Give your little learner opportunities to explore and discover.
Kids don't come from a cookie cutter developmental mold, and certainly don't all learn in the same way. Just because little Janey can write her name -- both first and last -- with little help from her mom, doesn't mean that your little learner will do the same with ease. If it seems like your preschooler is somewhat faltering in her ability to pick up on the lessons that you are teaching her at home, try a different approach to learning.
1Determine your child's best way of learning. Young children, like older ones and adults, have different ways or styles of gaining knowledge. Instead of assigning your favorite teaching method to your little learner, take a look at what actually works best for him. Does he think in a logical-mathematical way in which he analyzes your every statement and sees patterns in everyday objects? Or does he rely on a more language-based style, using his words more than anything else?
2Watch what your child does during learning activities at home. Don't assume that you have to force him to do tedious tasks such as math worksheets to make these early observations. Take note when he plays with his trains, builds with blocks or colors with crayons. If you notice him constantly making big, small block patterns, it could equal a more logical style of learning, while kids who are constantly banging on pots and pans might lean towards a more musical type of intelligence. Jot down notes on your child's behaviors and problem-solving ways as he goes along with his day.
3Set up projects, experiments and explorations that allow your little learner to use different types of learning together. Create a variety of different activities that incorporate different styles of learning. Focus your attention on those activities that seem to meet your child's specific style. If you suspect that your child has a more music-oriented style of learning, give him simple instruments to explore with (such as drums or rhythm sticks), play music CDs for him, have a sing-a-long, paint to music and talk about music vocabulary words such as beat or tempo.
4Allow your child to choose his own toys and play games while you sit back and watch. Provide a balance between free play and structured activities. Play may not seem like a route to education, but it is the work of young children. Keep this in balance with more structured activities such as a vinegar and baking soda science experiment or a collage art project.TipVary learning activities each day of the week. Instead of sticking with tracing letters Monday through Friday, give your child the chance to learn about the alphabet in more than one way. Try tracing on Monday, singing the ABC song on Tuesday, stencil painting letters on Wednesday, flash cards on Thursday and making letter body shapes on Friday.
- Don't forget about everyday learning opportunities. Learning doesn't just happen at school or in your home. Turn a neighborhood walk into a scientific nature observation or have your child try to read community signs.