As parents, we always want and hope for the most and best for our children. We cannot give what we do not have, and we cannot have what we do not earn. Work now to help your child earn what he or she needs to be a success at whatever they set their mind to.
A great education can give your child the tools for nearly anything he or she wants in life, so of course, this is certainly somewhere you want your child to excel. Among all the things that are key to success in life, education is the one that tends to go the furthest, and this is why it is so important. To give them a head start, here are some great ways to spark your child’s interest in learning, and prepare them for the world at an early stage.
Read together, often. From before they are born, you should read to your child as much as possible. As they grow, they will enjoy the tradition, and be able to read with you sooner than children who do not have reading time. Build an extensive library of books by going to a consignment shop and having a blast. Let the child pick out favorites and practice reading simple books when he or she is old enough to begin, and shows interest.
Use educational television, computer games, and video games. We all know that kids cannot stand to be around Mom and Dad all day, just as much, if not more than we say we need a break from our children. So to continue the learning fun while you take break, clean the house, or whatever; make sure that you make use of the things that are generally regarded as “bad” for children by making them educational. Noggin.com, NickJr.com, and many other websites offer educational games. The V-Smile Game System is available for many age groups and compensates for the systems that older children play.
Promote learning throughout daily activities. As you go about your day, have your child count the cars that go by when you are out. Ask them questions about colors, and shapes of the items you see at the grocery store. You can do things like this with every part of your day. In fact, my son could show me body parts before he could talk, as I always told him what part of the body I was washing in his bath every night.
Find educational toys to supplement what you teach. If you want your child to learn Spanish, but do not speak it, find something that is a toy, that will do it for you. If you are working on phonics, but are not sure of the approach you should take, take a look at some of the toys that LeapFrog has to offer. And remember, just because it is a toy, does not mean it cannot be useful!
All of these things will put your child a few steps ahead of the class when it is time for school to start. It may not guarantee genius, but it helps! In fact, the more they learn before they start school, the more you can push for them to keep learning; so they may always stay ahead, and find a passion for learning that others may never have.
Share with us the activities you do with your children to help them learn. If they are older, share with us how your dedication in the early years has helped them along. Make recommendations for toys, books, and programs for all of us to enjoy.
What do you think works? What does not? Why or why not?