Mary Britt Hamilton Explains How to Encourage at Home Learning for Children Under Six
Children under six have an enormous curiosity but lack the appetite and discipline for systematic learning. Important as it is for the development of the child, at-home learning can be challenging not just for the child, but for the parents as well. It’s not just about knowing how to keep the child interested, but parents also struggle with finding a strategy to motivate and encourage the child to become a good learner.
Most educators agree that at-home learning is not easy without the right strategies. One of those educators is Mary Britt Hamilton. Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, she attended the College of Charleston. She received a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and taught Kindergarten for eight years. She now resides in the wonderful city of Wilmington, North Carolina. She believes that every parent should learn how to make the whole process of learning more appealing to their child.
The Right Atmosphere
Since children under six are easily distracted, making your child enjoy learning is all about creating the right atmosphere. One of the first things you should start with is to make the child comfortable and remove any distractions, says Mary Britt Hamilton. That means you should switch off the phone and the TV and keep the pets out of the room.
When you have your child’s full attention, that makes it easier for you to teach them. And if you’re wondering where to start your teaching, reading should be at the top of your priorities. A child who knows how to read will be able to learn any topic and subject. Practice reading with your child every day and encourage them to read out loud to get better.
When learning something new, we don’t always get it the first time. Even adults can get frustrated trying to figure out how to use a new microwave or a hairdryer. So, you can imagine how the child feels when they struggle to learn a subject such as science or math. Mary Britt Hamilton recommends that you allow the child to talk about their learning experience and what they like and don’t like about it. This communication is paramount, as it eliminates the stigma of failure and gives you a better idea about your child’s learning capabilities. Listen to your child as they vent out their concerns and why they struggle with a certain subject. After you reassure them, adjust your teaching style to address their specific concerns and fears.
Varied Learning Styles
As you listen to your child talking about what makes certain subjects more difficult than others, it soon becomes clear that it’s not the math or geography that are difficult, it’s the teaching style that is challenging. According to Mary Britt Hamilton, children vary in their dominant learning styles. Some children prefer visual styles while others learn better using auditory, physical, or logical styles. It all comes down to the child’s personal tastes and preferences. Your job is to find out which learning style works best for your child and apply it. Sometimes, you might have to mix visual with auditory styles or allow your child to learn things on their own in what’s known as the solitary learning style.
If your child loves games, then you can use that to your advantage. Instead of using books to learn, you can turn the whole teaching process into a fun game that you both play together. This has the advantage of teaching the child more than just how to find the U.S. on the map. Games involve improving the child’s motor skills as well as developing their non-cognitive skills. When you turn learning into a game, you’re practically taking out the tedious part of the process and speeding up the child’s progress.
Mary Britt Hamilton on Reward Achievements
Along the way, your child will show signs of improvement as difficult topics or subjects become easier over time. This is the right time to acknowledge each of these little achievements. Mary Britt Hamilton stresses the importance of rewards and positive reinforcement in making the child not just embrace learning, but enjoy it as well. As a parent, you should give treats and rewards generously whenever your child finishes a project or passes a test.