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Help your child to become a good learner

Mensa's Gifted Child Consultant Lyn Kendall (pictured right) has come up with nine great ideas for parents to help their children get the most enjoyment out of learning

  1. Talk to them from an early age - children can understand a lot more than they can express and they develop language skills by listening to others around them. Our education system is based upon imparting knowledge using language.
  2. Listen to them - children need to develop good listening skills to succeed in a classroom. You can model what they need to do by setting a good example.
  3. Teach them how to fail - it's all right not to know everything and it's all right to get things wrong. If people were born knowing everything we wouldn't need schools.
  4. If your child asks you a question answer it with a question - having someone give you the answer teaches you nothing. Replies such as: Tell me what you do know about that. How do you think we could find out? Why do we need to answer this question? Will be of more benefit.
  5. If you don't know, say so - but then follow it up with, 'But I know how to find out'.
  6. Swap knowledge and information with your child. Explain that what you learned at school is different to what they are learning now. That both are equally valid and interesting.
  7. Make learning fun and make learning at home as relevant to real life as possible. Children spend a lot of time in school. They need the opportunity to practise what they have been learning.
  8. Moderation in all things is important - all study or all tv will not produce a child that loves learning. Variety is the spice of life. Keep learning varied.
  9. Let children have experience of good and bad materials - children learn to appreciate quality by experience and comparison.