Educating Your Child at Home
There are many ways to help prepare your young one for the inevitability of attending school. Setting a foundation now can help them better acclimate to the atmosphere of learning that public school will have. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher. The things you do to help them prepare now, will assist them in dealing with their first academic teacher.
Three main areas need our attention; reading, teaching, and technology. When a parent uses these means to train their child, they will be better prepared for day one of Kindergarten.
Reading is the gateway to the mind. When we read, or in a child’s case read to, our brains are active in ways we cannot comprehend. The mind takes the words that are read and creates mental pictures for us to see the story. The theater screen of the mind produces people and places for the reader, or listener, to experience. This imagination is inherent in every child. You can see it in how they play. Reading takes this ability and uses it to create an adventure.
The more we read to our children, the more they will learn to use their imagination in the education process. This can help them when they start school. Being able to access the part of the mind that influences imagination will help them be able to absorb what their teacher is doing. Not only for story time but for starting out learning to communicate and write. Imagination allows them to learn through seeing rather than telling.
Teaching exists on many different levels. Reading, Writing, and Behavior to name a few. While a child most likely will not be reading in Kindergarten, there are some fundamentals you can help lay down. You can begin by teaching your child about the alphabet and how letters form words, perhaps even some short sight words.
You could also begin to show them how to write letters, start by teaching them to write their name. It would be a good idea to try and find some teaching material for this, as the way you may teach them could differ from the way the school curriculum will teach them. This could confuse some kids as they will learn to do something one way then have to relearn when the teacher begins to show them a different way.
Behavior is important. Knowing how to act when others around can mean the difference between a well-behaved student and one that will receive a call from the teacher. When your child is exposed to group settings and has dealt with being around other children they have an understanding of what is expected. A little bit of discipline when a child acts out of line in these settings goes a long way, but that is a whole other discussion. Safe to say a child needs to be taught that there is a time to play, and there will be a time to sit and listen quietly. Respect for the teacher is paramount.
Nowadays, more and more schools are using computers as a means of teaching. Whether it be completing lessons, or having free time for educational games, children are expected to have the ability to use technology. You can begin by teaching your child the basics of using a computer. Teach them how to use a mouse and click onto the icons to open up programs.
Even rudimentary skills of how a keyboard works is beneficial. You don’t have to teach them to type, but if they are learning how letters work, as we discussed earlier, then seeing them on the keyboard will give them a head start when they do learn to type.
EReaders are popular tools as well. These are beneficial in that you can have a virtual library at your child’s fingertips. When you are on the road, an eReader can keep a child occupied with a good book or educational game. Not only is your child learning through reading they are learning how to use technology, this can help them as they get ready for school should their teachers use such devices for teaching.
Right now, there are many kids in their first year of school; there is an equal amount who are anticipating next year to begin their educational journey. You can begin preparation today. Give your child a head start, strengthen what they are already learning, and help them prepare for what lies ahead. Your teacher will thank you, your child will eventually thank you, and you will thank yourself as you see your child excel.
I live in a small town in South Central Texas with my wife Carolyn and our four children. We attend the local First Baptist Church where we have been serving for 8 years. I drive a truck in the transportation industry and I pursue my writing career in my spare time. I have a passion for writing, and I plan to use my voice to glorify God.
In addition to my freelance work, I have a series of Children’s books that will begin to be released starting in June of 2018. I also have written a novel that is currently being edited. I look forward to sharing it sometime in 2019.