Daily conversations is an important key to how children learn from parents. Young children are especially curious and it’s important we foster children’s love for learning on a daily basis. In order to nurture children’s curiosity and wonder, it’s important to be aware when a teachable moment presents itself. Parents can easily teach their children building on what they already know.
Making connections for children especially at a preschool age is so important. As the National Association for the Education of Young Childrenexplains, “Learners of any age—and especially young children—understand and remember new things that relate to the experiences, knowledge, and skills they already have. A new thread of learning stays with the child when it is part of a fabric, not an isolated strand. ” Building on children’s prior knowledge through everyday moments may seem like extra work at first. In time, teaching your child becomes a different way of thinking and makes daily activities more fun and rewarding for everyone.
Examples of How Children Learn From Parents On the Go!
Helping our children’s minds grow is easy. A good example of this is when my son and I were in the car on our way to Butterfly World. On our way, we passed a landfill. I pointed out the giant mountain of garbage to my son. I explained that when our trash is picked up from our house it is brought to a landfill. Like many children, E is always fascinated by the big truck collecting our trash. Yet, we’ve never talked about where our trash goes once it’s picked up. I saw this as an opportunity to add onto what he already knows about garbage and what happens to it. I explained, everyones garbage is taken to the landfill, including our neighbors trash and even the supermarket’s trash. He added,”Uncle Dave and Aunt Hayley’s trash goes to the landfill too”. Trash picked up from our house and what happens to it, is a topic I was able to build upon as my son and I were in the car.
On the same car ride we discussed what opposites were. As we were driving I made a wrong turn and I told him I needed to go the opposite way. He asked, “what’s opposite mean?” I knew this was my chance to have another brain building moment! I told him that opposites means different. He asked what’s the opposite of a wrong turn? I explained a correct turn. I was teaching him what he was curious about. We further talked about opposites. I gave him some examples such as, What’s the opposite of up? He responded down. He then took turns quizzing me on opposites he thought of. It’s important to take turns talking with your child. We do a lot of driving to and from different places with our children. Lets make car ride another place children love to learn.
Good Parenting Practices Takes Some Training at First
If your child isn’t asking questions like these, don’t be discouraged. Children are naturally curious. At first you may need to prompt your child with questions such as:
Did you know…?
What do you think will happen if…?
Why/how do you think…?
Do you know what ____ means?
Once you practice expanding on your child’s interests and their prior knowledge they begin to ask more questions. Parents are given the opportunity to teach their children about the world around them. It’s really a win win! I just love hearing E’s endless hunger for knowledge! It gives us a chance to talk about meaningful topics and allows him to learn about the world we live in. Practicing brain building keeps daily activities interesting and will be quite helpful during his school days ahead!
I’m delighted when my son and I are sitting at dinner or over a snack and he insists. “Mom let’s have conversation!” Seeing him come up with his own questions during everyday moments are also exciting. He’ll ask questions such as:
What does ____ mean?
Is that a lot or a little?
Can we see how much that weighs?
What’s going to happen if I do _____?
How Children Learn From Parents on a Daily Basis- Making Daily Interactions Meaningful
Teaching children is often thought of as a teachers job. Yet, parents play an equal or more important role in teaching our children. Here are some great ways you can teach your child! Everyday moments such as shopping at the grocery store, baking cupcakes, or walking the dog are all ways we can embrace our child’s curiosity and teach our children. As you shop at the grocery store, you can talk about the ingredients you plan on using for a recipe or discuss the different foods in each sub-department. While baking cupcakes, you can discuss measurements or practice counting. Walking your dog or just going for a walk outside is another great time to have discussions about different insects or modes of transportation. Vroom, a team of scientists, parents and educators, created excellent videos such as this one,
As Vroomexplains, ” When you talk back and fourth with your kids, it’s not just their eyes that light up, it’s their brains too. Teaching your kids to ask questions and be curious is a great way to help them love to learn.” Good parenting practices are easy! While spending time with your child each day, make every moment meaningful to foster children’s love for learning. It’s not what you do with your children, but how you do it!
Children love to learn and grow and parents have the opportunity to turn daily moments into teachable moments! When do you discuss meaningful topics with your child? I’d love to hear when you find moments in your busy day to teach your children!