Simple Ways to Infuse Each Day with Learning
Teaching your child how to do double digit addition or about World War II is important. But those are limited skills and facts. Teaching your child to love learning offers them a lifetime of discovery, far outside the classroom.
Here are some easy ways to foster a love of learning.
Read to Them
Reading not only has physical and emotional benefits, there is concrete evidence that it helps brain development and academic growth. With so much possibility, reading is the perfect way to help kids fall in love with learning.
Let Them See You Read
While reading to your children has many benefits, letting them see you read shows kids that reading is forever. It’s not just for babies. It’s not just for school. Read in front of them (and Facebook doesn’t count).
You don’t have to stay quarantined at home. Time outside provides opportunities for fine and gross motor development, risk-taking, and exploring, all of which prove beneficial to learning. There is also a direct correlation between time outside and reduction of stress, confidence building and exposure to different stimulation.
Sing, Play and Listen to Music
The brain benefits of music are numerous. Plus, music has the ability to bring joy, relaxation and express ideas.
True learning goes far beyond grades in a classroom. Show them you believe that.
Embrace What They Love
Give kids the opportunity to explore the things they love. If your child is into trains right now: find books about trains, build a train, draw a train, watch trains at the train station. Allow your child to guide their learning through their passions.
Talk About Learning
Let them know when you discover something new. “Wow, I never knew that popcorn could burn so quickly. I wonder why.” Kids need to see that we are always learning, even in the ordinary.
I know, as a parent, it feels like all we do is answer questions. So start asking. “How did that bird know I just put birdseed out?” or “Why are there police officers guarding the construction workers?” Questions are the foundation of learning.
Give Them Money
An allowance will help them understand how money works and is real life learning. And if you use plastic for all your payments, talk about how that works too.
Encourage them to think freely about things, without boundaries. Some of the best ideas started with wild wondering!
Giving kids the opportunity to play with no agenda allows them to be better thinkers.
Ask Random Math Questions
Math facts are foundational for good mental math, but kids don’t always want more schoolwork. Make math facts fun by asking them when you’re doing something else like driving, hiking, making dinner. Make it easy, fun and short!
Keep Reading Picture Books
Even as kids get older, picture books can provide unique opportunities for learning. Increased connection with the text, vocabulary and a more sensory approach to reading helps the experience be enjoyable and beneficial.
Go Places Virtually
Visit the sea or a mountain. Check out virtual tours of art museums or historical houses. Experiences make learning part of life and create schema, a personal framework for learning.
Giving kids the chance to create through art, music, science or any imaginative play helps them develop better thinking skills that translate far outside the classroom.
Helping with adult tasks gives kids new skills and shows them the need to learn throughout life. Cooking, taking pictures, changing the oil or doing laundry all show kids that there is always something new they can do.
Did I Mention Read?
It’s one of the simplest things you can do with endless possibilities. Read to learn, for fun and for life.
– Rebecca Hastings