What do we mean by teaching children at home?
Most parents put considerable effort into selecting the right school for their children, and frequently make sacrifices to save enough money to send their children to a good college, because there is little doubt that giving a child a good education is one of the best ways of ensuring a successful career and a secure and happy adult life. In many cases however this focus on school and college leads to parents neglecting another extremely important element of a child’s education – teaching children at home.
Daily family life presents parents with dozens of opportunities to teach their children things that they will find both interesting and helpful as the grow up and, in spite of the fact that in many households both parents are busy working people, it’s surprising just how easy it is to make time for your children if you organize your daily schedule.
Teaching children at home doesn’t mean sitting them down in a formal ‘school-like’ setting but merely means thinking about day to day activities and using these to provide your teaching materials. Teaching children at home doesn’t need to be boring either and both parents and children can have a great deal of fun and learn at the same time.
One secret lies in thinking about what you’re doing and how your children could benefit your activity. How many times have you hurried home from work to get in ahead of your kids from school and then sat them in front of the television while you prepared supper? What’s going through your mind? You’ve had a long and stressful day and all you want to do is sit down and relax but first you’ve got to feed the kids, so you tuck them out of the way so that you can get on quickly, feed them and then at last relax yourself.
Thousands of parents do this same thing every day and everybody misses out as a result. How about trying to do things slightly differently?
First of all, start by getting the kids to help you to prepare supper instead of sitting glued to the television. Sending your kids out into the world knowing how to boil an egg and not a lot else isn’t going to help them much, but giving them an interest in cooking will provide them with a very useful life skill.
Next, it gives both you and the kids a chance to talk – something which is sadly missing in all too many households today. Providing an opportunity for your kids to share their successes and failures at school, listening to what’s on their minds and allowing them to ask you about your own experiences and seek your advice is invaluable for both parent and kids. In addition, you’ll be amazed at how many problems you can avoid simply by knowing what your kids are doing, what they’re thinking about and how they’re feeling.
Finally, it’s a super way to relax! Relaxation after a long day’s work doesn’t mean lying down on the couch for an hour or two, it merely means giving yourself a change of scene. Putting your day at work behind you and enjoying your kids is one of the best ways to unwind after a long and stressful day at work.
There are hundreds of examples of things that we do each day at home that can be turned into valuable teaching lessons, helping our children to develop and mature and allowing everybody to have fun at the same time.
Education is not, and should not be, just for the educators and there is very considerable value for everybody concerned in teaching children at home.