As parents, we do our best to ensure that our children become the best they can be. We nurture them and teach them to be kind to others. We teach them manners so that they will be respectful.
But…we also want them to excel in their chosen academics and future careers. By nurturing their mind, creating an environment ideal for creativity and learning, and encouraging academic success you are fostering intelligence and with a little luck, passion for learning, in your child.
Here are a handful of activities we use to inspire our children:
Read books together
Children are very influenced by what their parents are doing. They do what they see. By showing them that learning can be fun, you are encouraging it. Try reading a book or two together at night before bedtime. This will help your child settle down and will improve their reading skills.
Pro Tip: Take turns. You read some nights, then as they are getting the hang of it, let them read to you some nights. If that’s too overwhelming, we share page by page or even line by line.
Make a point of having intelligent conversations
I was once given a chart that showed how many words a child should know at any given age. The chart said that there is a correlation between a child’s verbal IQ and the number of words they hear as a baby. And it’s kind of logical, if you think about it. While your child is young, make a point of talking and/or singing to them. Don’t dumb down the language you use with your child. Let them learn big words. Then, as they grow, have conversations with them.
This will also enhance their communication skills for later in life.
Encourage physical activity – play outside with them
A healthy body encourages a healthy mind.
Encourage your child to do things like ride a bike in their free time.
You can also do outside activities together such as drawing with sidewalk chalk, swimming, throwing a ball, or even just going for a walk through nature. Focus on things that combine left and right brain activities – it’s surprising how many kids today can’t play a simple game of catch.
Make healthy eating fun
Healthy food nourishes the body, which leads to more energy and a healthy and intelligent mind.
Make healthy food fun – try new recipes or try cutting vegetables in fun shapes. Get kids involved in the kitchen with you and preparing their food. You will be teaching them how healthy can be fun, while also teaching them how to cook and how to follow directions by using a recipe.
Play mentally stimulating board games
Games that make a child think – chess, checkers, picture puzzles, crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Guess Who… all fun and games, but it works the brain too.
Mentally stimulating board games teach children how to think outside of the box to solve a problem, further improving their problem-solving skills. Crafty projects and activities unleash your child’s creative side. They stimulate analytical, creative, and practical intelligence. Personalized crafts can make kids feel extra special and encourage them to participate in the art and craft projects.
As home ed parents we often spend so much time with our children already, but making small changes can have a lasting effect on their learning and creativity.