Have you ever wondered why one student understands math and another does not? Both students may be of the same grade, age and background, yet one happens to like math and finds it interesting while the other is completely lost. No two people are alike, so why should one expect people to learn in the same way or at the same rate? Why do you like the color blue while your friend prefers green? Different tastes, experiences, likes and dislikes are only a few of the factors which distinguish learning differences and abilities.
The first step to help a child of any age to learn about a subject is to establish a reason for learning it. Some children may just love to learn; they may love math or history or English and may jump at the opportunity to learn anything. However, these students are not in the majority. For most students, there has to be a reason to learn a subject. How can understanding this subject be valuable to him or her? How might it help them? What will they get out of learning about this subject?
Most classrooms never address this point of students having a purpose for learning. How many of you have ever had a teacher ask if you wanted to learn about a particular subject or tried helping you find a reason for learning it? If you want to teach someone about a particular subject or about anything, you might want to try this. Whether that person is your own child, a friend, co-worker, or anybody else, try to find out what their purpose is for learning the subject or help them to establish a purpose for learning it. Once a purpose is established I think you will be amazed at how much easier it is to teach them and how much easier it is for them to learn about the subject.