Monday, September 15, 2014

Creating a Learning Environment for Young Children

There are many ways to ensure success when educating your child in your home. One of those ways is to create a learning environment. Children are like sponges, absorbing everything they come in contact with, so create a place that will help them learn naturally. Decide what you want them to learn and then plan accordingly.

When creating a learning environment you can do five things:

1.) Make sure there are materials accessible for learning.
Those materials might include books, blocks, videos, paper and crayons, markers, pencils etc. You might have to monitor use of some of the writing materials with young children lest you have colored walls! If finances are an issue check out the local library for books and go to yard sales to find new toys.

2.) Make everyday activities a learning experience.
When cooking breakfast you might have your child count with you as you crack open the eggs. One egg, two eggs, and so forth. Read the cereal box to your children pointing out letters and spelling some of the words. Buy paper plates with the alphabet on them. Get creative!

3.) As a parent, become an avid learner yourself.One thing we have done in my home is to learn American Sign Language together. I use the video series Signing Time with my children on a daily basis. I have gone on to take further sign language classes online to facilitate my own knowledge, and have even gotten my certification as a Signing Time Instructor. I am so thankful for Signing Time because the videos have been an invaluable resource for our family in developing communication and increasing speech.

4.) Play with your kids.When you as a parent interact with your child, you make connections with them, and that can facilitate your role as educator. I have often heard people say that they have to send their children to school because they will learn better from somebody else and that is just not true. God gave your children to you and told you to train them up (See Proverbs 22:6). You don’t send them to someone else to train them, so it is also possible for you be their teacher for educational purposes.

5.) ModelModel whatever you want your kids to imitate. One good example of something you can model for your children is reading. If you want them to develop a passion for reading, then you read too. Read in front of them. Read to them and with them, everyday.

This list is by no means all-inclusive. There are many more creative ideas you can come up with. I just wanted to encourage you today that you can create a successful learning environment in your home and daily lives. Remember to think of the needs of the whole child, spirit, soul, and body when you are planning. I believe you can become a confident educator of your children and have a successful school from home.

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