From the time that children are first learning to walk and talk there is much that parents can do to further their kid’s education. Even once your child has headed off to nursery or reception class there is still a wealth of activities that can be done in the home environment, and out and about, which will enhance their learning.
These extra-curricular activities can be carried on throughout your child’s formative years to help them get the very best from their education.
As your children move on to secondary school there is more pressure placed on them in terms of exam results, and this can lead to a loss of enthusiasm for learning. This is where parents can help support their kids and show the practical applications of what they are learning in school.
For example, if your child is struggling with learning a new language, such as French or Spanish, it might be worth considering taking your holiday to France or Spain that year. Using a language in the native environment, not only shows its practical application, but allows for much faster learning when the language is spoken every day.
Books and plays can be brought to life by watching a movie or taking your kids to see a performance in the theatre. Once a story is lifted from the page it can often allow for a much deeper understanding of the subject matter and make for a more memorable experience.
If your child is particularly struggling, in one or more subject areas, it can help to immerse them in study full-time for a short period. Learning with peers in a structured environment is particularly helpful when it comes to exam revision. That’s why revision experts Justin Craig have long recommended an intense period of study during the Easter break, just in time for exam season.
Just because your kids have come to the end of their school years it doesn’t mean that they have reached the end of their education. Sometimes young adults feel that they need a break from formal schooling or they want to explore the world of work or take a gap year. However, they often want to study further at some point.
Education is also expensive particularly today when students have to pay for their tuition as well as generate enough money to live on whilst they are at university. If your child doesn’t want to run up large debts on student loans, it might be worth encouraging them to continue their study on a part-time basis. That way they can still work or pursue other activities, but also further their qualifications for their long term career. University Campus St Albans is one college which actively encourages this healthy balance between study and personal life.
Learning through Play
For the under five year olds, play will form a crucial part in their early development. Teaching children to share, fine-tuning motor skills and building a foundation for understanding language, should all happen in the home environment. It is important that children in the early years are read to frequently and that they have access to many types of activity including: crafts, music, games and physical exercise.
For the under elevens parents can foster interests by allowing access to a wide range of new experiences. Encourage children to learn an instrument, take a dance class or to take responsibility for a pet.
In the pre-teen years children are not afraid to show their enthusiasm for learning and they love to visit museums, historic buildings and wildlife parks and zoos. Many tourist attractions have specially designed interactive exhibitions which encourage learning and which can foster a lifelong love of a particular subject. It is only by kids being introduced to a range of new experiences that they come to understand what their interests will be going forward.
In the teenage years, as children become more independent, it is important to ensure that young adults are still provided with guidance and support. It can be helpful for parents to actively encourage their children in developing interests by providing them with access to clubs, sports activities, and cultural events.
Allowing your child space to explore new experiences will help them build confidence in their own decision-making skills and enable them to gain a better understanding of the world around them. There may be times when you don’t agree with what they decide but through dialogue, you can still have an influence on the choices they make.
Finally, learning does not stop in the teenage years. Encourage your child to be proactive about furthering their education and explore options for post-school studies or apprenticeships. With the right advice and guidance, they can have a bright future filled with interesting new experiences.