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Taking Advantage of the “Early Learning Stage”

By: Farheen Khan, Content Contributor

As parents, it is pretty evident that when children are younger it is much easier to mould their minds and therefore, instill good values and habits. The same can be said for learning habits. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and it is important to not only recognize your child’s but also set up a system of learning which provides him/her with the resources and strategy to maximize their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.

There are many different ways to set up this “system of learning” for your child and ultimately, dear parents, you must take the initiative and create one that is fitted to your child’s learning style. In my view, the best way to do this is to encourage questioning in your children as well as showing them the ways in which they can answer their questions. For example, if your child enjoys reading then designate a time at which he/she can read to you. During this time, keep a paper and pencil handy, and jot down words that your child doesn’t understand or cannot pronounce. Then use a dictionary or google to find the definitions of those words and then try to employ those words in your everyday speech. In this way, your child’s vocabulary will develop and he/she will also know how to use the resources available to solve his/her problems.

In terms of mathematics, if your child struggles with it (as I certainly did), urge him/her to do math homework first, before homework from any other subject. Becoming good at math depends largely on doing lots and lots of problems therefore, tackling it first, when one’s mind is still fresh, will ensure that an adequate amount of time is devoted to solving all of the problems and perhaps even a few extra. With all of the work done, your child will come to terms with what he/she understands and doesn’t understand, and hence, will be able to ask you and the teacher more focused questions as opposed to the vague, “I don’t get it”.

Concerning science, find examples in the “real world” of the matter that your child is studying in order to generate an interest and as a result, inquiry. For example, if your child is learning about the water cycle then ask him/her to explain it to you; and the next time it precipitates ask your child  what the mechanisms behind it are and even urge him/her to collect samples, study them, and even collect research from print and online sources.

In conclusion, good luck parents! Your task is by no means easy; learning is a process both for the teacher and student. What is interesting is that often the line separating those two demographics is a blurry one.

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