Recently children all across the country woke up early, got dressed in their new clothes, ate a quick breakfast and headed out the door for the first day of the new school year. There was an evident excitement, and no doubt some apprehension, as they walked into that new class and sat in a new seat on that first day of school. Some were excited to see their friends. Other were excited to have moved up another grade. Probably one or two were excited about being back in the class, after a boring summer off, ready to learn something.
Now, I admit, when I was in elementary school, middle school and even high school I wasn’t the best student. I normally made the principle’s list, but not in the good sort of way. There were classes that I did very well in – reading, art, history, study hall – and there were classes that I didn’t do so well in – math, math, math and oh yeah, Spanish. (I remember one six weeks where a note was written on the back of my report card giving my actual grade along with an explanation that if that grade were to have been given there was no way I would pass the class for the year. From what I could tell she REALLY wanted me to pass and move on.) In spite of my poor grades in some classes I somehow managed to graduate with honors. (Guardian angel at work?)
Once I graduated from high school and got into college I did apply myself more, did better academically and got to the point where I not only cared about, but actually came to see the value in education. I even learned to enjoy learning.
But now that I’m a father I want to make sure that my children do better that I did academically. I also want to help them develop a lifelong love for learning. I’m already thinking about how to instill in them the love that I have for books and reading. I want them to learn to appreciate fine art and music. I want them to be able to think critically and logically. I want them to see education not just as a necessity but as a privilege – and be thankful for it.
So, let me give you some ways that I think can help you to help your children not only get the most out of their education, but actually develop a love for learning.
1. Be positive when you talk about school.
2. Read to and with your children.
3. Take your children to the library.
4. Turn the TV off.
5. Use good grammar.
6. Get to know your child’s teacher.
7. Talk about current events.
8. Invite interesting people to your home.
9. Travel with your children.
10. Discuss report cards and test results.
11. Get outdoors and go exploring with your children.
12. Pick toys that are fun and educational.
13. Provide proper nutrition.
14. Make sure they get plenty of rest.
15. Play games and work puzzles together.
16. Praise their progress.
17. Find ways to strengthen your child’s memory.
18. Create an environment for conversation.
19. Subscribe to magazines and book clubs.
20. Be your child’s biggest fan.
These are just a few thoughts on how to help your children move to the head of the class. I hope it helps and encourages you to encourage them to become life-long learners.
What other suggestions or ideas do you have on how to help your children develop a life-long love for learning?