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Ten tips to help your child learn
At the back of the mind of many new parents, as well as the health of their offspring, is whether they’ll be the proud parents of a clever child.
While the argument rages on about nature and nurture, that is whether a child is inherently clever or can be taught to be clever, what isn’t up for debate is that learning starts as soon as the child is born.
As parents you can help stimulate the learning experience for your young child, and by young we mean under of 7. The Jesuit saying, give me a child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man’, has a strong ring of truth. Below are 10 tips that you use that will give your child the head start at school, and in life in general, with respect to their education.
- Reading and writing. Ask your child to read out road signs when you walk or drive and get them to call them out, make this exercise into a quiz. Who can find the most road signs on a journey?
- When you’re on holiday get your child to help write the postcards. Ask them what they’d like to say to their friends and relatives back home
- Get your child to read for a few minutes each day, perhaps at bed time read them a story but get them to read along with you. Why not bring the story to life and act out some of the characters?
- Sharpen your child’s mental arithmetic abilities while shopping. Get them to read out prices and to get the sense that a high number equates to high costs and low numbers to low cost.Let them add the cost of a few items in the shopping basket. Just make sure they see it as a fun activity and not some kind of test.
- If your child likes sports such as football or motor sports, use the opportunity to teach them about keeping scores and league tables such as who is at the top and who is at the bottom
- Use everyday items to teach your child about elementary geometry. Ask them to name shapes, what’s a square, what’s a circle, what’s a rectangle?
- Your child can learn geography by putting together a simple jigsaw puzzle of the world. Or, you can show them where they live on a map and explain how a map is just a small picture of where you live and the places around you . Show them the relative positions of places on the map they are familiar with, their school, grandparents address (if in the same town or city) and where you go shopping.
- Spend a few pounds or dollars and buy a basic science kit where they can perform simple experiments and write down the results. You don’t even need to spend any money, you can simply walk into your garden or nearest park to observe the variety of plants and insects.
- A science experiment you easily perform using what we have easy access to is water. Ask your child to observe the properties of water under different conditions such as boiling it becomes steam, freezing it turns to ice, condensing changes it to steam and then water again.
- A great and fun task which can also help in a practical way is to get your child to match pairs of socks, not only are they recognising patterns but they’ll also help you with the laundry.
The above tips involves little or no expense and are fun ways to give your child the headstart at school in what is turning into a very challenging environment.