Education has changed a bit since I was in school. There is a big emphasis on giving kids a head start and they jump right in...in Kindergarten. When I was in Kindergarten, it was half day, we took a nap (or at least had quiet time and a rug we laid on). We spent most of our time learning to adjust to sharing attention, toys and art supplies. Nowadays, counting, skip counting, counting money, phonics and reading are very important in advancing to the next grade. By first grade, Science and Social Studies become part of the curriculum and students are actually tested on these subjects along with Math, Spelling and Comprehension.
I was pleasantly surprised last year when Handsome's teacher told me he excelled in Science and Social Studies. He also seemed quite interested in learning different facts about different species and was often heard quoting facts about Polar bears and spiders to Puddin Pop. He has a brilliant memory. We've always gotten a good chuckle when he sees a commercial on TV for a product he's sure we need. He recites it almost verbatim and follows up with "Wouldn't that be great to have?" or "Wouldn't your life be easier if you had one of those?" He definitely could make it as a salesman, but we currently have higher aspirations for him.
With his interest in Science, we purchased several ScienceWiz kits that have all types of hands-on experiments as well as booklets explaining how things like Energy and Light work. We had a lot of fun with these over the summer. Making learning fun always generates the best results.
Know Magazine is another great tool for the Science enthusiast. Developed by the publishers of Yes magazine, Know is geared towards the 6-9 age group. They feature real scientists, new technology, interesting facts, do-it-yourself experiments and much more. With beautiful, eye-catching images and easy to read print, this magazine is sure to provide hours of fun-while-learning for any child. It may even be a good way to get a child that isn't all that interested in Science to open their mind to all that science encompasses, sparking a new interest. Know magazine is free of outside advertising so your child can stay focused on the material. I find this refreshing and comforting. I can't wait for our first issue to arrive. I look forward to learning some new facts (which I'm sure I will) and watching the excitement in Handsome as he learns more about the fascinating world of Science.
This year I decided to do my part, not only help Handsome study but, to pay particular attention to the subjects he seems most interested in and provide him the tools to excel and stay interested. Reading was a chore last year. He never wanted to read. Although he was in the top reading group in his class, he insisted we read books to him at night. Easy Readers like Dr. Seuss brought about anxiety if we asked him to read. Best I could do was to offer reading every other page with him.
At the end of last year he got interested in the Diary of a Wimpy kid series. We watched the movie as soon as it hit OnDemand and he's been asking for the Movie Diary book ever since. I did him one better. I ordered him the entire series, including the new one that will be released November 9th. Each night we go up at 8:30 to brush our teeth, he then reads to me (or Hubster) until his bedtime at 9. His gained confidence from last year is impressive and having something he is interested in reading has made all the difference in the world.
How do you inspire and promote a love of learning in your home?
"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mad Science and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate."