Happy Learning

Happy Learning

Title: Happy learning

Narrator: Happy learning

Scene: Hinz works so hard to finish the numerous exercises on the desk. Mum is supervising Hinz practising guitar but he seems not interested.

Narrator: Children are filled with curiosity and are keen to learn. If the school and the family expect too much from them, such as asking them to do so many assignments or take up activities that they are not interested in, they may lose the motivation to learn. At the same time, parent-child conflicts can arise.

Heading: Maintaining a Good Parent-child Relationship

Narrator: Maintaining a good parent-child relationship

Scene: Hinz and Mum are chatting and laughing when looking at old photos.

Narrator: Having a good relationship with your child is important. He needs your attention and support. Talk with your child frequently and devote your attention totally to him at the time. It helps you better understand his needs. Good parent-child communication will also stabilize the child’s emotions and facilitate his cooperation in learning.

Heading: Setting Daily Routines

Narrator: Setting daily routines

Scene: Hinz tells Mum that he has just finished his homework. He is about to turn on the TV when Mum is checking his work.

Narrator: Help your child establish a good learning attitude and habits by setting regular daily routines when he’s still small. Mum is checking Hinz’s homework.

Narrator: Hinz wants to turn on the TV immediately.

Sub-heading: Setting up a timetable

Narrator: Mum reminds him of the schedule they have agreed on. Before watching the TV, he should take a shower.

Sub-heading: Cultivating interest in reading

Scene: Before bed time, Hinz brings Mum his favourite storybook and asks her to read it to him.

Narrator: You may arrange to read with your child every day, for example, having story time before bed. It helps to cultivate his interests and habits in reading.

Heading: Appreciating Individual Differences and Modes of Learning

Narrator: Appreciating individual differences and modes of learning

Scene: Hinz is studying a clock when he is sitting with Mum on the sofa.

Narrator: Every child is unique and has his own way of learning. You can stimulate thinking by discussing things with them.

Narrator: Hinz is studying a clock on the sofa with Mum. He observes that the clock’s hands stop moving when he removes the battery. Mum appreciates his observation.

Heading: Having Realistic Expectations

Narrator: Having realistic expectations.

Scene: Mum sits next to Hinz when he’s doing homework.

Narrator: Every child has his strengths and their abilities vary. Take into account your child’s characteristics and set appropriate goals and expectations for him.

Narrator: To help inattentive children achieve a task which requires sustained attention, you can break down the task into a series of smaller steps.

Narrator: Mum sits next to Hinz when he’s doing his homework. She tells him to take a rest after he finishes half a page.

Narrator: Mum comes back after Hinz has finished half of a page and asks him to take a rest for five minutes.

Scene: Mum plays with Hinz in the living room. Mum takes a look at the clock and reminds Hinz.

Narrator: Mum plays with Hinz in the living room. Mum takes a look at the clock and reminds Hinz that there is one more minute left before he needs to return to his task.

Narrator: One minute later… Mum tells Hinz to continue with his homework

Narrator: Mum persists, while Hinz wants to play longer.

Narrator: Hinz nods and returns to the seat with Mum. Mum appreciates his cooperation.

Heading: Giving Encouragement and Praise

Narrator: Giving encouragement and praise

Scene: Having finished his homework, Hinz let Mum check it. Mum praises him.

Narrator: Mum gives appropriate compliments when Hinz finishes his homework.

Sub-heading: Appreciating your child’s efforts

Narrator: Appropriate compliments can motivate children to learn. Just like this mother, she praises her son’s effort in doing the homework but not the outcome.

Sub-heading: Inappropriate compliments

Narrator: Here is a bad example.

Narrator: The mother has just praised the outcome of getting a good grade for the writing instead of the child’s effort. Keep in mind that we have to praise appropriately.

Heading: Identifying Interests and Encouraging Creativity

Narrator: Identifying interests and encouraging creativity

Scene: In the living room, Hinz is playing clay dough with Mum.

Narrator: When you engage in activities with your child, let him take the lead. Don’t give any commands but guide him to come up with answers by himself.

Narrator: In the living room, Hinz is playing play dough with Mum. Hinz teaches Mum how to make a Triceratops.

Narrator: Allow your child the freedom to explore in a safe environment and help him to find his interests and develop his creativity. These will help your child to identify his interests and develop creativity as well as enhancing his enthusiasm for learning.

Heading: Expanding Horizons in Learning

Narrator: Expanding horizons in learning

Scene: Some children are using technology products; Hinz is playing tablet computer on the sofa under Mum’s guidance.

Sub-heading: Use screen devices appropriately

Scene(photo):Reading distance no less than 50 cm for computers, 30 cm for smartphones and 40 cm for tablet personal computers

Narrator: Adults should provide guidance and accompany their children when using screen devices such as computers, mobile phones and tablets.

Sub-heading: Age 2 – 5: < 1 hour screen time a day

Narrator: For 2 to 5 year olds, limit their time spent on these devices to no more than one hour every day and make sure that they don’t have too many sedentary activities. You can arrange more physical and outdoor activities to expand their learning horizons.

Scene: Hinz and his parents are flying kite, cycling and playing ball games in the countryside.

Narrator: For example, the whole family can have outdoor activities such as kite flying, cycling, and playing ball games.

Scene: Mum is playing with Hinz in the living room.

Narrator: To help your child develop the qualities described above and become an active learner, you need to have a good parent-child relationship and be a role model for learning. The child will be more capable of learning with fruitful outcomes!

End Shot: Department of Health logo

The Department of Health owns the copyright of this digital video.

This digital video is produced solely for non-commercial use.

It should not be rented, sold or otherwise used for profit-making purposes.

Produced in 2015

Children are born with curiosity and interest to explore. The active learners usually find fun and satisfaction in learning. Most parents, if not all, wish their children would have great achievement. However, children may lose the motivation to learn when they are under too much demand and stress. Therefore, you need to cultivate his interest in learning since he is small and help him to experience the pleasure in learning.

Help Your Child to be an Active Learner

Maintain a Good Parent-child Relationship

It helps you better understand and communicate with your child and instil in him stable emotion and cooperation for learning.

Set Daily Routines

Help your child develop independence and self-discipline in daily living

Cultivate his interests and habits in reading by reading with him daily

Have Realistic Expectations

  • Choose learning activities that suit your child’s development level
    Appreciate his individual differences and modes of learning and help him gain successful learning experience.
  • Allow your child to face challenges
    Let your child try to solve problems by himself and learn from mistakes. Do not over-protect him for fear that he may fail or mess up.
  • Set realistic short-term goals with your child
    e.g. he has to play 8 bars accurately when practising the piano. When he has achieved the goal, then target for the next 8 bars.
  • If the goal is too high and your child gets frustrated for so many times, his interests in learning and self-confidence would be lost.

The following approach can help your child accomplish a task according to his pace and develop a sense of achievement:

  1. Set a clear goal and break down the task into small steps (e.g. Step1,2,3). Each step should involve an action and leads to the next. The number and magnitude of the steps depend on your child’s capabilities.
  2. Start with step 1.
  3. Give clear and concise instructions and demonstrate if necessary.
  4. Observe and allow time for your child to try on his own
  5. If he fails to follow the steps, give him verbal or physical guidance. Break down the steps further into step 1A and 1B when necessary. Upon completion, move on to step 2.
  6. For each step, guide and praise him until step 3 or the final step is done.
  7. At the initial stage, reward your child with a small treat after he has completed the whole task. A behaviour chart can also be used to increase your child’s positive learning behaviour.
  8. Gradually reduce guidance and instructions as your child learns the skills.

Give Encouragement and Praises

  • Appreciate and praise your child’s enthusiasm and efforts made in learning, instead of praising his abilities.
  • Praise before you give suggestions to him. The suggestions have to be constructive and achievable.

Identify Interests and Encourage Creativity

  • Encourage your child’s creativity by involving him in activities that allow imagination and thinking
  • When joining your child’s activities, let him take the lead without giving him direct instructions. Complete the task with him and praise him for his efforts and achievements in the process
  • Use guiding questions to prompt your child to come up with an answer to the questions and to elicit further questions, so as to expand his ideas
  • Discuss with your child when you enroll him in interest classes and spare some free time in between activities for your child

Expand Your Child’s Learning Horizon

  • Learning occurs in everyday opportunities
  • Arrange more outdoor activities for your child
  • Ensure that your child use technology products appropriately by accompanying and guiding him

Home-school Relationship

  • When choosing school for your child, find out more about the missions and teaching modes of different schools. It is also important to cater for the capabilities and learning styles of your child
  • Have regular communication with the teacher to understand how your child adapts and performs at school

Be a Role Model

For your child to become an active learner, be eager to learn yourself. Good parent-child communication and family members learning from one another are also important factors.

Going to Primary School

Preparing for your child to enter primary school means that your child is turning a new page in development. The school life in primary school will be novel and unfamiliar to your child. As the teaching mode and the learning environment are different in kindergarten and primary school, some children may have difficulties in adjustment when they start primary one. You must take good care of their emotions and observe their responses, help them gradually adapt to the new learning environment and cope with new challenges.

Get Prepared in Advance

Help your child develop regular daily routines and habits before primary school begins, preferably more than 6 months in advance. This will help your child adapt to primary school more easily with less distress.

Generally, there are higher demands in primary school compared to kindergarten. There will be more school regulations and limits, as well as disciplines in the classroom. If you are already encouraging independent self care and instilling the sense of responsibility in your child, it is easier for her to adapt to primary school life. e.g.:

  • Strengthen her time concept by setting up timetable with her.
  • Guide your child to finish homework, pack things for school and tidy the school bag on her own initiative.
  • Teach your child to put on school uniforms, socks and shoes.

Help Your Child to face the New Milestone Happily

Your child will need some time and space to cope with the changes. Pay attention to her and maintain good communication with her for good parent-child relationship is important. Your guidance and support are essential for her good start of the new school life!

Social Development

Primary school life is not just doing homework exercises and revision, extra-curricular activities and mixing with schoolmates are also important. You can take the initiative to get to know your child’s classmates, and even arrange some gatherings for them to mix together. Knowing more new classmates can help your child adapt to the new learning environment.

Communicate with Teachers

Be a role model for your child by participating actively in Parent-Teacher Association and keep appropriate contact with the teacher. Help the teacher understand the characteristics and health status of your child. Through the concerted efforts of both parents and teachers, your child can adapt to primary school life better.