Starting Your Child's Education Before They Start School
Check out these great ideas for enhancing your child’s education outside of the classroom.
1. Make Reading Time Fun
Books help children understand the world around them. Author Dorothy Rich suggests that parents encourage lifelong reading with fun activities. For example, ask your children to act out a story they just read. Rich also recommends posting a world map near your favorite reading spot to help kids locate a story’s setting.
Plus, try setting a daily reading time — perhaps at bedtime or immediately after dinner. Keep reference books, dictionaries and almanacs close by to answer any questions. Ask your children to talk about the story’s beginning, middle and end. Help children develop their inner critic by asking what they liked and disliked. To make reading a habit, schedule library trips on the same day each week.
2. Think Outside of the Museum
Field trips are great kid’s activities that give your children the opportunity to touch, hold, see, taste and live what they are learning from books. Beyond the typical children’s museum, try visiting a living-history museum, or find a historical reenactment taking place in your area. You could take a trip to an animal farm, a planetarium, a sporting event or a factory that gives tours.
3. Grow With Music
Some studies have found that learning to play a musical instrument helps the brain work more efficiently in processing language. Beyond scheduling music lessons, which often are available through local art and recreation centers, try to fit songs and music into your daily routine. Sing whenever the mood hits you. Help your children feel the rhythm by dancing, clapping and swaying with songs.
4. Play to Your Child’s Interests
According to author Joe Renzulli, it is important to look at each of your children individually. "First, identify your child’s interests, and then look for activities that offer high engagement," says Renzulli. "There are thousands of websites out there that promote a hands-on environment. For example, a child interested in ancient history can dissect a virtual mummy or even build a virtual pyramid."