How we've motivated children to learn
Yishan Women and Children Care Association (Ixwcca) has been actively encouraging children to explore the world
Over the past ten years, Yishan Women and Children Care Association (宜蘭縣宜萱婦幼關懷協會) has cultivated lots of students to get admitted to well-known national schools. This year, one student recommended by the Association won the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, four students were awarded Luodong Township Outstanding Youth Award (羅東鎮優秀青年獎), one person won the President's Education Awards, three children were officially lauded by Yilan County Filial Piety Award (宜蘭縣孝行獎), and one student won the National Filial Piety Award. Every child has got admitted to their dream schools and gained great results in national competitions.
Many parents asked us how we cultivated outstanding children. We've actually encountered many issues in educating children, especially when they're from foreign countries and different family or cultural backgrounds. We, at the very beginning, sought assistance from many professionals and tried various means to help students, but we felt frustrated. Thanks to those experiences, we've gradually understood how to push students to a bigger world.
Regardless of second-generation children of new immigrants or Taiwanese children, the programs we offer value culture and art education, housework, career management, and character education, instead of focusing on children's academic performances. Besides, we help them form healthy communications in relationships with their parents. Ways to cultivate children vary from theory to theory, and each of them has a unique core concept. But the most important is that none of them is absolutely suitable for every child. We teach students in accordance with their aptitude.
Every time we asked children if they liked doing assignments, all of them answered, "I don't like doing them!", regardless of their grades being high or low. Then we asked them, " Why don't you like it?", and they replied that doing assignments is boring or tiring but couldn't tell the main reason. Through our observations, we found that when children do assignments, teachers or parents would regard it as an obligation that students have to achieve. If they happen to do it well, it's normal, but if they do it badly, they may be punished. So, in this way of teaching, how could they like doing assignments?
Many parents expect their children to be successful so instill the concept of "hard work pays off" into their minds. However, forcing children to do what they aren't willing to do will probably backfire. Given that education requires various aspects of skills, we think it's important to set a goal together with children.
First of all, we should understand what they want to do in the future, listen to them, and give support to them. No matter what they come up with, we have to show respect for it. We should also let them know we won't be with them forever, so they must plan for their future on their own and be responsible for all their decisions.
We have a deep faith in "everything exists for a reason". Every child has his own space to develop. We let children understand they're so unique that they should be confident, treat themselves and others gently, and find the true essence of their own life. Parents have to accompany their children to reflect on themselves and help them find a life goal. When they find the meaning of learning, they will actively pursue what is true for them.
Helping children find their talents is also significant.
Written by Vice-chairman of Yishan Women and Children Care Association, Lan Jingyi (藍靜宜)