Things You Can Do To Get Involved

I spoke about how education is all academics and how it really starts at home. Today I wanted to give you some solid ideas on what you can do at home. Now keep in mind that Preston is 5 and Riley is only 1, so the things I am providing ideas on are geared at that level. 

1. Keep a solid routine. Kids need routine and thrive on it. While I don't follow a strict schedule, we do do the same things each day, even though they may not be at the exact time. By doing this it allows your children to feel secure and it gives them something to depend on. I have a neat schedule that I have for Preston in which I feel it out each day. You can see it below. Above it I have a clock, since he will be learning time this year. Then I have different items that I can take on and off so he knows what he can look forward to. 

It is neat because I can write the time on there in whiteboard marker and then wipe it off. My son is loves this and is very interested.

2. Always STOP and LISTEN to them. No matter what I am doing, when either Preston or Riley comes up to me I STOP what I am doing and LISTEN. I want them to know what they say is important. We know that it is not always important, but this sets them up for success as they get older. You want them to be able to come to you with the very important stuff. 

3. Play with them. The dishes, the cleaning, the whatever can wait. Live in the moment. They are only little once. All they want is your time, not THINGS. That is what they remember. My kids love the monster thing I do. Preston often asks me to do it by demonstrating how I do it! How can you resist that? That is all they want is you and your time.

4. Give them CHORES. I don't really call them chores in my house because that word is's sounds like work. Being part of a family is not WORK. Yes, it takes lots of work, but it is not a job. It should be something that you want to do. Give the little ones things to do that is age appropriate. For example, Preston puts away the silverware from the dishwasher. Riley hands me all the plates, bowls, and cups out of the dishwasher. Preston also folds the washcloths and hand towels. He even pulls the garbage to the street. I also have him help me with little things, like putting baby clothes in the hamper or to grab something for me. He is very cooperative. By giving them things to do this allows them to see that they are part of the family, something bigger than they are. 

5. LOVE them! I give my kids tons of hugs and kisses all day. I love them so much I cannot explain it in words. I kiss them up and hug them up as much as I can. I also tell them I love them multiple times in a day. I want them to be confident in themselves and in my love for them so that they can succeed in the world.

6. Make shopping trips and outtings educational. This is always fun because I like to tie in what we are learning while we are out and about. Simple things like the colors of the stoplight, what each of them means, have them look for a particular letter. No matter where you go, give your child a job. For example, when going to the grocery store you can tell them it is there job to search for the oatmeal box. Again, this makes them a part of something bigger than they are. You can teach money concepts and number identification anywhere. You can teach community helpers. There is so much out there in the world! Show them the way! Talk to them, tell them all about it!

7. Make your home educational. I like the fancy houses with pretty themes. I have themes and colors, don't get me wrong, but my house is kid-friendly. It is about them. They know education is important because we got their art work around the house, we have the alphabet in the kitchen and in our school room, we have pocket charts on almost every door of the house, we have shelves and shelves of books, there are tons of art supplies, plenty of board games, the list goes on and on. The environment you create speaks volumes to your child. 

8. Read everyday. Don't leave the professionals to teach your child to read. You teach them to read! It starts right at home with modeling the reading skills to develop that love of reading. Now that Preston is in kindergarten we are going to take reading much more seriously. Each night we will read a book. And it will be a book of his choice. The library is a great place to start. Kids need to learn what the library is and how to act in a library. Let me tell you, my littles do not know how to act in the library. Going to the library stresses me out, but I am hoping it gets better. Then we are going to keep a reading log of all the books we read during the school year. Imagine his eyes when June rolls around again and I show him how many books we read! I can see it now!

9. Simply put, involve them in everything that you do. Preston loves to cook. No matter how impatient I am or how fast I want to get something done, I stop and think to myself that this is important to him. He also likes to put the laundry pod in the washing machine. Hey, if that is exciting to him then so be it. He is learning how to do laundry. When it is time to get the mail I have Preston go with me sometimes and let him open the mailbox and get the mail out. See how we can overlook the simple things that they do need to learn?

It all goes back to teaching them all these things and MUCH, MUCH more. I want to know how you involve your children at home. Comment below with what you do at home!

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