Children are little sponges, as you have no doubt heard. They soak up information at an incredible rate, from the time their little feet hit the ground running in the morning until they drop their sweet heads to the pillow at night-, and retain much of it! Children are born curious and spend most of their days exploring, investigating, and learning about the world around them. Sometimes however they do need some help directing it to more focused studies, and there are things you can do besides piling on homework or extra studies to give them the boost they need to become eager learners.
Encourage their interests – If your child shows a passion for art take them to museums, check out books, look up art online and expose them to different artists and mediums. In the same way if your child loves insects purpose to visit the Entomology department at the local collage, pick up bug books, find youtube videos. Encourage their passion, it may someday be the base for their career or even a hobby the pursue for pleasure.
Share your interests – Let your child cook with you, sew a simple apron, help in the garden, paint, whatever your favorite activities are may become a shared passion between the two of you. If they show an aptitude with it you may want to invest in some child sized tools to give them success.
Allow them to make mistakes – While there will be many times when children need to redo or correct some of their homework try to let as much go as possible. #1 The child may correct it on their own #2 If they don’t and the paper comes back corrected or with a low grade they will learn from that experience much more than your nagging. That is not to say you have to accept sloppy work but try not to harp on perfect letter formation if it is legible, or expect perfection from their ocean diorama. Constant correction will discourage a child from improving and growing.
Read with them – Favorite chapter books, read aloud classics, and books related to their interests. Reading is key to raising a child who loves to learn when presented in the right way. Not only do we read for pleasure and relaxation but we read to learn things- manuals, encyclopedias, reference books, and more. Be sure to have lots of books on hand especially with topics that your child loves to read on their own or with you.
Create learning opportunities – Whether your child is in public, private, or homeschool you can still create a place of constant learning in your home. Puzzles, books, tools, technology, art supplies,etc… Give them areas to immerse themselves in activities and hobbies that drive their passion..Have a Builder on your hands- set up a LEGO table, a budding entomologist? magnifying glass and bug catching materials.
Keep the focus on process instead of product – Everything your child attempts may not come out looking like a professinoal created it, and thats ok! Encourage the process of creating, writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, and so on. If your child writes a wonderful short story avoid pulling out the red pen to edit when you can.
Give them space – Allow them room to discover, create, and complete school work on their own, giving help only when asked. Resist doing projects FOR your child while helping them complete it. Leave plenty of room for mistakes and success!