Empower the love of learning in your children through daily interactions
One of the many reasons people migrate to a new country is to search for better lifestyles and education for their children.
Today, I want to discuss a few things about education.
You see, I grew up with the mentality that education was paramount; education is the key to a better and stable life for the future generations. Parents will sacrifice things to enable their children to have quality education.
Parents feel the pressure of making sure their children will have a head start in school, so by doing so, they send their preschoolers to private coaching (if funds permitted) etc., and this places a lot of unnecessary pressure on many young parents.
I was one of the many stressed and anxious parents, who constantly worried whether I had done enough for my children, did I let my children down…
NOW when I look back, and through the experiences of observing my children’s’ education as a 3rd party rather than a participant, I have a total different view education. I firmly believe that education should start at home. Home life will set their foundation for their lifelong learning, because I believe that education is learning about life, and about what's happening every day around us.
Looking back, when I was in the classrooms memorising times tables, learning about plus, minus, multiplications etc., it was like rote learning. Yes, they were and are important concepts that everyone needs to understand and be good at, as you need them every day. You need these basic skills for basic survival needs.
However, what I really want you to think about is: instead of sending your young children to structured coaching at an early age, you can involve them in your daily activities, as they will be learning valuable skills way more that what they can learn in the classroom.
Involve your children in your daily activities, such as getting them to help you with planning the dinner menu, involving them in writing up your shopping list, helping you to search through the shopping isles for the things you need, making a shopping trip on public transport etc.
WHY are these activities important?
Because everything children learn has to make sense to them, and then they can apply it to their daily lives. They need to be able to sense, feel and observe the outcome of their application. That's how they will learn to associate the new knowledge and the outcome of the application.
For example, you tell your young preschooler to get you three green apples, you guide them to the apple-section and point to the green apples, encourage them to put three apples in the bag for you and count out 1…2…3. From this action, they will learn about counting 1,2 and 3 and also the colour green. However, when she physically touches the apples, she will learn about the texture of the object, i.e. apple, it is smooth and hard.
You see what I mean? Your child will be learning without even realising it, because she is having fun interacting with you. By involving them, they are having FUN at the same time.
The best education you can impart to your children is something that makes sense and they can see and apply it, rather than something they learn in the classroom and don't know what to do with the new concept that they are learning.
Research has shown that providing an enriched learning environment may enhance a young child's brain development and learning capabilities, especially during the formative years of ages up to 6. The enriched learning environment does not need to be furnished with expensive toys or electronic gadgets; all it needs is to have stimulating objects and someone to interact with daily.
So when you involve them while imparting the knowledge, your children are enjoying your company, having fun with you, and that is how children learn. They learn through FUN and directly participating in what you are doing. They are not only consolidating all the interactions and skills, you are both building relationships together as well.
Make shopping a weekly opportunity for you to not only build relationships with your children but an opportunity to empower them through fun interactions.
I will discuss more in the coming weeks about involving your children in your kitchen while you are preparing your meals and involving then in your grocery shopping trips.
Have fun with your children.