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….

  • Music
  • Animals
  • Numbers
  • Letters
  • Colours
  • Cooking
  • Shapes
  • Family
  • Movement
  • The body
  • Easter
  • Christmas

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.

I was really pleased with the way they turned out and they were perfect for what I needed.

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?

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  1. Hubs and I have the same kind of thoughts about learning at home from a young age and our Monkey loves to learn. At 34 mths he recognises numbers up to 100 and has counted to over 40 before. He also knows all his letters and is desperate to learn to read so we are following his lead! Those sacks look great! Xx #pocolo

  2. I love the idea of the learning sacks. What a great idea. I very much agree with you about learning at home. I'm definitely not a pushy parent but it's about finding ways of presenting learning opportunities in a fun way. Also, for me, it's been about finding the ways of learning that work best for each of my children. My eldest, my daughter, loves reading and writing and could read well before she started reception. My son is more of a hands-on learner, so while he knows so much for a three-year-old, he is less into letters and words and more into understanding how things work and “doing” things. No idea which way my baby is going to go yet! #binkylinky

  3. This is a great idea! We do lots of as we go learning in the same way you describe, so counting, shapes, letters etc. I've always been partly led by the kids, but this has worked well so far 🙂 #pocolo

  4. It is very different to see how different children learn. My second eldest wasn't interested in books at 2 and by 4 he was a complete book worm and still is. Thanks for reading!

  5. This is an amazing idea and effort! I was thinking of what I can do to make learning more inspiring for my son and this one is a great way to do just that! #pocolo

  6. That music set looks great! I remember Grace having one of those. I think supporting learning at home is really important – Grace uses reading eggs which is great! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  7. This is great! As a teacher and as a home school parent I think it’s important to have some learning at home. We never stop teaching and guiding them the moment that they start school so anything extra that helps is a great idea. I think these are great and need to invest in some here. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky

  8. What a wonderful idea! How old are your kids?
    I have to say that Arthur struggles if I sit and try to do a “structured”‘activity with him (just turned two last week) but equally if he chooses he will happily play with playdoh creating patterns or play with cups/blocks making towers for half hour! We always do story time before nap and bed time usually around 20 mins a time, sometimes more!
    Like you we count EVERYTHING haha! I’m sure I do it when Arthur isn’t even there haha! #picknmix

    1. The youngest is nearly 10 months, then we have a just turned 2 year old, a 7 year old and an 8 year old. 20-30 minutes slots work well for us as that is about the concentration span of the babes 🙂

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