My seven year old daughter struggled today with her reading assignment about the life of George Washington Carver. Usually, she’s the child who eagerly embraces all homework and quickly complies with directions. For some reason, she dawdled her way to the school table and reluctantly listened as I gave her the new reading assignment. On the verge of tears, she quietly refused to pick up the book I asked her to read. I questioned her attitude and demanded she read the book before afternoon play time.
Distracted, I left the table to help her brother with an online class. When I returned to her, she sat joyfully reading a library book about princesses. I paused and listened to her reading the story out loud. The look on her face showed me how excited she was to be reading something that interested her.
This small phrase, “make it interesting”, summarizes one key to educational success. When students personally connect to the material, they embrace learning. Every subject can be fun when the teacher relates it to the student’s interests. While I believe students must at times be challenged to read and study uninteresting topics, successful educators work as much as possible to include relavent material that piques the child’s natural curiosity and interests.
My princess-loving daughter did read her assignment today, and she enjoyed the story. I am grateful that she loves to read, and I vow to give her every opportunity to read what interests her as I cultivate my students at home.