We all want our children to be inspired and successful learners. In these days of uncertainty, the importance of learning at home has never been greater.  This blog will be in two parts, and in each part, we will examine five tips to assist you in helping your child(ren) become curious and conscientious thinkers and learners in order to boost their academic achievement.

  1. Read, Read, Read – Reading opens the world of ideas: Read to your child(ren) and have your child(ren) read to you. Discuss what you read.  Talk about the things you read that make you think, wonder, and even worry. Take turns reading. Ask questions. Little kids love to be read to and even older kids enjoy a good read and discussion. Show your child(ren) how important reading is to you and your family. Create a family reading time. Children who learn to love to read, develop a richer vocabulary, process new concepts more efficiently and effectively, and develop a genuine love for learning.
  2. Encourage your children to express their ideas and feelings: The importance of listening to what your children think cannot be overstated. If you show interest in what your children say, they then realize that their ideas have value in your eyes.  Question them.  Ask them why they think the way they do. Have them talk about what they are learning and why it is important.  Encourage them to express their likes, their dislikes, their excitement, their achievements, and their fears and concerns. Ask them what they wonder about. See if you can show them how to find the information that they seek. Encourage curiosity.
  3. Discuss new things that you learn: Show your children that you are excited about learning new things and how important that is. Talk about what sources you use to find new information, and just how that new information is useful to you in making decisions and becoming more successful in what you are trying to achieve. Share your enthusiasm for learning.
  4. Make learning fun through games:  Play learning games with your children. Most kids love games, and there are many games that increase thinking and learning ability. Board games like Scrabble, Boggle, Read My List, Apples to Apples, and Pictionary lead to increased vocabulary and discussion. Games like Monopoly, Connect Four, Sumoku (crossword style game with numbers), Zeus on the Loose (card game to add numbers to climb up a mountain),, Mathable, and City of Zombies help kids hone math skills in fun ways. Kids often try harder at games than they do on school assignments. Games are more engaging. There is also a competitive aspect, that is exciting and makes them want to win on their own behalf or as part of a team.
  5. Make learning fun through home activities:  Everyday activities like cooking and food shopping, and more occasional activities like building and fixing things can help kids learn how to follow directions and improve math skills such as fractions and can demonstrate how being careful can improve outcomes.  Doing these types of activities together also helps family members feel valued and shows kids the practical benefits of learning.

Encourage continual learning at home. This will help your children become lifelong thinkers and learners.