How do you get a kid who won’t sit still for five minutes to sit down and learn reading, writing, math, science, and social studies?
Teaching your young elementary kids can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for smooth and easy days.
Learn Through Play
Relax, and have fun. When kids are young, they learn through play. Color, paint, cut paper, make a blanket fort. Get some bright colored letters and shapes, and go over them with your child. Make it a game.
Spend hours in the out-of-doors. Play in the garden, asking them to describe how the grass feels and looks. Talk to your children about God’s creation and show them how to sit and observe nature. Find out what they like and why.
Introduce them to fine art. Listen to different music. Sing lots of songs with them, not only kid’s Bible and folk songs but also hymns and worship songs. Show them beautiful art from museum’s around the world. If time allows, visit a child-friendly art museum.
Read them many, many stories. Great picture books are those that have wonderful language and beautiful illustrations. They are books that you don’t mind reading over and over.
Habits are a part of our everyday lives, whether they are good habits or bad. Use these young years to teach your kids the art of good habits. When they play with a toy, teach them to put it back in its home when they are done. Teach them to brush their teeth every night. Trash goes in the trash bin. Dishes go in the sink or dish washer. Teach them to speak kindly to adults and to their siblings. Establishing good habits is a key to early learning.
Don’t worry about tests or grading. Testing is a process for public educators to evaluate how their school receives money. It is not an evaluation of how much your child knows but of how much they do not know. Instead teach your kids to narrate and use their narrations as an indicator of how well they pay attention.
Don’t worry about grade level. It is common for students to work at many levels other than their actual grade level.
Don’t worry if they’re learning enough. Children are always learning. The world is your classroom.
Don’t worry about making mistakes and messing up your kids. Your child does not need to be reading books by himself by five, six, or even seven. Teach them how to learn, and they will learn for themselves.
Don’t worry about what everyone else’s kids are doing. Resist the temptation to compare your child or children to other kids. God has made each of us different, and we all learn at a different pace. Parents, you have what it takes to teach your children. No one else has your child’s best interest at heart as much as you do.
If something doesn’t seem to be working, change it. This is the beauty of home education and your children at this age. You can adapt it to your specific child’s needs and interests. If they are into dinosaurs, use dinosaur toys to learn to count. Read them Dinosaur books. If they are into butterflies, read to them about butterflies, make a butterfly craft, visit a butterfly garden. The possibilities are endless, and no one knows your child like you.
Lastly, do not force them into an 8 hour school day. Did you know that children entering kindergarten should be able to concentrate for at least 15 minutes? Children will learn more when you sit with them, play with them, read with them and, most importantly, BE with them.
You can homeschool.