What can parents do to excite their children about school and learning? A former national Teacher of the Year provided the following suggestions.
First, he said, promote a culture of reading at home. Reading is the gateway to all knowledge and is fundamental to academic excellence.
Computers are wonderful tools, but they cannot replace books. Reading stimulates the imagination and encourages creative thinking.
So read with your children. Discuss a book or an article in the car, while walking, and at the dinner table.
Turn reading into a pleasant event by taking children to libraries and bookstores once a week.
Give them an allowance and let them choose the books they want without questioning what they’ve chosen.
Don’t insist that they always read “educational” material. A lifelong love of reading can start with almost any book or magazine.
Stimulate your children’s curiosity. Children need to be encouraged to ask “Why?” when they don’t understand something. Learning is a constant process, and children sometimes think this process is over once they have an answer.
They need to be taught to push for more answers. So when children ask “Why”? -- Don’t respond with a pat answer. Ask, “What do you think? Or “Why do you think that’s so?” Or, “I’m not sure; let’s look it up.”
The goal is to spark their curiosity so that it becomes fun to learn new information.