As I was reading this article Gifted children-Steve Jobs advice from parenting.com several points resonated and I wanted to “put them 0ut there” as “simple” actions parents can take to increase the learning of our children.
As parents we all want our children to be successful, some even more than that… wanting their children to be the BEST! So we have our kids in all kinds of extra lessons from grade 1, second languages in kindergarten, (which I think is a great asset and improves their overall learning) etc. Getting 90 on the GSAT isn’t good enough anymore, children getting 95 may not get a spot at the school they want to go to. I get it… we want to give our children every opportunity to be successful, however, their success in life is much more than their scholastic aptitude. Learning is more than what is covered in school or in textbooks. While all those activities are important, here are some thoughts, that we can incorporate into our everyday interactions with our children. They can help develop an authentic appetite for learning and build children who are resilient problem solvers not afraid to question the status quo.
1) Talk to your children– Talk about everything, current events, school, friends, goals, thoughts on a situation, solutions to problems etc. Ask them lots of open-ended questions so they have to explain their thoughts and make their points. Use challenging words with them. Don’t “dumb down” your conversations. Expose them to words or phrases and help them to use the context of the conversation to deduce the meaning. A great time for talking is on the car ride to and from school. If you are working on something, explain what you’re doing, show them your steps, engage them in your activities.
2) Read to and with your children– Anyone who follows us here, knows we are strong proponents of reading. Reading to and with your children. Reading exposes children to the great wild world. They can travel the world through books. Let your children see you reading, share your stories with each other. Reading is the foundation for all learning. My 8 yr old, is an avid reader. He amazes us daily with new facts and hearing him make a point or talk with other 8 yr olds, you can certainly hear a difference in his logic, reasoning and vocabulary.
3) Encourage their curiosity-Encourage the questions! I know this one can be a little tiring at times, but I just love to see children ask adults/authority figures questions-respectfully of course. This was never encouraged when I was growing up, basically children were “not to speak until they were spoken to”. Even in school, you just sat in class while the teacher taught, and you weren’t really encouraged to ask questions or challenge the thoughts or ideas presented. Children’s ideas really weren’t valued or respected. We should also engage them, ask them questions about their interests and allow them to express themselves.
4) Teachable moments-Utilize daily occurrences as life lessons. A simple trip to the grocery store can be scaled across a wide age range. Identifying fruits and vegetables, counting out amounts of an item, writing grocery lists, comparing prices or nutritional content. There are many other opportunities as teachable moments; Banking , trip to the market, etc.
Overall, as an involved parent you can help your children develop an enthusiasm for learning and become the truest form of themselves.
From Steve Jobs: Love what you do, think different, get it right!
Photo attribution: ankakay
How do you interact with your children to foster and encourage their love for learning? Leave a comment and let’s continue the conversation.