This post was sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time I was DEATHLY afraid of bugs. I mean I’d shake, sweat, hyperventilate, the whole nine yards. But then God gave us three boys (and a little girl- see what life is like in our Four Kids under Four post here), and those boys LOVE bugs. They are the early birds out catching the worms first thing in the morning, and right before bed they are out searching for creepy, crawly night creatures. Their curiosity is insatiable. I knew early on in their young lives that I would have to get over my fear of bugs and let early learning take it’s course right in our own backyard.
Early Learning is all about letting kids explore the world around them. It is interest led and child centered. It’s about sparking their creative minds and letting them come up with unique ideas unhindered by fear or judgement. How we (as parents) approach early learning with our kids now helps set the foundation for how they will approach learning later in life. That’s why one of my goals is to make learning fun and creative for my kids. Do you need some ways to help spark early learning and creativity at home? Here’s 5 ways to get started:
Read with your kids every day. Don’t limit this fiction books only, though. Kids also need a good selection of non-fiction material to choose from as well.
Did you know that 61% of low-income household have NO books in their home for children?!? Next time you take your child to the library, ask them if they want to bring a friend along. You never know which child may need it.
2. Let the child lead the learning. Before preschool, kids don’t need to work on rote memorization of facts. They need a chance to explore the world around them and ask 100 questions a day about it!
“Individual moments of curiosity add up to something much bigger – a lifetime of learning.” -Houghton Mifflin
3. Be part of an encouraging early learning community. This doesn’t have to cost any money, either! Join a local mom’s group that plans engaging activities for kids (or start your own group!). You can also try following parents who encourage early learning on social media. I’ve found Instagram to be a great virtual community to connect and share ideas on!
4. Let learning take place 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We don’t need to replicate the traditional school schedule at home and confine learning to the hours between 8 and 3. Learning can (and will) happen every hour of the day.
Embrace the chance to teach your child as soon as their spark of curiosity is ignited- whether it be at the grocery store check out line or the bug-infested backyard 😉
5. Use technology to your advantage. There just so happens to be an app for that…
One of the early learning apps we love is the Houghtin Mifflin Harcourt Curious World app. There are so many awesome features of the app including access to educational videos, popular children’s books, and individual tracking of learning experiences! This doesn’t just stop when your children are young though, when they get older and are in high school they could easily use something like these personalized learning programs. Technology is great for this sort of thing.