Your child's learning is essential to success as an adult and in the business world. We must make sure our children are learning every day. This is not only important during school time, but also necessary during playtime and during normal every day activities. As a veteran mom, I have seen what incorporating learning into your child's daily life can do.
Go through the motions step by step. If you do not emphasize to your child what is going on while running through the normal daily motions, they will become just that, motions without reason. Your child needs to not only learn the hows of doing things, but learn the whys as well. Explain these things in a way your child will understand. For instance, there is no need to go into extreme details with a toddler. But an older child will want to know more information.
One way to make things easier for your child to pick up on is by playing mini games. You could turn a house cleaning into a trivia time, asking the child/ren related questions. Maybe you're doing dishes. Ask your child, "How come we have to wash the dishes with soap instead of just rinsing them with hot water?" The child may answer, "because soap gets them clean". Your response could be: "That's right because if we don't use soap, nasty germs can spread and cause infections. Yuck! We better make sure we always use soap and rinse it off really well so we don't have to taste the soap. Ewwww." So, you can see how easy that was. The child learns how to correctly do dishes, but also learns why it is important. When children know why something is important, they are more likely to complete the task than if you just tell them to do it "because you said so". This also gives them knowledge they can use in their adult lives.
Add extra bits of information to conversations with your child. Your child might be playing with her dolls and a question pops into her mind. She says, "Mommy, how come some people have dark skin and some people have light skin? Instead of saying a quick response like "That's just the way God made us", try saying something like this: "Well, honey, there's different weather in different parts of the world. Some people are around the sun more, so they get darker from something called melatonin that comes from the sun. We are all the same on the inside though, because that's the way God wants us. Wouldn't the world be boring if we all looked the same? How weird would that be? How would we tell each other apart, then?" A response like this not only teaches your child to respect everyone, but also teaches your child about melatonin and makes her think about why there are so many different colors of people, rather than just dismissing it, as the first response causes.
Make sure that none of your child's questions go unanswered or short-answered. Yes, sometimes we can inadvertently ignore our child's questions when we are tired, but we have to remember that their little minds have to be constantly fed. Ignoring their questions or telling them "not right now" can not only hamper their chance for finding that answer they're seeking, but it can discourage them from asking further questions. Not having the desire to question things can adversely affect your child's learning process.
Draw on what your child is learning in school. Take extra time after homework to go over what your child has learned. Research your child's topics further. If your child has been learning about frogs, go to a pet shop and have the pet shop owner tell your child all about them. Look up frogs online. Maybe your zoo or museum has a frog display. Buy a frog book. Play leapfrog. Just be creative and come up with ways to make the lesson "sticky" in your child's mind.
With these things in mind, be prepared to take your child to a whole new exciting level of learning and life. Don't be limited to just my ideas. Come up with your own as well. Have fun and happy learning!
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network