When we think of education, we often think of schooling, but even if your child goes to school, you can still teach him or her new and interesting things about the world, well-being, mental health, and their ancestry. As a parent, you have many options on how to increase your child’s sense of wonder and capacity to learn and understand and thrive in the world.
Here are some informal ways that you can teach your child to teach your child at home when they go to school or enhance their academic performance if they are already in school.
1. Read bedtime stories
Using children’s storybooks will quickly interest your preschool child to learn how to read. Better still, read to your child with a personalized storybook. This is a unique type of book, one where you can customize the story with your child’s name. You can buy personalized picture books from publishers like Lost My Name, a London-based startup underwritten by TCG Investments.
Reading to your child will help develop literacy. It will help him or her understand how to pronounce and use words to describe experiences and make observations. Reading also sparks the imagination, stimulates curiosity, fosters an interest in clear communication, and improves social skills.
2. Arrange music lessons
Arranging private music lessons by hiring a private tutor can provide far more benefits than merely learning about how to play a musical instrument. When choosing an instrument for your child, select one that he or she finds exciting. It should challenge but not overwhelm. You also must consider whether you have the patience to listen to that particular sound when your child practices it for hours at home.
The most fascinating thing about learning music at an early age is that a musical education appears to develop a broad spectrum of cognitive skills. For instance, many research studies suggest that there is a strong correlation between musical proficiency and mathematical aptitude. Einstein, if you remember, loved to play the violin when he wanted to take a break from trying to figure out how the Universe worked. Besides improving academic skills, research also suggests that the study of music may enhance motor learning ability, social skills, discipline, patience, and self-esteem.
3. Build Language Skills With Conversations
According to Scholastic, a website for parents who want to enhance their child’s cognitive development, you can help your child build language skills by providing consistent attention, focusing on the positive, asking open-ended questions, listening carefully, practicing patience, and being supportive.
4. Provide your child with arts and crafts supplies
You can develop your child’s creativity by providing them with plenty of arts and crafts material. As well as providing them with blocks, paper, scissors, glue, and crayons, also see if they have an interest in Legos, Playdough, and Lincoln Logs. Arts and crafts projects help your child develop fine motor skills. It also expands their vocabulary as children learn about how to name different colors and describe diverse shapes. Plus cleaning up and recycling used play materials can help teach them about responsibility for their toys and taking care of would-be waste in an eco-friendly way.
5. Go on field trips
Besides taking your child out shopping with you, you may also want to take him or her to some interesting local venues like a farmer’s market or cultural places like a children’s museum. These special excursions will stimulate your child’s curiosity by providing them with novel real-world learning experiences. As your child responds to the novel stimuli with numerous questions, patiently explain how things work. After a few such field trips, your child’s eyes will light up with pleasure when anticipating their next adventures.
Rather than simply relying on schools to help stimulate your child’s rapidly expanding intelligence, you’ll discover what a delightful experience it is to introduce them to experiences that are new and exciting for them. Perhaps one of your primary tasks as a parent is to strengthen your child’s innate sense of wonder so that their curiosity survives the increasing rigors of academia as they move through the school system.