They keep their children away from interesting studies and tell them to study something they have no interest in. Therefore, in the minds of children studying is not interesting.
"Learning is to freely unfold outwardly one's true self, the law, God's life the everlasting life that dwells within."

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