Help your child love learning at home and at school… and everywhere else!
As parents, we have the privilege of helping our children learn about the world around them — starting from birth and up to when they are already considered adults. One of the greatest things you could ever do as a parent is to help your child love learning, especially from a young age.
If you’re clueless as to where to start though, don’t fret! Here are a few helpful tips:
Provide hands-on activities
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No matter what your child’s learning style is, all children love to do things hands-on, especially if they get to do it with you. Thus, one of the ways to help your child love learning is to make everything a learning opportunity, including routine household chores.
- Let them help you in the kitchen — tear lettuce, chop vegetables, grate cheese, put a face on fractions by measuring ingredients and read/follow directions.
- Let them help you do the laundry and fold it afterwards. This teaches them to sort similar items and/or colours.
- Raking leaves and gardening opens up children’s eyes to the different types of leaves and plants. You can have simple discussions on how to make things grow too.
- Emptying the dishwasher and putting dishes away will help kids sort stacking bowls by size, and identify the different pieces of tableware.
Explore the world outside
Discover the great outdoors with your child.
- Learn what insects live in the yard and the world around you.
- Make a collection of leaves and label them so your child can learn about the different types of trees growing in your area.
- Grow flowers and vegetables and/or herbs to teach your kids about where our food comes from.
- Go fishing — you will both enjoy this, for sure! Don’t forget to talk about the different ways fish are different from us mammals too!
- Learn to build a fire and cook on an open fire. This is a perfect beginner’s lesson on science!
- Gaze at the stars and try to find the visible planets and constellations.
- Go berry picking if possible, and maybe even make some jam or jelly.
Help them find their passion
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- Visit local museums and exhibits, and talk about what you see there.
- Take advantage of classes given at the home improvement stores and craft stores to give your child the experience(s) of building with wood and simple tools, painting, crafting with clay, paper and other mediums.
- Buy an inexpensive camera and turn your child loose with it. If she seems to enjoy taking pictures with it, buy a book on photography tips and techniques for kids.
- Expose them to a variety of sports and athletic activities — just don’t be too pushy and let them choose which one (if any) is for them.
Know what’s going on
One of the best things you can do for your child is to let them know in word and deed that their education is important to you. Be involved in their school as a parent volunteer, by maintaining a reasonable line of communication with their teacher(s) and by talking over the events of the day with each child on a daily basis.
When it comes to discussing the day’s events, it is important that you don’t put them through an inquisition each day. Ask a few simple questions that require more than yes or no answers and then listen.
You can interject brief comments or questions during their monologue, but what our kids really need and want us to do is to just listen to them.
For instance, you can ask questions like:
- “What did you all do during recess today?”
- “Really, does Sophie always kick the ball that hard?”
- “What did you do besides reading from your books today?”
- “Playing math games makes learning a little more fun, doesn’t it. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses as long as everyone gets a turn.”
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Make sure you check your child’s book bag each day. Young children usually don’t mean to keep you uninformed or not do their homework — sometimes, they honestly do forget what’s in there by the time they get home.
You should also make sure you are participating or have access to the parent portals on the internet at your child’s school. These sites allow you to track their progress, know what’s going on at school (programs, field trips, etc.), be notified of any disciplinary action taken, illness outbreaks and email your child’s teacher(s).
It’s what parents do
Children learn what they live. If you are excited about their learning, they will be too.
Building a solid foundation now will go far to help your child love learning — even all the way through college. So do what you can, when you can, to show your child that learning is fun!
How do you help your child love learning? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment below!