This topic is a tricky one for me, because I’m a trained teacher.
There is a really important line in my opinion between being a Mum and being my Child’s Teacher … and I’m constantly having that battle with myself. My husband, on the other hand, dives right in there with no problems and does a lot of ‘teaching’ of maths, life, stuff …. simply because he comes from a different background and doesn’t think about it.
But there is definitely stuff that I do subconsciously to help my children learn:
- There is a Times-table chart on the back of the toilet door.
- I talk about my kids day, and ask them questions about what they’ve done, learnt, concentrated on – being able to ‘recall’ information is a great teachable moment, and important for their written and oral language.
- I talk to them about what is coming up the next day, or next week – being able to foresee problems, challenges or opportunities is a great skill to help develop in your kids.
- Dice games, board games, card games … any sort of fun activities that accidentally include numbers and maths is a great thing to help encourage – Monopoly is a favourite in our house at the moment.
- Lego – sorting, categorising, building – all fantastic maths skills that help children identify numbers, and sequences.
- Reading – in the evening, playing is off the menu in our house – if the kids want to stay up after teatime, then it is quiet reading. I did go through a stage 2 years ago, where my son decided to not be interested in reading at all, and so I read a chapter a night to my kids of the first Harry Potter book – it was listen or sleep, but the kids quickly became engrossed. I was not going to read the next books however, and so my son was suddenly way more interested in books and reading. The other trick I use with reluctant readers is to only let them watch the movie of a book, or series of books, if they have read the book first.
What do you do that is helping your children learn? I’d love to hear about it.