Some might think that to focus too much on educational attainment from a young age is to prioritize the wrong thing, regarding your child. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that helping them gather the skills for learning early is going to make it easier for them to keep up with the curve as time goes on, as well. As such, here are some ways that you might want to offer a head-start for your child.
Ease them into the habit of answering questions
Answering questions might not seem like much of a skill, but the truth is that it’s more vital to learn to make it a skill your child has mastered than you might think. A lot of children begin their school lives without really knowing how to answer questions, even if they are simple ones. It’s simply not a habit that they have picked up, even to the point that they have trouble describing simple thoughts. As such, get into the habit of asking them questions at home, including the basic questions that rely on information recall (such as questions about what sounds animals make) and questions of “why” and “how” things are the way that they are.
Get them into literacy at an early age
Literacy is the most important skill that there is to learning. There are few doubts about this, as reading becomes the bedrock of studying from a very early age. You can get started on helping your child become more literate, whatever age or stage they are at, through emergent literacy: what it is and why it’s important. Focusing on literary activities with your child at home, such as reading aloud with them, letting them read alongside you or even for you, and taking your time to go over words, concepts, and sounds can help a great deal. Another way to help their emergent literacy is to talk with them about stories and words that they have heard even beyond the reading.
Get them using a pencil early
If your child has reached four years of age, then you should be teaching them how to properly hold a pencil. If they’re still using the first grip, it’s going to slow them down when it comes to learning writing skills, as well as in keeping up in mathematics classes. There are plenty of ways to improve your child’s fine motor skills, but an important thing is to practice writing at home and to do it alongside them. Practice truly does make perfect and it will require patience as well as positive reinforcement and encouragement from you. Writing on the lines and drawing circles are good ways to help them master the right pencil grip.
Ensure they can focus
Aside from the early academic skills that you can build, helping your child develop the mindset for learning and the characteristics that will help them do well in a classroom environment can be important, as well. For instance, one of the most important abilities they need to bring with them is the ability to focus in school. To that end, you should look at the ways you can improve their focus and, perhaps more important, reduce impediments to their focus. This can include using to-do lists to get them used to concentrate their efforts, as well as getting rid of distractions like television when they are doing any homework or workbook activities at home.
Tolerating failure and difficulty
Most schools today tend to start off without really giving children too much in the way of difficulty to learn to tolerate. However, it is undoubtedly true that they are going to come up against challenges and the prospect of failure sooner rather than later. Children that are not used to hearing anything other than how great they are can be met with the harsh reality that they are not yet able to do everything well. To that end, it’s important to teach your child that it’s okay to have trouble and to share their difficulties. Especially nowadays, the concept of children falling behind needs to be done away with, as we need to get more used to the fact that children are learning at different rates and in different ways. As such, you should make sure that you are always ready and willing to listen to them so that they are more likely to you about this.
The above tips are not going to guarantee that your child is the top star pupil of every class that they are in. All children learn differently and, more importantly, they need to keep up with the habits of learning as they get older as well. But this can offer the start that they might need.