Not all learning takes place in the classroom. Home is the perfect place to begin a child’s education, whether the young pupils are attending school already or will be in the near future. Education this early, however, can be tricky: How can parents adjust to satisfy the needs of a younger mind? We’ve gathered tips from local childhood education experts to help make learning activities effective and fun.
Teach children without them knowing they’re learning.
Making a game out of a lesson is a great way for kids to engage in an activity while learning at the same time. Ken Wright, owner of Mathnasium in Plymouth, recommends toy clocks for an introduction to numbers. He also suggests “playing store” to help a child learn money concepts and basic arithmetic.
Make the lessons manipulative.
This translates to physical objects that stand in place of a rule or concept. Lisa Amic of Plymouth’s Goddard School uses object substitution, a creative way to make the learning process more kid-friendly. “One classroom was discussing the word ‘habitat,’ and the children used tree blocks and built their own habitat,” she says.
Keep it short.
“You need to be ready to change the game a bit every few minutes,” says Wright, who offers a good rule of thumb: “A child will stay interested in doing one thing for about as many minutes as they are old; three minutes for a 3-year-old, four for a 4-year-old, and so on.”