Learning and knowledge are wonderful things, however our kids don’t always see it that way. Many times they have a negative outlook on learning because the only thing they can think of when hearing that word is school work.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are several things we can do to make our homes a home where learning takes place. We want to give our kids a love of learning and creative outlets at home so they can shine. Home is a great place to see the individual gifts your children have and to provide them with the tools to enhance their gift. It also gives us a chance to spend quality time with them and this is something they love! There is nothing that makes their day more then to know they are going to get one on one time with mom or dad. Studies show that kids who are encouraged in learning by their parents do better in school and have more confidence in life.
Some of the ways I encourage my children in learning at home are:
*Writing letters– this is a great way to help children with their handwriting skills, I have them write to friends and family. You can also have them write poems or stories to grandparents and relatives, I even have my kids illustrate them. It can be a copied poem (of course giving credit to writer) or one they make up themselves. Pen Pals can be so much fun because they can find kids that are the same age and have similar interests to share letters with. This also helps with grammar and story writing. I know handwriting letters is a lost art but encourage your children to do it anyway. Email, and texting can be fun and easy but they will truly make someones day to get a handwritten note from them. Remember how you felt as a child when you received them.
*Read, Read, and Read some more– Reading books to your children is NOT just for your younger ones. you create wonderful memories when you read great classics to your older children. It creates great conversations and bonding time, some of our fondest memories are reading great books together. My 13 yr old son still recalls so many of the books we have read aloud and it is fun to have those memories with him about all the wonderful characters in the books. It truly helps connect you with your children and you will be amazed at the great conversations that come up. I also like my kids to read some every day, just set a timer for at least 15 minutes (you can certainly do more) but assign some time where your children have to be off the electronics and into a book. If they are still learning to read have them read aloud to you while your doing the dishes or housework so you can help them with their mistakes.
*Weekend Field trips- There are so many places to visit locally such as the zoo, aquarium, museums and much more. We like to take a day trip every six weeks or so where we travel a couple of hours away to see a historic place or museum that is not in our area. These places are so educational and it gives your kids a love of learning when they get to go somewhere fun. Get a travel book from your state on your state’s official website (most are free). We are frugal when it comes to taking trips and I look for the cheap or free places. We have seen factories and working farms and so much more for nothing.
Educational websites & Apps- Great way to bring learning into the house with the new electronic age. They have apps for everything. If you have a child that is struggling with Math or any other subject for that matter., there is an app for it-many are free!
*Music or Art Lessons-.Encourage your kids in their gifts. Enroll them in music or art lessons, have art supplies set out to encourage creativity. The more visual the more they will want to use them (pinterest has some great ideas) If you can have a couple of musical instruments in the home. A piano, guitar or even a recorder or harmonica. Many times you can find these at yard sales or in the paper free to a good home.
Last but not least:
Kids need time to play– there is so much that can be done by just getting dirty in the sandbox, swimming in the pool, using their imagination in their play forts and being with family and friends. Now days every hour is structured for kids and studies show that it hasn’t made a big impact on learning, maybe has even hurt the learning process. Kids need time to be kids, it opens their minds and gives them a love for learning.