Parenting - Education Outside School

Parents often put a lot of thought into choosing a school, saving for college and other issues related to getting their son or daughter the best possible education. Less thought, sometimes, goes into what used to be completely common: educating that person outside school.

Life offers dozens of daily opportunities to teach offspring things they will find interesting and helpful as they mature. Though modern life often finds both parents working outside the home, there are still plenty of chances to point out a puzzle, make a connection and teach a lesson.

Those times don't have to be boring or forced, either. They can form some of the happiest, warmest moments for bonding between parent and child. The famous physicist Richard Feynmann told of several ways in which both his mother and father contributed to the development of what later became obvious an extraordinary mind.

Not everyone has the genius of Richard Feynmann, but nearly every child has the potential to develop an interest in the world around them. Curiosity is one of the most natural and obvious traits of young humans. Often, simply not squashing it by demonstrating annoyance at continual questions can go a long way toward encouraging its use.

Using the everyday properties of items around the home can encourage the development of the natural sense of wonder inherent in children. Start a faucet flowing slowly and observe how smooth it is, then let the child turn it up a little and watch it become twisted like a rope. Take a balloon and rub it on a wool sweater then move it close to the water and watch the water's path bend.

It isn't always necessary to supply immediate answers to any and all questions. Parents don't have to become universal scholars. Simply asking questions and pointing out interesting facts is often enough. The child's natural curiosity will take it much of the rest of the way.

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