If you’ve got a thirst for knowledge, it’s natural that you’ll want to encourage the same intellectual spirit in your kids.
But you don’t need to wait until they go to school or nursery to do so – and even once they’re working their way through primary and secondary, your extra-curricular help and guidance can ensure that they’ve got a much more rounded education that the curriculum provides.
The value of knowledge transcends educational and vocational ends – it allows us to experience the world from fresh new perspectives, eliminate ego and regularly question our own beliefs in a healthy way.
If this sounds positive, here are five ways to help parents promote lifelong learning.
1. Joining Bookbug
Many governments run early years schemes to encourage young children to read and Bookbug from the Scottish Government is a fine example.
In this type of scheme, books are automatically sent out to parents across the land gratis, and they can also attend free live storytelling and singing sessions in local libraries. Chances are that there’s a group like this near you – give it a Google!
2. Books-only pocket money
Another way of encouraging reading or educational pursuits is to reserve a portion of your child’s pocket money to be spent exclusively on books or other nourishing activities.
Alternatively, they can have an entirely separate fund they’re entitled to dip into once a month – this way, their development becomes more of a treat than a chore.
3. Classic kid’s TV
You probably didn’t predict it when you were young, but many classic kids TV shows have stood the test of time and, even if they’re not still running, meet or exceed today’s educational standards.
Shows like Sesame Street are of such high calibre that you can still catch them on TV, but you can introduce your kids to other favourites online – while they learn, you can enjoy a delightful dose of nostalgia.
Simple pretend play is another magnificent tool in any parents arsenal – whether you’re encouraging your child to make believe on their own, with a sibling or friend, or with you.
Make believe is a brilliant way to test boundaries in a safe environment, learn to express their emotions in an articulate way and work on everything from sharing to role play.
5. Setting an example
Last but not least, leading by example is one of the best ways to inspire your kids to keep learning – whether you’re taking an MBA with ARU Distance Learning or taking in a TED Talk, your own inquisitive habits will rub off on your kids.
But setting an example can also be even more low-key – like sharing your thoughts on everything from the TV news to the book you’re currently reading.
These five ways to help parents promote lifelong learning should help make your home a happy place where the power of knowledge is prioritized!