Yes, some parents are starting the journey to higher education when their kids are still in elementary school. Are they crazy? No, they understand that a good education starts with a foundation created when they are young.
Though there are great public universities and the more you put into an education the more you get out, it does pay to go to upper echelon schools. Getting into MIT is not easy, for example, so you need to start the process early. Take a look at Going Ivy to get an idea of what is required.
Take advantage of a child’s ability to learn at every stage of the learning process and you will put them on a path to academic success.
Here are some tips on how to start your child’s higher education while they are young without burning them out.
Make learning fun
When learning feels like a chore, then the battle is already lost. Kids should be excited to learn and develop a curiosity about the world around them that lasts a lifetime.
Share your own passions with your kids to let them know that learning doesn’t stop as you get older. If they see you diving into a subject you are really interested in then kids will follow with their own interests.
Another way is to always look for opportunities to learn about the world around them. When out on a walk, encourage them to find some bugs on the way and then talk about what the bug does and why it’s important for them to exist. Talk about the weather and how it works. Kids love understanding how the world works and this will foster a curiosity in many other areas.
Don’t put pressure on grades
Their grades are obviously important but the act of learning has a greater impact on their future. If you put pressure on them to get good grades, it makes learning stressful for them.
They should be rewarded for getting good grades but more importantly rewarded for learning. The grades are just a way of understanding what areas your child needs to work on and not a way to prove their worth.
Lighten up the pressure and let them learn and enjoy the process without the added pressure to perform.
Good grades are important but more when they get to middle school, not so much in elementary.
Find your child’s learning style
There are three main types of learning styles: kinesthetic, auditory and visual. Find the one that your child most responds to and focus their learning there.
For instance, kinesthetic learning is where kids learn from being active rather than listening or reading. They learn by doing and while moving around. If your kid has trouble sitting still then he or she is likely a kinesthetic learner. Don’t try to make them learn in another way as it will have the opposite effect.
Visual learners will need to see something to learn from it and likewise auditory learning requires hearing it.