Lifelong Learners

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Children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun. As a public school teacher, I know that raising children who love to learn doesn’t happen by accident. Many families do all that we can to foster and nurture learning in the earliest years of a child’s life, as well we should. But when our children begin spending their days in the classroom, we aren’t off the hook! Continuing to build a home where learning is nurtured and valued is one of the best ways we can equip our children for life after graduation.

Here are some practical ways to support learning at home:

READ, READ, READ- Study after study confirms that homes that create a culture devoted to literacy are the homes from which the most academically successful students come forth. Look for books that might excite your child to want to learn more. Reading a book is the springboard for all kinds of enrichment possibilities: math, science, social studies, art.

EXPLORE EDUCATIONAL APPROACHES-If you’ve never done so before, take some time to explore different approaches to education. Children learn in a variety of ways –There are three main cognitive learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. The beauty of a learning-rich home is that parents can supplement their child’s learning in a way that meets their specific educational needs!

PROVIDE BALANCE TO AND SUPPLEMENT FOR CLASSROOM CURRICULUM-Ask your child what he would have like to know more about and explore those topics together! A trip to a natural science museum. A particularly fascinating work of literature might encourage a little digging to discover what popular culture was like at the time that piece was written. A unit on the color red could initiate a neighborhood scavenger hunt for all things red. Listening and responding to a child’s interests helps further instill the idea that learning is fun and is never, ever limited to a classroom.

COLLECT HOME LEARNING MATERIALS-Homes where learning is emphasized contain tools that encourage education. Build a home library. Invest in a diverse music collection. Display prints of famous artworks next to framed pieces of your child’s own art. Play board games that encourage critical thinking. Fill blank spaces with good words and clever thoughts signs that make everyone in the family stop and think. The number of ways to fill your home with the stuff of learning is limited only by your imagination, and you will never be disappointed by the returns on these investments!

Truly, the best way we can instill in our children the importance of learning for the sake of learning is to be life-long learners ourselves. As you go about your days spent with children at home, model for them the joy and fulfillment that comes from learning new things all the time.

 I know first-hand the temptation in thinking that school is where my children learn and home is where we play. The truth is, a playful approach to learning all the time is one of the very best ways we can equip our children for lifelong success.

What schooling choices have you made for your children, and how do you create an environment for learning at home?

 

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Help Your Child Start the Year Right

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Happy New Year!

Do you feel like you are always rushing? Is there a lot of yelling going on at your house? Take the opportunity of a new year to rethink your family’s activities and make some a resolutions for starting start the school year off on a positive note.

Listen without fixing.

During the new year, resolve to listen to your child’s story about something that happened in school without immediately “fixing” the problem, interrupting or teaching a constructive lesson. Concentrate on listening first and then later on, when you and your child are both calmer, give advice or guidance and keep it short, very short!

Make a habit of finding time to talk and listen.

Pay attention to the times of day your child is most naturally open, whether it be during after-school snack, while watching TV, at bath or bed time, and protect those times as very special. In the new year, get in the habit of talking and listening for just a few minutes a day.

Try not to overextend.

Make an effort to limit activities for your kids, especially younger kids – one or two activities are enough, especially for parents with more than one child. Otherwise, it causes stress all around.

Use driving time to play some educational games.

Whether driving to school, an after-school activity or to a friend’s house, you can make the ride fun by playing some games and exercising their brains. Try “I Spy,” a game that is great for developing descriptive vocabulary, particularly for young children. You play by describing an object that you see out of the window and ask your child to “spy” or spot it.
Another game to try is Geography, where you say a state, country or city. Your child then has to figure out the last letter of the word and say a new location using that last letter. For example: You say Florida and now it is his turn and he has to say a new location that begins with “a” like Alaska.

Schedule time to relax.

Too many things on your family “to do” list? Consider adding one more to your list this year: relaxation! Schedule a family Saturday night at the movies at home. Consider renting a classic family movie such as “Wizard of Oz,” “National Velvet” or films of more recent vintage such as “E.T.” or “Shrek.” Make popcorn, curl up on the couch and turn off the computer, cell phone and video games.

Enjoy!

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Exciting News: Shipping Soon…

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We are getting orders ready for December’s launch box. This is so exciting! Thank you to everyone who already subscribed.
Don’t worry you still have time! 10 days to be exact – USE COUPON CODE: LEARNWUS2015 to save 15% with free shipping

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Launch Box

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