Whether your children are in regular school or are being homeschooled, here are a few suggestions on how you can incorporate learning into their everyday routine:
1. Read, read, read.
a. Set aside a specific time every day to read aloud to your child. The single most important thing that you could ever do to instil a love of learning in your kids is to read to them.
Even as early as the infancy stage, children can learn to appreciate the beauty of the written word, and pick up the skills they need for language and speech development. Your baby or toddler will be soothed by the sound of your voice, and books with interesting pictures will keep her entertained for good chunks of time.
b. For little ones in the preschool stage, spend time every day reading aloud and teaching your child the basics of phonics by introducing beginning letter sounds at every opportunity you can get. For example: When reading together, say “We’re going to read a book now. Book. Book begins with the letter sound “buh”. “Buh, buh, Book.” You can also do this during other parts of your child’s daily routine – eating, bathing, playing, bedtime routine, etc.
c. If your child already knows how to read, encourage him to spend time every day reading books that he chooses himself. If possible, set up a mini-library or a book corner in your child’s bedroom, if he has a separate room. If not, you can do so in your bedroom, living room or anywhere else your child spends time in. The key is to make the books accessible to little fingers, and to avoid accidents by making the bookcase or container child-safe.
Personally, I love reading aloud to our 4-year old and 1 year-old. It is always a special, sacred time for us (though sometimes I am a bit too impatient when our preschooler insists on reading “just 2 more books, please?!” during our bedtime routine, when all I want is to doze off, or get started on my writing!).
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Click here to read more ways of teaching your preschooler at home.