I have been learning a lot of new stuff lately, ever since my son joined primary one and began the ‘serious’ homework.
While I am slightly taken aback by the level of ‘difficulty’ that children these days have to contend with, I am also resolute to do the needful and offer all the support needed. Despite the fact that I have to google for some of the answers, I am enjoying the fact that I am part of my children’s learning journey. This is especially so in an environment where demands on the child are so great.
However, I am also appreciative of the need to compliment the school work with other activities that are critical for a child’s balanced learning. For instance, more and more parents are investing resources, time and finances to ensure that their children are part of extra-curricular activities that are equally important for a child’s growth and nurturing.
I have just begun taking my sons to play football every Saturday and I am encouraged by the number of parents who are making enormous sacrifice to bring on board this aspect of learning that is currently lacking in our schools. Extracurricular activities can take a different dimension considering the age and interest of the children. If you are struggling right now to find some ways to complement learning for a little while, here are some ideas:
Writing letters. This is a great way to help children with their handwriting skills. I have them write to friends and family. You can also have them write poems or stories to grandparents and relatives. I even have my children illustrate them.
Read, read and read some more. Reading books to your children is not just for your younger ones. You create wonderful memories when you read great classics to your older children. It creates great conversations and bonding time. Some of our fondest memories are reading great books together.
Field trips. There are so many places to visit locally, such as the zoo, national parks, museums and much more. I have taken my children to the zoo countless times, but each time it is a new experience and it gives them the love for learning when they get to go somewhere for fun.
Educational websites and Apps. This is a great way to bring learning into the house with the new electronic age. They have apps for everything from multiplication tables to phonics. Some special-needs children learn best this way!
Last, but not least, children need time to play. There is so much that can be done by just getting dirty in the sandbox, swimming in the pool, using their imagination in their play forts and being with family and friends.
Several studies show that education that focuses on mere studies has not made a big impact on learning, and maybe has even hurt the learning process. Children need time to be children it opens their minds and gives them the love for learning.
Remember, you want to raise children who are balanced and have a g value system more than a high grade point average. Many times we say that, but our actions prove differently.
Source : The Observer