Did you know your child’s ability to succeed academically (and perhaps in life) isn’t just about what they do when they’re in school, but also what we do as parents when they’re not. Here are six proven ways to boost your child’s learning both in and out of the classroom.
Just when you thought all those years playing the clarinet was all for naught! Well, according to research, learning to play an instrument can improve language and cognitive skills, and the earlier you start, the better. In fact, according to the Journal of Neuroscience, music training before the age of seven has the biggest effect on a child. So get those music lessons started!
Photo by Jim Bastardo
Fact: Exercise makes kids smarter. It’s proven to enhance focus and concentration in children and makes them less impulsive. Studies have also shown that even taking a walk before a test increases test scores. So get kids moving by taking them to the park or for regular walks or sign them up for team sports.
Photo by Cultura RM/Kevin Kozicki
Join Your Local Children's Museum
A trip to the museum is a great way to stimulate a child’s mind and to introduce them to new concepts and cultures. And as they say, membership has its privileges! Not only do you receive discounts on classes and exhibits, but you receive special “insider” perks, like invites to members-only events. Bonus: being a member makes you more likely to frequent a museum, if only to get your money’s worth. Join now!
Photo by Mark Douet
Numerous studies show that reading to young kids boosts their vocabulary and their IQ, but which books should you buy? For babies, check out best sellers on Amazon.com and look at popular authors like Dr. Suess, Sandra Boynton, and Eric Carle. For school-age kids or kids headed to kindergarten, look at suggested summer reading lists of libraries or schools in your area.
Photo by Michael Poehlman
Some studies on DHA, a nutrient found in fish oil, show that it enhances attention and improves reading ability in school-age kids. But before buying fish oil, be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician and purchase oils that have been tested for quality and purity.
Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez
Raise the Bar
One of the most consistent predictors of school success is parental expectations. So let kids know that life-long learning is important and that you believe in their capabilities and success. Then back it up with support, consistency and, most importantly, love.