From the earliest days of their school years, kids are exposed to a range of learning environments that will later shape them into well-rounded people, help them cope with real problems and grow up to become independent individuals.
Fortunately, we as parents can do so much to help our kids love learning, appreciate the importance of knowledge and finally, never underestimate the power of constant personal development. Here are five essential steps every parent can take to help their kids embrace the learning curve and make the most of their education!
1. Be a role model
Since children are naturally inquisitive, they will eagerly absorb everything that is going on around them. They will observe your behavior, attitude, body language, verbal cues and the mood-shifts you experience when you do something you love or dislike. And they will mimic that behavior when it’s their turn to start reading, doing the chores, and homework.
Set the tone as early as possible and introduce healthy learning habits in a fun atmosphere. Make it a daily ritual to enjoy your favourite book. Minimize your digital exposure and teach them to develop various interests instead of getting glued to the screen whenever the opportunity arises. Remember, you cannot expect them not to want to watch the TV if you spend all of your free time doing precisely that.
2. Give them diverse learning opportunities
Mathematics, language skills and problem solving don’t have to be limited to the classroom, so why not incorporate some fun activities to inspire your kids to use their skills every day? For example, cooking is a fun (and delicious) way to teach them about measurements, counting and time management. Talking to them about their day encourages them to use the new words they have learned and express their emotions as vividly as possible.
Maybe they would be interested in a sport, an art class or a chess club in your neighborhood. Explore these possibilities, encourage them to try out many different things before they make up their mind, and of course, let them change their mind on occasion – kids do get bored easily without proper stimulation.
3. Acknowledge obstacles
As difficult as it may be for a parent to accept the fact that their little ones might be having a hard time keeping up with the class, there is no shame in recognizing that your kids could use a helping hand. If the problem persists, your child could develop an aversion to a subject simply because they cannot master a difficult concept as fast as their peers.
To help them overcome these obstacles, you can suggest starting study groups, or find a trusty tutoring centre, where they can receive professional learning support and guidance from experienced experts. This is particularly important when they are struggling with their main subjects, such as English and maths, as this little push can help them move forward with their overall development.
4. Focus on learning, not studying
Many kids develop the habit of completing their school assignments solely for the purpose of getting a good grade and pleasing their parents. But that is not an attitude that reflects their understanding of the importance of education in their life, so it’s important for parents to instill the right values from day one.
When you help them understand the purpose of education as their way to progress, succeed, gain independence and experience the world, they will be more likely to embrace the process as a continuous one rather than an intermittent, forced one. Take them to museums, zoos, galleries, lectures and fun workshops to open their minds to new interests.
5. Put it into perspective
School is not the only place where your kids will get their education, and as such, you need to show them that their efforts will both come from and pour into all aspects of their lives. Teach them to look for lessons, purpose and meaning wherever they look. If they play games, teach them to share and be cooperative. When you read to them, teach them to recognize the moral of the story. Teach them to write thank-you notes, draw their dreams and make birdhouses, let them put their skills to use every day.
Show them that punctuality, creativity, and honesty aren’t restricted to the classroom, but are values one should always strive for in all facets of life. It will take time and imagination, but that’s the beauty of parenting – constant opportunities to learn through teaching your kids to be better in life.