Posted in Learning Styles: Interests

Interests: Our #1 Motivators – Part 3

What other benefits are there when young people engage in their Interests?

  1. When kids are pursuing Interests they are focused, energetic, and enthusiastic.
  2. Pursing Interests provides a counterbalance to daily stress-creating activities. Participating in free-time activities they choose can be restorative and crucial to mental and physical health. Pursuing Interests is a vital part of healthy living.
  3. When young people are acting on behalf of something they love or respect, they feel purposeful. And having a purpose is the surest way to feel connected to life and worthwhile as a person.

“We are meant to work in ways that suit us … This work, when we find it and do it—if only as a hobby at first—is a key to our true happiness and self-expression.” —Marsha Sinetar

Besides providing an outlet for your child’s enthusiasm and helping to build confidence and self-direction, Interests can be used to make school work more interesting and motivating. For example, if your child is crazy about dinosaurs, he could choose a book about dinosaurs for an assigned book report. If she loves creating computer graphics, she could do a history or literature assignment in that format. For someone who loves to perform, suggest demonstrating knowledge through a skit or by composing lyrics to a song. If a student loves games, suggest creating a game for the topic being studied.

And here’s one more benefit:

The more you acknowledge and support students’ interests and follow their areas of delight, the more tolerance they will have for topics and activities that aren’t as interesting to them.

So remember:

  1. Encourage the Interest – tennis, horseback riding, soccer, etc.
  2. Figure out what the student needs to learn the particular area of difficulty – a different program, manipulatives, a video, a game, etc.
  3. Don’t punish or try to motivate by taking away the Interest.

copyright 2020 by Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, adapted from “Discover Your Child’s Learning Style by Willis and Hodson
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