It is often said that parents are a child's first and best educators. The truth is that one of the many facets of parenting is as an educator, and this is a task that should not be taken lightly. Knowing how to best educate the young children in your life can be challenging but also extremely rewarding.
Read Every Day
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics reiterates the importance of reading to all children, even very young infants, in the acquisition of early language and literacy skills. Even before a child can comprehend language, they can learn to appreciate language. As they get older, looking at books and reading helps teach a plethora of skills, such as colors, counting, comprehension, and phonics skills. Reading aloud with your children is arguably the most important thing you can do to help educate your young child and develop a love of reading from a very young age.
Find a Hobby
Helping your young child discover a hobby they enjoy can be fun and educational. Nearly any hobby opens up opportunities to teach new skills. For example, baking encourages math skills such as counting and measuring, reading skills, and following directions. Gardening teaches science and math skills as well as encourages physical activity. Arts and crafts time encourages creativity. If you think about it, most activities provide an opportunity to teach if you are watching.
Take a Field Trip
Trips to local zoos, farms, museums, and aquariums are full of fun and educational adventures. Field trips do not have to be full day excursions. Sometimes something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood watching for birds and collecting worms can be a wonderful educational experience. A trip to your local library for story time or a playground are also fun field trip ideas. Socialization is important for the development of young minds.
Take Advantage of Apps and Curriculums
In this technological age, there are a vast number of extremely helpful apps and curriculums available for a reasonable cost. These are very beneficial when you feel your child is ready for a more organized and intentional approach to education. Some programs focus on one or two skills and some, offer an all-inclusive program that can be delivered right to your door.
Sing and Play with your Child
Children respond to music and often putting important information to a catchy tune will help young children become excited about learning. Even little ones can start singing basic nursery songs that help teach colors, letters, numbers, and cause and effect. Learning does not always have to be structured. Simply taking time to interact and play with your child is one of the best ways to educate them.
Education of young children should be fluid and fun. If an activity becomes boring, the child will likely not learn very well. Pay attention to your child's desires and interests. Always keep your eyes open for fun and interesting opportunities to teach your young child new things and keep them engaged. Help your little one embrace the wonder of the world around them!