Turn internal motivation into learning

Written by: Dr. Win Win @ Dr. PLAY

Parents are the first and lifelong teachers of their children, who know their children’s preferences and strengths best. Parents don’t have to worry about their children’s learning if they can transform their children’s intrinsic motivation into learning. However, parents often ask a question: How is the child’s good at linked to learning? Some parents may pay more attention to the scope of the test, but in fact there is no limit to learning. What is important is the child’s spirit of inquiry, willingness to pursue knowledge and solve problems.

Transforming learning through exercise:
Children choose their favorite sports, improving their motivation to learn. When children successfully complete the challenge, acknowledge their achievement, give recognition and encouragement. Through sports, children learn many knowledge and skills, including endurance, perseverance, and the spirit of not giving up, and transform them into elements of learning. I remembered that when the author was in middle school, he participated in the track and field school team. The sportsmanship learned in it not only helps in learning, but also can be used in the life of the adult world.

Transform interest into learning through watching TV, YouTube:
Parents can watch and talk with their children about the content of the program and share their thoughts, encouraging children to use YouTube to learn new knowledge/self-study. The author’s friend’s son went to YouTube to learn piano during the epidemic. It is important for parents to make good use of their children’s interests, let them love learning, and cultivate an attitude of self-study.

Transforming an interest in cooking into learning:
Parents encourage their children to take cooking classes, where they learn different recipes and skills, and mingle with fellow enthusiasts. Involve children in the food preparation process, such as shopping, storing ingredients, and planning meals. Help them learn how to prepare healthy food responsibly. Create a cooking journal to record the food your children make, how they learn and how they feel about cooking. This helps kids develop cooking skills and sparks their interest in creating and trying new recipes.

Turn handicraft hobbies into learning, encourage children to set goals for themselves, learn specific manual skills, and help them focus on their learning goals. At the same time, children are encouraged to participate in craft classes, interact with people, and learn new skills. Explore the history and culture of handicrafts with children, help children expand their horizons, and develop respect for different cultures and traditions.

If you want to equate learning with play, the key lies in “fascination”, and you must combine “play” and “learning”. Iwata Takuma (2022) pointed out that when parents understand their children’s interests and combine their interests with learning, they can gradually cultivate children who love learning.

Reference books:
Iwata Takuma (2022) “The “Exploratory” Game Learning Method for Cultivating Children’s Key Strengths in the Future” Hong Kong: Wanli Organization Publishing Co., Ltd.

Dr. Zhuo Wang Yongshi (Dr. Win Win) graduated from the University of Northern Irvine in the United States and completed the master’s and doctoral courses in the Department of Leisure, Youth and Human Services. Dr. Win Win is the executive director and founder of Dr. PLAY, and the game consultant of Renai Principals Association, Hong Kong Western District Women’s Welfare Association Kindergarten, New Territories Women and Children Welfare Association Leung Shing Tak School, and Po Leung Kuk Chong Qicheng Primary School. She is currently teaching at the School of Professional and Continuing Education of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Hong Kong.