Preschool: Teaching Your Child with Everyday LifeWritten by esldave on January 12th, 2011
Children love to learn, and they learn best when parents take an active role in their education. The first response to this from many parents is that they do not have the time to sit down and teach their child math or reading. Many state that this is why they send their children into the school system. Teachers know best how to educate the children they teach.
There are many ways to teach children, and not all of them require a parent to sit down and have a structured plan. In every activity that a parent does with a child, there is room to add in an educational element. Here are just a few great ideas:
When swimming in a pool, have the entire family count before anyone jumps in. For younger children, try counting all the way to 10. For older children, introduce a new language. Counting to 10 in Spanish or Japanese is just as much fun and the child will learn the numbers quickly. Exposure to the sounds of another language will make it easier for a child to learn that language later in life.
Driving provides a wonderful opportunity for learning and fun. Use the time to play rhyming games and word games with the kids. For younger children, stick with words that are easy to rhyme: fun and sun; bug and rug. Older children can be challenged to make rhyming poems or haikus. Or keep a book of poetry in the car and have your child read out loud. Exposure to poetry teaches children the beauty of language and reading aloud will strengthen their reading skills. Discuss the poems after each reading to be sure that the child understood what they read. This will increase reading comprehension, a skill that every child will need during school years.
Another great driving activity is to make up math problems. Problems can be as simple as 1 + 2, or can be structured as word problems (Mom has 3 apples and ate 1). For older children, keep paper and pencil in the car for them to work on harder problems. To keep the game fun, allow your child to make up problems for you too. By taking turns and trying to stump each other, it creates a game atmosphere.
On long drives with older children, be sure to play informative talk-radio programs. When the program ends, ask your child what they thought about the broadcast. Ask for their opinions and feelings. Engage them in conversation and get their brains working. They must learn that it isn’t enough to just listen to a broadcast, but to actually think about the material presented, digest it, and form opinions.
Learning should be fun. Parents can use everyday activities to teach, and do it under the guise of entertainment. Children need to be shown that learning is fun, and that it is a process that never ends.
Deanna Mascle shares tips and strategies for Preschool Education and Preschool Learning with her free preschool education newsletter at http://preschoolerslearnmore.com