Thursday, September 19, 2013

Anything Can Turn Into A Teaching Moment

A simple walk to the park, playing in the garden, or driving to the store...all of these tasks can be learning experiences. Whether you are homeschooling or enrolling your children into school, these early learning experiences can have a huge impact on your child's development.
If you are walking to the park you can talk about the blue of the sky or the green of the grass, you can even pick up pine cones and talk about the different types of trees. You can count steps together or talk about any animals that you may see.  Then you have your more obvious teaching opportunities like looking both ways before crossing the street and "stranger danger".  When you are driving somewhere, you can talk about stop signs or traffic lights, you can even turn counting cars into a game.
We take weekly trips to the local zoo to learn about the different types of animals and their habitats. Buying a membership covers us for the whole year with unlimited visits and discounts to almost everything else at the zoo. We usually plan to renew in March because that's tax time and we know that we will have the money to do so.

My favorite teaching opportunities are those at the supermarket. Teaching about the different kinds of fruit, vegetables. This too can be turned into a counting game or even a color game.

 We have even called our local Fire Department and set up a tour free of cost. I mean, what a great way to learn about emergency vehicles?!? And if you don't mind spending a few dollars, hands on museums are also a great learning tool.

 Most toddlers learn quite a lot by observing their surroundings, so support them by letting them explore and by encouraging questions. If children feel coerced or pressured into learnings, are punished and belittled for failures or are confronted with formal learning situations prematurely, they’ll start to dread learning instead of loving this process.
So disguise learning as fun as you will be amazed at how much your child will learn!


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