As school break is coming, or as your child refuses anything formally educational, you can teach them by using 9 Ways for Kids to Learn Without Formal Lessons. You don’t have to open textbooks and workbooks for your child to have an educational experience. The children tend to be more relax and absorb more knowledge when taught casually, as a part of playtime.
9 Ways for Kids to Learn Without Formal Lessons
- Read. This sounds simple. Read to your child and make your child read. However, what you read matters as much as how much you read. Read good quality classical fiction, encyclopedias, biographies, historical fiction, books and magazines on scientific concepts. Make what you read educational. A lot of my friends are vey happy when their child reads anything. It’s good to be happy, yet the quality of reading material that feeds your child’s brain matters immensely, so choose carefully.
- Count everything. Use any situation to practice math. With toddlers, count objects. With preschoolers, add and subtract the number of objects they see. With older kids, work on harder concepts, such as quickly adding price tags at the supermarket or dividing the price of pizza by the amount of people eating it. The key is to do math all the time, so that math becomes a part of a child’s life, not just some boring subject.
- When you child asks a question, do not answer it immediately. Instead, encourage the child to do his/her own research on the subject and then tell you more about that subject later. If the child asks about the speed of a particular animal, he or she can go online or to the library to read up on that particular animal in order to learn more.
- Use nature as school. Kids are usually fascinated by plants and animals. Use these situations to research the names of the plants and the animals, their habitats and habits. If your preschooler asks you why is there fog over the lake, briefly explain the water cycle. It is never to early to introduce a concept to a child. What matters, however, is how playfully and lightly is the concept first introduced.
- Use art to learn. If your child brings you a drawing of a dog, encourage the child to research the looks of an anatomically correct dog in order to perfect the drawing. They can search the encyclopedia for photos. They may learn about all kinds of breeds of dogs this way. If you are looking at art, talk about the historical era that art was created in. This way you can cover history, too.
- Use sensory experiences. When a child jumps in the puddle, he learns about the wet soil, the drops of water, the smell of mold and all kinds of other things. Do not deprive your children of the sensory experiences of childhood because you hate doing laundry.
- Estimate everything. Ask the kids to estimate the distance to any object they see or are going to travel to. Then, if possible, measure the distance to see how correctly did they guess. You can do this game in inches or in meters: it’s great for math.
- Ask thought-provoking questions all the time. If you see a waterfall, ask the kids where do they think it flows from and why. If you see a flower, ask what kind of flower is it and what kind of soil does it grow in ( the kids may need to research to answer you, but it’s great that they do, as it teaches them to think and question.)
- Find everything on the map. From the town your aunt lives in, to the city a famous battle took place in a few hundred years ago, find it all on the map or the globe for the child to have keen awareness of the world they live in.