The earliest teaching begins before school or nursery, in your very own home. Here, teacher Lorna Hillman gives her tips and tricks (with some added inspiration too!) so you can help them thrive before formal education.
Parents are a child’s first teachers. Early teaching at home may seem like a daunting prospect but remember, no one knows your child better than you do! Teachers are trained to take over the reins when children reach school age, but often because of large class sizes, their contact time with individual children is limited. It may seem like a big responsibility but there are plenty of simple ways to nurture your child’s mind while enjoying the process too.
The early learning process
Much of what young children learn is by example. They are like little sponges, absorbing from all the stimuli they see around them. Children’s worlds start small, and as they grow, so does their excitement and wonder for the bigger, wider world. They normally learn first by listening, making sounds and beginning to talk. They then follow on with the more formal activities of reading and writing.
Teaching at home
As parents, you are already teaching your child language. Through your interactions, you are teaching them to listen and to talk. As both your own and your child’s confidence grow, it is fostered by affection, security, praise and encouragement.
Teaching and learning at home should be full of happy experiences, with success building on success. If formal lessons are too stressful and daunting, an alternative is to use more creative and playful methods. Remember, emotions play an important part in learning, and fun and laughter foster interest and excitement.
If you need some at-home inspiration, here is a range of suggestions as to how you and your child can both play and learn together – with a little imagination and adventure. Remember, learning doesn’t need to be boring!
Browse other resources for teaching and learning at home here.