Learning begins at home: Part three
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 or pipe cleaners on a 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? Look at that sheep and that green tractor 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 in a range of learning opportunities at home . I really feel that as busy as life is, I should be setting aside specific time with them to focus on a range of things.
I have developed several learning sacks around a range of topics. So far these have included; all about….
- The body
I purchased the sacks from ebay you can find the exact product link here – I just asked the the Christmas theme to be removed and for the slogans above to be printed on the cotton drawstring bags instead.
Using the themed cotton sacks I gathered items from around the house. Various books, plastic animals, shapes etc. So far the only extra things I have purchased are the bags themselves. We have a range of cds we use as well such as Justin Fletcher: Just Party and Hands Up and Baby Boom Boom which has songs in English and French.
We also have cooking sessions as well. I haven’t developed a bag for these sessions, we just cook or bake depending on what I have in that day. I use a Little Helper Fun Pod so the children are safe and can reach everything. This really is fantastic and we use it everyday.
We try to do two sessions per day which is about right at the moment for concentration levels and we keep each session to around 30 mins.
We have been doing these sessions for about three weeks now and I am starting to see the differences. Theo is starting to learn the animal actions and sounds and some of the songs and we have also mastered the colour blue. His favourite song is row row row the boat which he will now ask for and he knows all the actions.Noah joins in all of the sessions so hopefully that will benefit him in the long run as well.I am hoping to find some laminated flash cards to add to the learning sacs and I also want to develop a bathtime sensory play bag as well.How do you support your children to learn?