You pack a light lunch as your five-year-old excitedly puts o her shoes. You are both going to the park today and it is going to be fun!
Because you’re in touch with your child’s lessons in preschool, you know that her teacher has just taught her the names of flowers. You decide to test her knowledge: how many flowers can she identify? To your delight (and hers), she names most of the flowers in the park! It sure is more exciting to see the ‘real thing’ compared to cardboard pictures in preschool.
This is a simple example of how you can make learning fun for your child. You see, besides knowing what she is learning at preschool, it is important to reinforce these lessons at home. This gives your child the opportunity to apply what had been taught earlier in class.
“Is it necessary to reinforce what my child has learned in preschool? Isn’t it enough that she goes to class and pays attention?”
No. Learning does not just happen in the classroom. By asking your child to apply what she was taught, you help her retain more information and understand a subject better. She is also more motivated to pay attention in class, knowing she now has to ‘rehearse’ her lesson later for you.
• Treasure Hunt
Organise a treasure hunt for your child. Each clue has a simple mathematical sum she has to solve in order to get the next clue. Have her solve all the clues and she gets a reward. As for your reward, it’s the thrill that comes from knowing that your child can add and subtract.
• Bring in the PC
Use the PC as a learning tool. Buy some educational computer games or locate educational websites specially designed for kids. The interactive features and colourful animation will capture your child’s attention within minutes. Some good websites to visit are: www.britishcouncil.org/kids.htm, www.fatlion.com/science and www.kids.discovery.com
Some children learn and retain information more effectively as they interact with others. For example, if your child has indicated in class that she wants to be a vet when she grows up, why not introduce her to one? The chance to converse with a real veterinarian gives your child great exposure and is a wonderful learning opportunity.
• The Real Deal
Find out what your child is learning in preschool and make it real for her. If her teacher has just taught her about Malaysian fruits, you can surprise her with fruity snacks or desserts at home. Encourage her to talk to you about each fruit’s texture, shape, colour and taste, and the difference between one fruit and another.