Thursday, May 18, 2006

Broaden your child’s horizons

Today I’d like to show you an example of how we, at Creative Learning Systems, walk our talk.

Barbara sent us a postcard from Helsinki... and it was addressed to my 3-year old daughter. Apart from the expected delight of a little girl receiving “her own post”, the postcard had an unexpected consequence: a barrage of questions:
· Why do people send postcards?
· Why was there a fire in the city?
· Was it a bad person who started it?
· Where is Helsinki?
· Is it close to where Babcia (grandma) lives?

Just one postcard - and so many opportunities. We looked at the map and saw that Finland was closer to Poland than it was to New Zealand. We talked about the language people speak in Finland and their long winters and the wonderful summer berries (cloudberries and cowberries). I told her that the person who wrote the “Valley of the Moomins” came from Finland.

So, next time one of your friends goes overseas, ask them to send a postcard to your youngster. With a slightly older child, you could turn in into a homemade Geography lesson:
· Is Helsinki the capital city or just a city? What does it mean to be the capital city?
· If you wanted to take a car from Helsinki to Vienna, which way would you travel? Which borders would you cross? What do you have to do at a border check point?
· What currency do they have in Finland? What did they use before they joined the European Union?
· What crops do they grow?
· What industry do they have?
· What animals would you find living in the wild?
· What do they eat in Finland?
· Cook a traditional Finnish recipe together with your child: pea-and-ham soup or buttermilk cake, then serve it to family or friends.
· Let your child draw a picture / make a clay model / write a poem about one aspect of Finland.
· Plan an imaginary holiday in Finland. What would you see? What would you do there? What would you pack?

Vary the tasks according to your child's Learning Style (which you can assess on visual, tactile, analytic, etc.

Remember, the most important lesson your child will learn is this: I am special enough for somebody to send me a postcard and I am special enough for Mum/Dad to spend time with me discovering a fun new world.

Happy learning!

No comments: