“Cramming” and Playing: How is all this learning?

Learning is considered to be a complex psychic process of behavior change based on acquired knowledge and experience. It covers the acquisition of habits, information, knowledge, skills and abilities. The learning process begins from the moment of the baby’s birth, his first step and a snack, a touch of a forbidden object. Learning is necessary, necessary for the psychophysical development of each person, which is why we, as experts, emphasize the importance of learning for each of us.

Learning through education and as continuous life process

There are two ways we look at and imply learning. One is more widespread and accepted, and refers to the process of information acquisition or education, while the other is, often forgotten, known as continuous life process.

If we look at learning as a formal education, most will surely come up with automatic thoughts like cramming, boredom, rote learning, uselessness. And then we often think of school.

And learning, as we often hear, makes learning any kind of material by learning to memorize the phone book – boring, difficult and pointless, repulsive. What we do not understand and what we do not see sense, we can not truly learn, let alone enjoy and have fun playing with the adopted information.

Therefore, we try to find the usefulness of what students learn, what it has to do with other already learned material, what it has to do with everyday life, which benefit can make it for all of us. Because in doing so, we are trying to bring them a different perspective on learning, which is that learning should not be limited only to the acquisition of dry information, but to the handling of the information received and the realization that learning is a continuous part of our lives. We learn to walk and talk, we also learn games that we love and that entertain us, we learn to know each other, we learn to recognize the faces of our loved ones, we learn to express and communicate with those who speak a different language than ours, we learn to play different sports and play musical instruments. we learn to organize and structure time, we learn to arrive on time for an appointment, we learn to oriented in space, or not to get lost in walking around the city, we learn to solve problems, we learn to recognize and show emotions … it’s all learning.

Why do we need to learn some of our content, activities, and skills, despite the complexity and repetition required, while adopting other content is torture for us? And why are some learning processes more effective than others?

Learning effectiveness is related to various factors such as age, fatigue or hunger, but the greatest importance is attached to MOTIVATION, internal and external. External motivation usually involves some form of reward (rating, gift) for which we direct our activity, and intrinsic implies all that motivates us “from within”, ie any internal feeling, attitude or opinion that directs our behavior towards the goal.


How to motivate your child to learn?


Nothing is easier, it just needs to be encouraged to learn while having fun !?

First of all, it is important to direct the learning process in the desired direction from the beginning, and you will remember that it is stated at the beginning of the text that the learning process begins with the birth of a child. The role of the parents in this is crucial, from the model that the child copies and from whose behavior they learns, much more than from the dry words, and through the organization of leisure from the earliest days, or through educational guidance throughout childhood, children learn to learn from their parents.

One study, in which children were given a new toy and the examiner pretended to study it and accidentally discovered something new on it, produced this behavior in children as well. They were trying to find ‘hidden’ possibilities on each new toy. Therefore, we encourage curiosity in children.

It is important to create an environment for the child to encourage him or her to explore independently. This can be a joint tour of a museum, going to a theater play appropriate for your child’s age, or attending a creative workshop. It’s even easier and just as effective to engage in your child’s favorite game, with the opportunity to get to know the child and develop our relationship.

Furthermore, we ask many questions because they encourage children to think about causes and consequences, to formulate hypotheses and to draw conclusions. We do not judge them, but just listen and have the patience to come to our own conclusions instead of serving them.

Let’s take every opportunity to encourage learning. Any activity can be enriched with knowledge and new information. If a child loves motoring activities, we can include counting them, and we can complement our stay on the beach or in the park or walking in the woods with information in biology or geography, even do some adventure work, or look for a solution to an Indiana Jones or James Bond / orientation problem. species of trees, looking for similarities and differences, noticing details ….


In the situation of longer stay of children and parents at home, for example, we can do search engine tasks such as treasure hunting, when with each correct answer the child gets a new clue and a new task which he accepts with excitement because it is motivated by curiosity and the final outcome.

We must not forget that if we want to maximize our child’s learning we also need to enrich our own treasure trove of information.

If we learn, so will our children, if we have the habit of reading, and they will adopt that habit.

No one was born with work habits. As everyone learns how to wash easily in the morning, so it is possible to acquire work habits that make doing the job easier and learning. The most important thing, as the name implies, is to get in the habit – and that means a lot of repetition and perseverance.


First and foremost, let’s not forget that if it is a game, a children’s favorite activity, everything will be easier, and with the help of the parents, learning becomes an integral part of it.


By:  Renata Ćorić Špoljar, PhD, clinical psychologist

Illustrative Photo: Pixabay.com


Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center can not be held legally responsible for any  translation inaccuracy. 



Print Friendly, PDF & Email