How to Facilitate a Positive Learning Environment at Home
Geoffrey Holder’s quote, “Education begins at home,” is a household favorite, and for a good reason.
Recent research shows evidence that the learning environment at home can have a significant impact on children.
Healthy home environments are positively associated with brain development, lifelong personality development and a healthy attitude toward learning.
Here are some aspects to consider while nurturing your child’s learning at home.
Interactions with Parents and Caretakers
How parents interact with their children affects their self-confidence and long-term development.
Giving adequate time and attention to children improves mental and emotional well-being. Having scheduled family time will also evoke a sense of collectivity and develop a healthy family bond.
Another critical step involves talking to a child with love, understanding and patience. Infants who engage in positive early interactions with their parents tend to have better vocabulary and intellectual development.
Developing a Safe & Stimulating Learning Space
The physical environment should appeal to the child - allowing them to have a sensory stimulating experience. Visual stimuli like various toys and hanging artwork in their room allows children to be more appreciative and vigilant of their environment.
Auditory stimulation plays a vital role in brain development by boosting the identification of rhymes and syllables. Moreover, children with musical intelligence will also benefit greatly from this exposure at an early age.
While creating a space for one’s child, one should keep in mind the interests as well as the safety of the child. Baby-proofing the house and keeping sharp and fragile objects out of reach is necessary.
Another important thing to consider is assigning specific spaces for specific activities. Thus, ensuring that children have a more organized and established space for everything. For instance, watching TV in bed will only make the child less likely to fall asleep on time which may create unhealthy sleeping habits.
Encouraging Hobbies and Other Activities
Every child develops differently and in their own time. However, young children between the ages of 6 to 12 years tend to be extremely curious and energetic. Parents should pay attention and listen to their children while actively observing their interests.
Showing interest and making time to do things together increases self-esteem and builds interest in activities. They should also be encouraged to take part in outdoor activities and energetic play with their friends and other children.
Allowing children to explore their hobbies gives them a sense of direction in life. Sometimes, it may even let them decide what they want and their career.
Following a Daily Schedule
Creating a routine makes the environment predictable and creates a feeling of safety and security in the child. Children who have a structured day are more likely to be better behaved.
Having proper sleep and mealtime ensures that the child is physically healthy while instilling a sense of discipline as well. Similarly, having time off all electronic devices and TV will boost mental health in younger children.
Eliminate distractions during study or activity time for older children who are in high school. Teaching them effective methods like Pomodoro will also increase their attention span.
Building Meaningful Experiences and Learning Opportunities
When parents include their children in their daily activities, it allows them to learn. Including toddlers in daily activities like sorting vegetables and folding clothes improves their gross motor skills.
Some parents are unsure about their child making a mess in their kitchen or the bathroom. For such instances, one can always take a different approach and take them on educational trips to museums and libraries.
Encourage your child to give and seek help. A sense of interdependence and learning from each other is an important skill that will benefit your child in professional life later on. Instead of succumbing to low self-esteem and self-criticism at failure, tell your child: “get in touch with experienced people to write a paper for you, and learn from their mentorship.”
Creating a safe and engaging environment for children that facilitates intellectual and brain development is necessary.
The biggest takeaway is that while it is crucial to be there for the child, parents should also let children grow as individuals.