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Encouraging Children’s Learning: 7 Important Tips for Parents

There are many classroom-based approaches and ideas that seasoned educators share with one another throughout the school year—strategies that help them provide the best learning environment for children. Realistically, parents can apply these same strategies at home any time of year, and with young children as well as older ones!

The following suggestions for supporting children’s learning have been culled from teachers, from my own decades of experience (as a parent, educator, consultant, and author), and from current evidence-based research, tried and true, and spans many years.

1. Ensure that each child feels important.

How? Treat children warmly. Listen, observe, and answer their questions. Encourage them to talk and share their opinions. Pay attention to and respect their feelings. Give them opportunities to be quiet and reflective if that’s what they want or need.

2. Go outdoors together.

Why? Being outside can be invigorating, and downtime is better whenever it involves fresh air and new perspectives or discoveries. Incorporate play, multisensory activities, and unstructured time into daily experiences.

3. Look after yourself.

How? Know your strengths, limitations, and stressors. Recognize when you should refuel your own tank before going forward. Get the help you require (for example, familial, professional, or spiritual), or tap into strategies that you know can strengthen and sustain your well-being (such as exercise, mindfulness, deep breathing, reading, or connectivity with trusted others).

4. Be consistent.

How? Establish predictable routines. Familiarity can be comforting. Chat about—and co-create with your kids—manageable schedules and fair expectations. Review these periodically or as necessary.

Dr. Joanne Foster

Dr. Joanne Foster, an acclaimed author and educator, has dedicated over 35 years to gifted education and child development. With expertise in psychology and special education, her work empowers parents and educators, fostering creativity and high-level learning in children and teens. Dr. Foster has written countless articles, and several books—the most recent being Ignite Your Ideas: Creativity for Kids.

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