Spark the Joy of Learning

Many teachers and parents often ask me how they can instill a joy of learning in children who seem to hate school. Since it’s true that you teach someone something they don’t want to learn, the question then becomes, “How can you create interest so that the young person will WANT to do what you would like?” In other words, how can you spark the joy of learning? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Let the youngster know that you understand how he or she feels and that you will make no attempt to change the youngster’s feelings. (This approach is often referred to as paradoxical in that as soon as you indicate you will not do anything, the person very often wants to do what you originally wanted the person to do.)
  2. Establish more of a relationship with the child by regularly acknowledging something he or she does well (e.g., smiling face, good handwriting, leadership qualities, successfully working with others). Since emotions follow cognition, this tactic will prompt positive feelings—-a necessary requirement for effort.
  3. Continue to ask reflective questions such as, “Since effort brings the reward of satisfaction, what can you do to make yourself feel good?”
  4. Give the child some responsibility to perform. Let them know that you need some assistance in an activity, that you recognize the youngster has a talent for leadership, and then ASK the youngster if he/she would help you.
  5. Invest a little money in the eBook, Children of the Rainbow School. The stories and illustrations have young people that WANT to rise to the highest level of personal and social development. Selected pages or the entire book can be printed.
  6. Most important, persevere!

What are some things you have done to spark the joy of learning in your children and students? Please share your experiences on the Without Stress Facebook page.


Teaching, parenting, and simply living can be stressful at times. That’s why I wrote my newest book Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. If you’re looking for stress management advice, check it out. The book is available as a print book (Buy one and get a second copy free to give as a gift), as an eBook, and as an audio book at