So…I have always felt that learning begins at home.
My parents were superb at reading to me as a small child and I entered primary school being able to already read. No doubt this was as a result of all the input from them and also my grandparents.
As teachers themselves, I recall them saying things like, they could tell which children in their class got support and encouragement at home with learning and which ones did not.
My children seem to have an enormous amount of homework (or home learning as it is referred to and sometimes, like all parents I get caught out because I don’t happen to have the required number of empty loo rolls on that specific day).
As much as this type of home learning or homework from school is important and I fully support it. That is not strictly what I think about when I think about how learning begins at home.
From the moment your children are born their learning journey begins and they are sponges of life and all it encompasses.
Every moment of every day is a potential learning opportunity.
I have never spoken what I would describe as baby language to my children, I talk to them as if if they understand everything. Even as babies, I point out things like the sun, rain, cows or tractors and anything else because in my view that is how their learning develops.
I count things constantly, walking up stairs for example 1,2,3,4 and so on. Do you want the red bowl or the blue bowl? and so on and so on – every moment is a learning opportunity to be explored. We cook together and they get their hands messy – they are learning about texture, temperature, food and developing motor skills. The list goes on.
I have recently developed some learning sacks for my two youngest children to engage them at home in a range of learning opportunities – there will be more about that on the blog soon.
Now, the older children obviously have homework and reading books and book reviews to write and they take part in a range of after school activities. I feel it is important for them to have some relaxation time because they are so busy but they are still learning even when they relax.
They may be doing internet research, which we will discuss and they will ask questions. They might watch a movie and pick up bits of Spanish or French and then practice afterwards. They like to play board games which helps their maths.They love to listen to story CDs which develops their love of reading and books and expands not only their imaginations but their vocabulary as well. They also love to cook, which has endless learning opportunities and they love to help with the babies which also helps them to develop in numerous ways.
The older children have a passion for both history and science in equal measure. Neither were particular passions of mine so I love the fact these topics excite them so much. They love to chat with elderly relatives about “the olden days” and ask questions so they can expand their knowledge.
When it comes to science however it is wild and wacky experiments all the way and for that I normally turn to a range of different kits to help me out. There are loads of great science kits available at Great Gizmos and there are a range of ages catered for. We really love the Static Science kit which is £13.95.
These kits are great to have in for the school holidays or a rainy weekend day and are also a great way of encouraging children to work together.
This kit is exciting and will wow not only your children but probably yourself as well. There are so many things I learn from these experiments. These are a great way of teaching children about the world around them.
Priced really well I think and only requiring normal household items these are superb! We are already looking at what our next experiment might be! Although I am actually quite taken by all the interesting dinosaur items on Great Gizmos as we all find them quite fascinating.
How do you help your children to learn?