Think of your first day in school in pre-k, kindergarten or, perhaps, first grade. There is an air of excitement. The weather is cool and crisp. You put on your new clothes and gather your new school supplies and off you are to class. You can't wait to meet your classmates and hope your teacher is nice. Also, your brain is like a sponge, carrying on as if it were "Johnny 5" on the movie Short Circuit. If it was before you were born, a military robot gets lost and winds up at the home of a young single woman who first thinks that it is an alien. What does that have to do with my subject? Please bear with me.
"Johnny 5" has a favorite phrase: "More input!" The poor robot can't get enough knowledge, even from such inane sources as the TV. At the beginning, kids are like that. You know the routine questions: "Why is the sky blue?" "How do tadpoles turn into frogs?" The good thing is that they are genuinely curious. They just get a charge from learning new things.
Unfortunately, something happens as children move through the school system. The grade level is different for each child, but learning becomes a burden, something you have to do. Are teaching methods at fault? Do peers make fun of kids who love school? Does the school system foster poor self-esteem with its continuous testing and categorization of students? Regarding the latter, testing is necessary and classification can assist educators to serve students in a better fashion. But when learning becomes a mere preparation for all those tests, something is wrong.
Getting back to the subject at hand, I think that all three possibilities can play a role in the demise of a child's love of learning. In later blogs, I will discuss the particulars more at length. The next blog will elaborate on the three factors I have mentioned and the solutions that we tutors can implement when we endeavor to serve our students.