International studies compiled by UNESCO indicate that the home environment is a significant factor in the success of children’s educational efforts. A number of variables determined by family effort impact not only children’s literacy levels but also overall IQs. A family’s basic stability and security are important, of course, but in addition, there are a number of things you can do to create and maintain an educational atmosphere at home.
Create a Dedicated Space
It would be ideal if you have a room you could devote solely to education and educational materials. If not, perhaps a section of the children’s bedroom could be utilized for this purpose. At the least, clear the dining table when it is not used for meals. Have it available for the children to use for homework and projects, and set up a shelf nearby with supplies. Orderliness and consistent availability of the children’s study area and supplies is important. They need a space in a quiet area, a table and chairs where they can sit with good posture, and all the materials they need close at hand.
Have a Home Library
A home library with shelves of books and other materials makes it easier for your children to discover the joy and wonder of reading and learning on their own. The library should contain time-proven classics of children’s literature for various age levels, as well as educational DVDs, games, and toys. It is imperative that these materials are in plain view, open, and easily available to your children.
Set an Example
When children are young, their primary role models are usually their parents. If they see you being studious, habitually reading, and expressing interest in literature, art, and music, they will cultivate the same interests and habits. Another important factor is your availability to help them with homework, answer their questions, and explain what they do not understand. Children are naturally curious, and satisfying that curiosity nurtures a lifelong pursuit of knowledge. When children are young, it is also important to take the time to read aloud to them, and when they are first learning to read, encourage them to read to you. Follow this up with questions to see if they understand the material. Give them more practical reading and writing practice by having them help create shopping lists, read labels as they put away groceries, write letters to relatives, and read signs while on outings.
Try New Things
Be innovative, adventurous, and open to new experiences. This inspires curiosity and innovation in your children. To create unusual educational opportunities, take your children on day trips to places such as museums, historical sites, zoos, aquariums, galleries, and cultural events. Have materials available at home to back up these outings with further studies, but be sure to present these as fun projects and not as droll accumulations of facts.
The home environment is of overwhelming importance to children, especially in the early learning years. When they are not attending school, children spend most of their time at home, and providing the right example, ambiance, and resources for learning ensures that your children receive the support they need to pursue their educational endeavors with maximum efficiency.