With everything going on in the world currently, many parents are finding themselves trying to homeschool their children and keep up with their lessons. While it may be easier to teach your toddlers a few things while stuck at home than it is to teach a teenager about chemistry, we wanted to give you some fun and simple tips!
At Growing Kids Learning Centers, we offer child care programs that help young kids learn and grow. Our programs include everything from infant care to preschool and after-school care. We know that young kids, starting at infancy, are observing and learning on a daily basis. While our staff can help your child learn and develop the skills they need at each stage in their early lives, there are ways you can help them learn as well!
In this blog, we are going to give you some ideas for how to teach your child at home and help them continue to learn during this strange time!
Read to Them
No matter how young your child is, reading to your child can help them develop language skills. In a previous blog, we talked about the benefits of reading to your kids. Not only does it give you something to do together, but it can improve their literacy skills, promote a longer attention span, stimulate imagination, expose them to language, and more. Reading to your child is extremely beneficial and can help them develop a variety of new skills.
Try to read to your child every day, even if it is right before bedtime. As they begin to learn to read, you can also have them read to you to help develop their language skills even more.
Make Them Read
This time we aren’t talking about books. To help your child continue working on their language skills and begin to realize that everything has a name and words are everywhere, have them read everything. When you walk down the street, have them read street signs. Have them read the back of the cereal box. Any time you see a word that they know or can sound out, have them read it.
This is a great way to help them connect items to their names and find meaning in different words. They will also be able to begin to understand that language is a regular part of everyday life.
If your child cannot quite read yet, you can have them point out letters that they recognize and tell you what sound it makes. Just because your kiddo has not started to read, it does not mean that they can’t benefit from this as well!
Another way to help them with their language skills is to label the items in your home. Think of a preschool classroom — many teachers have the items throughout the classroom labeled so that children can begin to read those words and understand that these words are connected to the object.
Label the lamp, clock, closet, doors, windows, oven, bookshelf, toy box, chairs, couches, and anything else in your home. While your house might look silly for a while, with everything labeled, it can help your child learn. They will be able to go around the house reading each label and understanding exactly what that word is.
Make Them Count
Just like making them read random words you see throughout your day, you should also make them count! When you see a group of anything — could be ducks, flowers, chocolate chips, or toys — ask them to count how many they see. This can help them learn their numbers and begin to count to higher numbers.
This can also help them realize that even though the ducks may be walking around, there are still only five. Children may try to count a duck twice because it walks somewhere else in the group. Help them learn that just because they moved to different spots doesn’t mean there are suddenly more! As your child begins to feel more confident with their counting skills, they will start counting things that they see in groups, even without your prompting them.
Do Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are not only fun and a great way to keep your kiddos entertained, but they can also be beneficial for your little ones. Arts and crafts require fine motor skills, which is something that children develop at a young age. Fine motor skills include the ability to mold playdough, draw with a pencil, paint with a paintbrush, and other tasks that involve small hand movements. Doing crafts with your kids allows them to develop these skills and have fun doing it!
Crafts are also beneficial for children because this activity allows them to be creative. Creativity is something you should always encourage in your children. It can help boost their imagination, improve problem-solving skills, and boosts confidence. Giving your child a creative outlet can be very beneficial for their development and growth and crafting is a great way to do that!
Playing games with your child can teach them a variety of different things. While there are number and letter games that help them with, well, numbers and letters, other games can be extremely beneficial as well. Playing matching games can help them with a variety of things. These types of games can improve concentration, increase short term memory, boost attention to detail, help to notice similarities in objects, and so much more. Matching games are a great way to help your child learn and develop new skills.
As your child gets a little older, start playing board games with them. Board games can help your child learn to follow directions, take turns, and teaches them about sportsmanship. Games are fun to play with your kiddos, but they can also be very beneficial for their growth and development.
Explore the Outdoors
Learning doesn’t also have to be about numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. Learning can be about experiences and exploring. Go explore the great outdoors with your child. Whether you head into your back yard or walk a nearby trail. Ask your child what they see, what they notice, what sounds they hear, what smells they smell. Make them notice their senses. Get up close to trees to examine the bark. Lay in the grass to see a ladybug crawling up a blade of grass.
Getting outside and allowing your child to explore nature and follow their interests is a great way to help them learn about the world around them.
Kids ask a lot of questions and while it can be annoying at times, this is how they learn and it is important to answer their questions. When your child reaches the why phase, giving them answers can help them understand how things work and what is going on in the world around them. They will be able to learn when you answer these questions.
If they ask a question that you do not know the answer to, learn it together! Search the internet for the answer and talk about it with your child. You may learn something new yourself as well!
There are many ways to help your child learn at home, and they don’t have to be as time-consuming and difficult as sitting down and trying to teach them an actual lesson. Simply add these mini “lessons” into your regular daily routine and help your child learn, grow, and develop while at home. When life goes back to normal, be sure to check out Growing Kids Learning Centers. We have locations in South Bend, Elkhart, Valparaiso, Goshen, Chesterton, Plymouth, and Warsaw! This makes it easy for you to find a location near you. Contact us with any questions you may have and start working with your child at home!