5 Ways to Encourage Learning At Home
For most children, school and home are two separate entities. To them, one likely involves a locker, backpack, and textbooks, while the other may mean downtime, video games, and snacks. However, it can be important (and even entertaining) to bring the learning environment into the home for your child.
If you let it, learning at home can be both productive and fun. Here are five easy ways to encourage cracking a book or two on the couch.
1. Ask questions
The easiest way to become involved with your child's school studies is to have regular conversations about what he or she is learning. Taking the time over dinner to ask a couple of questions about his or her school day can make a world of difference in how a child views school. If it's obvious you value school and all the good that comes with it, chances are your student will follow your lead. Some days he or she may even start the conversation about next week's math test.
2. Read with your child
Reading is integral to all types of learning. Most classes at any grade level involve a plethora of reading assignments. If your children are young, try reading a picture book with them every night. If they prefer reading on their own, suggest family quiet time where everyone reads in the living room or even a book club where the same book is read. Keep your house filled with books and newspapers to stress just how important you find the written word to be.
3. Take your child on educational outings
Even if it's just the occasional trip to the library, make a habit of doing academic activities with your child outside of school. Set a date, and buy tickets for a dinosaur exhibit at the natural history museum. Take an evening to sit on a blanket in the park and look through a telescope. Your child may be surprised at how much he or she enjoys activities involving learning.
4. Help your student get organised
A lot of children like to have certain school supplies in place before the school year even begins. For some students, only certain coloured pens, paper, and binders will do. Find out what supplies your child prefers, and make sure he or she has enough of them. When your student brings home a lot of stapled papers and written assignments, help him or her keep them straight. If a science project looks like it'll take up a whole end of the kitchen table, help make room for it. This shows you're in support of learning at home.
5. Celebrate and reward his or her successes
When your child aces a science test or wins a spelling bee, let him or her know you're impressed. Take your child out for ice cream, or post the perfect test score on the fridge for a week. Take pride in what he or she accomplishes at school, and so will your child.
Learning at school is an important step to a lifetime of learning, but so is learning at home. As a parent, you are the teacher, so start making your home a welcome, warm atmosphere where new information and personal growth are encouraged.