Little high flyer – stimulating your eager to learn child when school is all about play
The first year of school is often very play based and for a lot of children this is exactly what they need. It can take many children a while to adjust to a new way of life, so the pressure is kept off as they ease into the school routine and get used to their peers.
For some children however, just playing during their school day does not meet all their needs and they are ready and eager to learn. Responding to this eagerness in your child does not make you a pushy parent, it makes you receptive. There are so many ways you can support them and it can be a lot of fun.
Liase with school
One of the most important steps in supporting your little learner is to liaise with school. Explaining your situation and asking for guidance on resources can be really helpful. It is also worth making sure you are not clashing with school on the topics and areas you are exploring at home. The last thing you want to be doing is repeating what they will be doing.
On the other hand, you don’t want to teach something important like reading and maths in a way that is different to school or your child will get confused. In my experience, school will happily point you in the direction of their reading and maths programmes so you follow the same principles.
If you follow the exact pathway that will eventually be taught at school your child will be ahead by miles and bored and disassociated from their lessons. This can impact on their attention in class, enjoyment of school and their relationship with their peers.
You can however encourage learning through varied, creative mediums such as science experiments, music lessons, board games, nature studies, art, and languages, rather than simply copying the school process. It can be messy, fun and full of laughter and there is freedom to spend as long on something as your child wishes.
Often the very best learning, the most productive learning, is child-led.
Start with your child
Home learning can enable you to explore what your child is most interested in. If they like rainbows you could explore the rainbow from a science perspective and they could perhaps try and make one! They could paint it lots of times and discover a bit of Pop Art along the way. You could even teach them to spell the colours. Maybe they could write a story based around a rainbow?
The potential to stimulate a child’s inquisitive mind is huge and can be such a pleasure for all of you. Be unafraid of embracing learning with your child if that’s what they crave, fostering a love of study at a young age may help them tremendously in the future.