Before we delve into strategies to consider, here’s a question to ponder: are children’s gifts and talents the result of nature—something they’re born with—or nurture, something that parents and teachers can help to bring out and flourish?
Most experts believe that, for optimal results, a combination of nature and nurture is best. So, whether we’re talking about academics, sports, art, music, or something else, it makes sense to watch what interests your children and then provide them with support as they explore and enjoy expanding upon their knowledge.
Now, here are strategies to try.
Give Children Some Space
A British educational site suggests that parents give their children a chance to uncover what intrigues them without direct involvement from adults. As these interests and abilities develop, parents can then provide their children with age-appropriate resources—whether that’s more drawing materials, a musical instrument, or a set of badminton racquets.
To further expand children’s horizons, Kaiser Permanente suggests trips to the library or to museums, or other places where they can enjoy child-focused events. Seek opportunities where your children can learn and explore through volunteering, and perhaps find a mentor who can help them as they develop their interests further.
Let Them Experiment
At the same time, continue to provide opportunities for your child to experiment with new hobbies and learn about a variety of subjects. As ConnectionsAcademy.com notes, you could introduce a different activity each week (and it’s okay to pick the right timetable for the family, even if it’s not weekly.) Give your child time to absorb a potential new hobby before going all-in.
Then, as your child participates in activities, provide encouragement and praise. According to one educational site, this helps to keep them enthusiastic about their activities and builds their confidence.
Leveraging the Power of Books
No matter what interests your children, when you obtain books that relate to that subject, you’re helping them to fuel their curiosity in ways that will also strengthen their reading skills.
For example, if your child gravitates to music, consider Wild Symphony by Dan Brown. This book provides child-centric poetry that’s accompanied by music, and all United States royalties go to a foundation that supports music education for children around the world.
If your child is intrigued by the game of chess, then consider the Chess Workbook for Children: The Chess Detective's Introduction to the Royal Game. Written by National Chess Master Todd Bardwick, he makes learning about the game fun. Bardwick poses two hundred chess-related problems with answers given for two different levels: Basset Hound for beginners and Chess Detective for intermediate players.
If your child loves to collect odd facts and share them with other people, then 1144 Random, Interesting & Fun Facts You Need to Know by Scott Matthews may be perfect. Does it really rain diamonds on Uranus? Really?
Or, if you think you may have a budding scientist in the house, Geology & Weather Facts and Activity Book can enhance their knowledge about earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more through puzzles, quizzes, mazes, and experiments.
One Final Tip
As a final tip, no matter what strategies you use, let your children have fun! And one way for them to learn and have fun each day is by signing up for one of the many programs Horizon Education Centers has to offer.
At Horizon, our daily activities give children a wide range of subjects and areas to pique their interest. . They’ll learn to work independently and with other children, and discover the things they like most.
If you’re interested in learning more about Horizon, contact us today.