Most parents wake up on a week day and are faced with the grueling task of having to try whatever means possible to wake their child, be it with a wet flannel or literally dragging them out of bed by their ankles as they desperately claw to their Disney bed sheets. Getting through this can be tough, however the knowledge that a teacher will be responsible for trying to educate your stubborn child’s curiosity proves to be a soothing coping strategy. What if you don’t have this? What if you are your child’s teacher and have opted to home school them? How do you provide a good education, whilst managing to keep their attention span and provide interesting topics and resources to learn from?
Hands On Learning
What better way to learn about ‘elephantness’ than seeing an elephant in the flesh, be it dry, grey and wrinkly. That’s right, grab your passports, pack up your child in a suitcase and hop on the next plane to Africa. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by Simba, Timon, Pumbaa and finally Rafiki, who will then hit you with his loyal stick for being so silly. Of course we understand that you’re working from a budget and so aren’t expecting you to rinse your bank balance, all in the name of education and an easy Lion King reference!
Cue the educational resource called a Zoo. Here your child can engage with real-life animals, as opposed to sitting in front of a television and developing square eyes. Enabling a strong connection between the educational resource and your child’s interest is important, as this will strengthen the learning bond elicited. Not only does this help your child to learn, it also gives them motivation to see other things and to travel to other places. In the words of Ghandi, “you must be the change that you want to see in the world.” Immersing your child in activities which keep true to this mantra will help underpin their later personality; moulding them into a curiously motivated adult who has an abundance of ambition in life.
Not only does witnessing the ways of animal life in person help to engage a child, it also aids their learning across many disciplines. What can begin as a Geography lesson, can turn into a Science lesson and even a History lesson. As your child’s teacher, this provides you with a number of ways to approach their learning whilst ensuring they receive accurate and interesting facts. Showing your child how one topic can interlink between various subject areas will illustrate a greater relevance to every-day life, enabling your child to see the importance of doing well academically across the board.
(Originally written for Dinker & Giggles)