How can we encourage and promote our young child’s love for learning when we don’t have the money for preschool? She already knows how to read and she’s curious about everything. I’m not sure that I’m equipped to homeschool a child of her ability. What do you suggest we do?
It’s a blessing to have a child who possesses such a love for learning. As you probably know, there are many parents who would love to have your problem. It’s likely that your child will be ready for kindergarten very soon. We’d suggest that it’s not too soon to begin planning and thinking about her educational future. Since private school isn’t an option for you, you’ll need to make some decisions about public school vs. charter school vs. home school.
There are numerous articles and opinions that address the multitude of options available for educational pursuit. You can also find out more about your child’s unique learning style by visiting the Performance Learning Systems website and taking the complimentary Learning Styles Assessment.
In the meantime, while she’s still waiting to enter the world of the formal classroom, you’ll want to make your child’s home environment and daily life experiences as challenging, stimulating, and enriching as possible. Since she loves to read, we’d encourage you to make weekly visits to the children’s section of your local library. You are already ahead of the game when it comes to strengthening Asset #: 25: Reading for Pleasure. Let her check out several books each week on different topics that interest her. You should also take advantage of the special children’s programs that most public libraries offer. These programs, which usually come with no cost attached, can introduce kids to a wide variety of interesting subjects.
If you live in or near a major city, avail yourself of the many children’s activities sponsored by parks, museums, theaters, and zoos. Help her invest in Creative Activities (Asset #17), Youth Programs (Asset #18), Religious Community (Asset #19) without forgetting the importance of Time at Home (Asset #20). Many of these are free or minimal in cost. Look in your newspaper’s Sunday calendar section each weekend to find out what special events for kids are coming up during the week. You’ll be amazed at the number of things there are to see and do. If you live in a rural area this may involve a special weekend trip once in a while, but it’s well worth the time and effort.
With a little thought and ingenuity, you can also come up with some fun, educational activities that your child do around the house. The internet is a great source of ideas. You can also get suggestions by visiting a local teacher’s or educational store. Whatever you do, make it a special point to affirm your daughter for her creativity, imagination, and love of learning. Answer her questions to the best of your ability. Help her when she has trouble understanding something new. Encourage her to look at the world with enthusiasm. You’d be surprised what your assistance and partnership will mean to her as she sets out on this new adventure of learning and discovery.