As your child is beginning preschool, kindy, or primary school, curiosity takes on an even more important role than it did as they were a baby.
Before they start school, you can help them satisfy their curiosity about anything they like. You can give them lots of hands-on experiences, read books to them about whatever they are curious about, or find videos and even games that will teach them more about things they find interesting.
Once they start school and have homework, you may feel like the first thing they should do is homework and then you run out of time for the things they are curious about.
There have been some studies done that tend to take a different view of curiosity and learning.
The more we know, the more we want to know.
Research shows curiosity grows with knowledge. So, sometimes the key to helping our kids improve their attitudes about homework is to see that they get a basic grasp of the subject so that they can become curious to learn more about it. Math facts are an example. It can be tedious to learn the basic facts, but once those are learned, they can begin to see how numbers work together to give us more understanding about our other interests.
Two things happen with curiosity. The first is that the hippocampus, the memory trigger in the brain, is stimulated. That’s why we remember well things that we learned through satisfying our curiosity. The second is that the chemical dopamine is released in the brain with curiosity. That is the reward and pleasure chemical in our brains. We feel good when we have been curious and learned something.
Try this ‘trick’ to help you child in subjects they don’t like.
In one study they found that when children were bored by a subject, curiosity could help them learn it in spite of their dislike. This is how you can make this work for your child. Spark their curiosity about anything they are interested in. Help them satisfy at least some of that curiosity at the beginning of homework time. When curiosity has been stirred, we remember other facts more easily and for a longer time. For a while after satisfying curiosity, whatever they are exposed to next, just seems to flow in more easily and creates memory of those other subjects.
I was not always thrilled with the things my little ones found fascinating. Our eldest, cut holes in the back of our recliner chair so he could see what was inside. He also took our record player apart into all its tiniest pieces! (We never could make it work again!) But both our sons were curious about everything. It has stood them in good stead in their jobs today. They are both always curious, always learning and that has made them very valuable to their companies. So, think long-term, when your child asks in infinite number of questions about something they find interesting! You help them develop a habit of curiosity and learning for their future.