Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when individuals realize that emotions are connected to reasoning and affects learning. In fact, emotions help us to remember ideas, experiences, and events. When we are involved emotionally in learning, we have sort of a “hook” on which to hang the new knowledge.
As part of a personal effort to improve my own study skills, I am reading a book titled The World Book of Study Power, volume 1, and I am attempting to share a little of what I learn with my readers. Teaching others what I have learned helps to solidify the information in my own brain and is, therefore, a valuable learning tool. Most of the information that follows, including quotes and ideas, come from this book.
An emotion known as “attraction” or a desire to learn something is the first step to learning. When we are attracted to a person or an idea we automatically want to learn more about them. Once we learn something about them, we began to understand them better. Understanding helps us to remember more about them.
How open you are to learning depends on our willingness or unwillingness to explore. Are you more attentive in art or science, reading or athletics? That probably depends on what you like best. You find it easier to spend time doing something you enjoy. This applies to studying as well. For example, you may find it a tedious chore to memorize the dates of Civil War battles. Yet, you might enjoy memorizing the batting average of every member of our favorite baseball team. You are naturally more willing to devote time and energy to something you enjoy than something you detest. When it comes to learning, your feelings determine your actions (p. 54).
According to the book, “[We] learn best when the topic interests [us]. As [our] interest grows, [we] pay closer attention and [our] mind opens to ideas” (p. 54). We also need to be able to maintain an interest in the subject, or we will lose what we gained.
Parents can use this idea in helping their children to learn. If a child is crazy about horses, a wise parents will help that child to find reading material about horses. Math can be learned by counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing groups of horses. How many white horses are in the picture? How many brown horses are there? If there are ten horses in the pasture and three of them jumped over the fence, how many horses would be left in the pasture?
We can help the rising generation to learn better and to enjoy learning more if we will encourage them to become emotionally involved in the project. An individual who loves to learn strengthens their family as well as their community and nation.