If you’re a student with kids of your own, you’ve already done the most important thing in your own child’s education: you had kids. A key factor in producing a lifelong-learning critical-thinking problem-solver is a parent with enough youth and vigor for the activities that go with nurturing those attributes.
The activities suggested in this article are commonplace in families (of all ages) who’ve managed to nurture exceptionally bright and successful offspring.
You’re busy! So, you need to focus on high-yield learning strategies and activities that’ll engage your child’s natural curiosity and nurture their nascent critical-thinking and problem-solving. Here are some things to consider:
Transform everyday routine excursions into educational experiences. For example, while grocery shopping, your child can:
- estimate weight of produce before weighing (you can even make a fun contest of it);
- analyze prices to compare or evaluate deals;
- sort the groceries by storage area at home;
- make cultural connections;
- read signs and make predictions about what can be found where (more category fun);
- have a scavenger hunt (with pre-prepared clues, if you find a bit of time beforehand!)
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box or do a little bit of online research. There are elegant ways to transform the mundane into the extraordinary to better educate your child. Always keep in mind that sometimes, nothing teaches better than NOT teaching.
Take stock of what’s eating up most of your time and re-prioritize accordingly. Evaluate, and, if possible, bin anything you can’t transform into a teachable moment. Don’t forget that the mental health of her parent is a lynchpin to your child’s educational well-being also. You don’t necessarily need to rubbish everything that makes you happy (that doesn’t involve your family). Consider taking 2 hours per week, at least, to focus on an activity that rejuvenates you. Your family will thank you and your child will thrive.
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Better Know Your Pedagogy
A good deal of study and specific pedagogical knowledge goes into training a school teacher these days. The more you know about the science of learning, the better equipped you’ll be to enrich your child’s learning at home. Here’s a list of key insights from the world of pedagogical science:
Metacognition – metacognition is meditating on your learning in order to hone and better control it. It is often called “learning how to learn”. Application of this concept in modern education systems has led to skyrocketing test scores and greater innovative thinking across the board. Check out some examples for how to apply this in your child’s learning here.
Foreign language – We now know that everyone can learn another language. Old thinking says that the brain can only be filled so much and that learning additional languages can confuse a child. This is nonsense. Teach your child additional languages by exposing her to media or arranging for friends from another language group.
The inquiry is key – Learning starts with curiosity. Traditionally, in science class, we read about a chemical effect, and then had a test about it. Only after the rote study did we try an experiment to demonstrate the knowledge. Experts now know the reverse process is much more rewarding and educational.
Generate curiosity by starting with the experiment, then inquiring as to why the effect happened. For all experiences, ask your child “why did that happen?” and train them effectively to track the right explanations down.
Use a reliable search engine to track down all there is to know in the world of pedagogical research. There’s a lot more good information out there, and no reason why you can’t apply it and be on the cutting edge of educational science with your child!
You need not abandon your own studies to enrich your child’s education. You simply need to be flexible and apply your own ingenuity and research acumen to make powerful experiences for your kid(s).