Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Importance of Space and Surroundings (at home) for Learning

When you go into a classroom, every corner is dedicated to some form of aspect that aides in teaching children. Be it the soft boards on the walls, to corners for reading and play, even the furniture- it is all designed to make make learning as efficient as possible.

There is no reason why your home can not cater to this same concept. By making slight adjustments in our homes, we can optimize our children's skills sets and cognitive abilities. Since I myself have set up classrooms for very young children, I've adapted some little nifty tricks, some that effect the mind subconsciously and some that have a more direct impact.

1. Declutter- It's just a gut feeling I have, but the more messed up the house is, the more hyper kids seem to be. Having toys streaming about, glasses and cups lying around, clothes strewn over the floor, shoes and socks tossed carelessly around the shoe rack, it all leads up to this stress that presents with moody and hyper children, hardly the type of atmosphere that promotes learning. So have the children help you clean up the clutter, tidy homes lead to more calm minds. Helps with studying.

2. Proper lighting- Sometimes die to a lack of proper lighting, kids develop eye sight issues and often this particular issue leads to other problems like lack of concentration, headaches, nausea and general lack of enthusiasm. Young children may not be able to communicate this effectively and this can make them moody. So check for optimum lighting and have the kids munch on carrots.

3. Distractions: Now I have this little problem, the little guys have their cartoons on and the elder ones keep getting distracted. Having a shortage of space is a problem lots of residents have due to high rents so moving them to another place is not an option for me. I still deal with this but bottom line- eliminate possible distractions during study time, this includes hunger, thirst, urge to go to bathroom etc.

4. Keep materials within reach- Keep relevant materials within reach of the kids, like art supplies, books, learning games, but still have them give a shout out to you so that you are aware of what they are doing instead of them pining for it. It enables them to build confidence.

5. Effective use of audio visual aides- Children learn better when different mediums are used to clear concepts, like white boards, painting, games and clay. Even bath time. These days electronic devices like i Pads and mobile phones have great apps to help kids learn. A great way for kids to learn spellings is to label different objects around the house.

6. A fixed place: We all know how kids love their own bed and that one favorite toy or blanket that comforts them. I have noticed that similarly, kids learn and settle down to do homework better when they have one fixed place in the house to sit and a specific time they can expect everyday.

Having the kids do their homework may be a bit more fun and easier if an ambiance to promote learning and studying is created around them.

I'd love to hear any other ideas from all you other mothers out there.