Looking for a way to improve your children’s learning in literacy, numeracy, social skills, enjoyment of each other’s company and understanding how to take turns and cooperate?
The answer, according to American education consultant George Otero, is to play board games. Isn’t that so last century? Monopoly, Scrabble, checkers, chess, card games. It sounds like a rainy holiday at the beach. George Otero explains there are a number of “natural ways of learning” that we can apply in the home that will boost our children’s learning capacity.
PLAYING BOARD GAMES IS ONE OPTION BUT HERE ARE A FEW MORE TO CONSIDER TO HELP YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING:
- Story: Don’t ever underestimate the power of storytelling to fire the imagination and teach communication skills.
- Reading: Read stories to your child and have them read to you. Talk about the stories and what they mean. If you’re too busy to read with the kids one night, ask them to read to the dog – apparently dogs LOVE to listen to stories and will even wag their tails. You can read more about how to foster a love of reading in your child here.
- Art: Do your children have ready access to paper, paints, crayons and modelling clay? Better still do you have access to them? Share the fun.
As a parent, you are probably already doing some or all of these things, and doing them well. It’s pretty straightforward stuff and the research says it really makes a difference. But there might be opportunities to crank it up a little – start a family board game night, get creative with paint – perhaps teach the dog to play chess?
Andrew McKenzie is the Manager – Governance and Engagement at Cairns Catholic Education