Learning Is A Family Affair

By: Marilynne Eichinger

My daughters have chosen two different approaches to educating their children. One has been doing an excellent job home schooling while the other sends her children to a wonderful public school. Both women, however, supplement the formal curriculum with an informal one by taking family field trips, visiting museums, and participating in activities such as scouting, music, and sports. They spend time with their children and work with them when they need help.

My girls also involve their extended family and friends in educating their children. Though the children live in different states they are often sent to visit aunts, uncles, and grandparents. These relatives develop a special relationship to the children, and introduce them to new ideas and community.

Education is best communicated through example. This means that if you are a reader and make time to cuddle up in a chair for reading, your children will most likely read as well. Visits to the library and bookstore as well as quiet time at home create good readers. To enhance the idea of family and reading, continue to read books out loud even when your children are older. You might try reading a play together. During holidays, play readings are a great way to enjoy a common experience. Not only does it bring the family together, but it gives you something shared to discuss.

If you have art on the walls at home be sure to talk about the pictures and objects. Tell your children where and why you selected the particular object. A well designed and personal home environment is a statement about your life and values. You can stimulate your children to think about themselves by letting them design their own bedroom space. Likewise, landscaping, gardening, flower arranging, and birding are easy activities to do with a child and a great way to introduce the natural world.

Introduce your children to the great outdoors through hiking, camping, skiing, and boating. These activities are not only healthy but provide a good opportunity to demonstrate how to be an environment caretaker by picking up trash, and thoroughly putting out fires. The way you act in the wilderness says more than all of the books you read or words you say. Your example will decide whether our animals and plants are going to be protected for future generations.

Learning starts with adults who by example set the education stage. This is why we have added so many new products for adults. By showing children that you read, embrace a healthy lifestyle with plenty of physical exercise, and cultivate the arts and sciences you demonstrate that learning is lifelong. We make it easy for you to become your child’s home or school educator by providing books, materials, and kits with well written instructions. Your thoughtful involvement gives the message that learning is enjoyable and to be cherished.

Marilynne Eichinger, founder of Museum Tour Catalog, is a former educator and president of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Marilynne recognized a need for enjoyable, easy to communicate teaching aides to assist parents in fulfilling their role as primary educators. Join us in finding gifts of inspiration and exploration for your family. http://www.museumtour.com/.

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