How to Raise Smart Kids in a World of Information Overload

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Our gadget-driven lives may appear to give the impression that educating ourselves and our children is easier than ever. However, the downside of this is the simple white noise that accompanies it – it’s easy enough for a deadline-driven grown-up to get distracted by cat videos and the like – so in the effort to get children learning, the tools for distraction are handed to them alongside the tools for learning. 

The Solution

Taking the gadgetry away, or limiting computer time isn’t entirely the solution.  Before you can start looking for answers, it’s helpful to try to change the way your children think.  Learning how to learn is a skill in itself. Ad because youngsters tend to be such information sponges, parents and educators often expect the process of children learning to happen almost by osmosis.  

Natural intelligence isn’t enough; considerable investment is required in the best ways to channel efforts to stimulate young minds and encourage children to think for themselves.  Ways to boost your child’s attention span may be reward-driven. But given the right process, i.e. finding ways to stimulate interest in continuous small boosts, learning – and therefore an increased attention span – can be its own reward.  

The solution is active theory learning. If you observe children learning on their own, it’s generally by interacting with what they are studying, and working facts and processes out for themselves.  No matter how challenging for the child’s age the material might be, so long as they can understand the process, interest and interaction is guaranteed. 

Activate Active Theory Learning

Knowing the theory of how to get children learning effectively is one thing, actually engaging them in the process is quite another.  So what can you do?  The best method is to keep the material age-appropriate; for example, they may have a huge interest in airplanes, but a general, simple “how things work” or history of aircraft will be better received than a book going into specifics, and more appropriate for older children.  As they learn more, they will choose their own titles readily.  

Read together – or at least be close by for your child to ask questions and discuss what they’ve learned.  If there’s any confusion, or trouble with understanding the subject, your child is likely to lose interest, and therefore focus and attention.  If you are on hand to discuss ideas and guide further study, this is more likely to galvanize interest rather than divert it.  

Don’t discount the power of television, the computer, and other gadgetry in either direction; information gleaned from television is far more likely to be glossed over and consumed without thinking.  Because it’s also a tool for entertainment, the TV is often perceived as an easy option, whereas books require focus, and are more of a challenge.  Television isn’t necessarily the enemy – far from it – but greater attention paid to age-appropriate and educational programming will pay dividends, especially if your presence is there to supervise anything you are unsure of. 


In short, careful use of age-appropriate educational material can stimulate your child’s ability to learn.  Intelligence is a teachable skill, or at least the ability to problem-solve is, through presenting the tools to analyze and process information. 

About Yin
Yin Mones is a graphic artist, writer and a mother. She is a regular contributor at The Mini Ark – an online collective, publishing Bible storybooks and Christian learning materials. Check out her works at The Mini Ark blog.