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Children may not have to officially start education until primary school, but it can pay to give them a headstart. Getting your kids used to being taught can make school less of a shock to the system and it can increase their willingness to want to learn. You don’t have to teach your kids anything complex – basics like counting and the alphabet might be all they can absorb before the age of five. Here are a few ways to start educating your kids before they reach school
Start reading with your kids early
Teaching your kids to read before they reach school can be hugely beneficial. Start by reading to your kids – you can do this when they’re a newborn and whilst they won’t understand a word of it, it will help to ingrain a love of books into them. Kids that haven’t been exposed to books might not see the point of reading when they reach primary school, so exposure is important. There are different books for different ages. Once your child reaches the age of three you can start pointing at pictures and words and getting them to relate to them. There are lots of books that are also great for learning the alphabet. Eventually, your children will start to identify words and letters. Make sure that you’re asking questions and pointing to words in order to prompt them.
Teach them to write their name
You can also start teaching your kid to write before they reach school. You should start by teaching them to write their name – this is the most important word that anyone can write. Write it repeatedly and get them to copy it. You can start with one letter and gradually build upon over time. In conjunction with reading the alphabet, you can also encourage your child to start writing out letters. Patience is key – reading skills develop before writing skills in most cases.
Enroll them in a preschool
Teaching your kids yourself can be a great bonding experience, but not every parent has the time to do this thoroughly. Enrolling your child in a preschool could be a great way of helping them to learn early. There are lots of preschools out there such as Abacus Schools that are different to nurseries in that the staff will make an effort to teach children as well as monitor them playing. Any preschool or nursery can also be beneficial for getting kids used to being away from home and socializing with other children.
Buy educational toys
Every child can benefit from having educational toys. There are toys that encourage children to match up words with animals, helping to teach them to read. There are counting toys that may encourage you to press a button a certain number of times. There are even musical toys that play notes and can help to develop musicianship skills in children. Sites like Fat Brain Toys have an array of these kinds of toys to choose from. Age indicators can help you to pick toys suitable for your child’s age.Image Source
Try completing puzzles
Puzzles are excellent for developing an ability to problem solve. Jigsaw puzzles also help kids to identify patterns – skills that are all needed when learning. On top of this, jigsaw puzzles can have educational themes such as letters, numbers or a map of the world. On top of jigsaw puzzles, there are a number of 3D puzzles out there that can help to build practical skills.
Use educational music, video games, and TV shows
There are many educational mediums to help further teach your kids. Sites like Songs For Teaching have a number of songs to download that can help to teach your kids aspects such as the alphabet and numbers in a fun and catchy way. There are also lots of CDs out there that you can buy. Encouraging them to sing along to educational kids songs might help to ingrain certain facts into their brain whether it’s singing the alphabet or teaching counting.
Educational video games meanwhile can get kids interactively involved – you can find many educational game apps to download onto your phone. In this digital age, it’s becoming more important for kids to get familiar with technology and so it makes sense to incorporate into learning (most kids are learning to use computers now from the first year of primary school). Make sure that video games aren’t too complex for your kids’ age level.
Various kids TV shows can also be great for teaching aspects such as reading and numeracy. Flick through the channels to see what you can find or buy some DVDs. Streaming services such as Netflix even have kids categories with educational shows for young children.
Children may initially not have the patience to learn. It’s important to instill a desire to learn – this can be done by offering children a reward for letting you teach them. If your child doesn’t want to sit down a read a book, tell them that they will be rewarded by the chance to play afterward. You can use incentives such as sweets too, but remember that kids won’t have this incentive when they do attend school. All in all, try to make teaching your kids fun. If you treat it as a chore, your children will likely feel your negative vibes and will be less inclined to want to learn.