Make your shared memories with them fun and joyful
This I know for sure: parents love their children and will do anything within their power to make sure that their children have the best start in life. So when their child starts school, the child would already be equipped with knowledge and enthusiasm, and be eager to learn and excel in school and life.
So what do you think would be the best way to equip your child?
Children are born learners; from birth, they are ready to learn about the world. For babies, they learn about their crying, and making sounds, and for toddlers, they explore and feel things when they have the opportunity.
There is no one fixed way of guiding your child. Some parents choose to send their young children off to coaching, which can be a great way to start guiding them with learning. Some parents employ a private tutor to coach their young children from the comfort of their home, while some parents may choose to guide their children themselves at home.
Whatever your decision, the ultimate aim of the activities is to ensure that when your children step foot in to school, they are happy, confident, motivated, healthy, eager to learn and know how to get along well with his or her peers.
How do you ensure that?
In order for your child to become an eager learner and to be happy and thriving at school, your child needs to develop some useful skills during his or her developmental stage. These are skills such as how to get along with people, how to think, how to handle emotions and feelings, i.e. self control, how to listen to instructions, to be self-motivated and confident, be able to handle writing and language skills etc.
Good social and language skills will ensure your child thrives and is happy at school. From what I have observed and experienced with my own children, and I am sure many parents will agree, it is about your child’s social skills, emotional competencies, cognitive, language and physical skills that are more important when determining school readiness, and not about learning maths or science (that will come later). .
So how can you develop the above skills?
I am sharing three fun ways to instill the joy of learning in your child:
Through daily interactions
Much research has shown that one of the most effective ways to instill the love of learning is through daily interactions and shared experiences with the people that they trust and love. For this reason I am an advocate that learning should start from home.
Children learn best when interacting with people they trust and love, and home is where it feels safe and loving. When you child feels safe, emotionally secure and happy in a home filled with unconditional love and respect, this will lead them to developing his or her confidence to explore, invent and investigate.
Your support and encouragement are crucial in their learning. It is fine to “tell” your child what to do; however, if you are involved and are there to support your child, they will learn faster. For example, when you hold their hands when guiding them how to write, your child will be able to internalise those strategies and apply them the next time.
Make the shared experiences joyful and fun.
Make it FUN!
For a child (as well as an adult) Play = FUN, and FUN comes about through play and laughter. Children remember how they FEEL about a situation or experience, and not so much about what you tell them or teach them. If they feel relaxed and are having fun, they will continue and enjoy the play, which indirectly means … they are LEARNING.
Through fun and play, they learn to interact, laugh, create, explore and have fun together. Fun also helps them to relax their mind and body, while absorbing new information through the experiences of interacting, exploring, listening and watching you.
Also, when something is fun, they would want to do it again and again, and one of many ways to learn is through repetition. As they repeat a similar task for a few times, it helps them to build mastery and, indirectly, their confidence and self esteem.
Allow your child to learn at their own pace.
Children are born resilient with high optimism. They do not understand fear, success or failure. If you see a baby learning to crawl or stand up, they will fall, get up and try again and again and again.
No two children will be alike or capable of achieving exactly the same thing, not even identical twins. When guiding your child, do take into account your own family background, cultural and social aspects. Consider the relationships with your child and people around him or her, his or her health and other aspects and challenges in the home front, but most of all, be attune to his or her character and how your child learns.
Every child is unique, they have different characters and different ways of learning and interpreting things, thus they will learn at a different pace as well as differently in all areas of development, i.e. whether you have a child who is more visual or more verbal or more physical.
When you appreciate how your child learns through their own distinctive ways, there will be less of a power struggle and more connections and empowering.
Connecting with your child and instilling the love of learning does not need to be hard, time consuming or expensive, but requires tones of patience and creativity. All children LOVE to interact with adults, and all they need is for the adults to interact with them, be supportive, and most of all, be interested in what they have to share.
Establishing and building relationships and learning, go hand in hand.
Have a fun and connected day with your family!