We now understand that children learn better when they are expected to think about the theme themselves instead of asked to listen to what the teacher says about it. Showing an interest in the things around them is required to improve a child’s academic ability. In this article, we will introduce how to use “maps”, “dictionaries” and “encyclopedias” to encourage your child’s curiosity.
“Maps”, “dictionaries” and “encyclopedias” for children are very colorful and use images and characters to draw children’s attention to the contents. These items are useful because they encourage intellectual curiosity. For example, children often ask “why is the sky blue?” When parents bring out the encyclopedia to answer the question it will encourage their child to ask related questions about the sky, air, rain and other weather-related topics. In Japan we use the word “ame” for rain but when you look up “rain” in the dictionary children will see that there are many other words that are used as well. In recent years, we have had many heavy rain disasters in Japan. Parents can look at the map with their child and show him/her the areas where they have occurred or are likely to occur and help them learn about history at the same time. When children are encouraged to research the answers to their own questions using these items they will become more curious. These habits will also be useful when they start studying at school
To make effective use of “maps”, “dictionaries” and “encyclopedias”, it is important that the are kept in a location where children can reach them when they want to. It is a good idea to leave them in a room where children spend a lot of time. However, children often spend a lot of time in the living room and this is where the tv and games are kept. If you decide to place these items in the living room, it is a good idea to consider the most effective location, so they are not tempted to watch tv or play games instead. Placing them near each other so they can grab them at the same time is a good idea.
When children are not interested in looking at them on their own, we suggest that parents take the time to look them together with their child. You can use their favorite picture book or anime character to catch their attention. “___ can fly in the sky but people can`t fly unless they are using an airplane. Why is that?” “___ takes place in Norway. Do you know where Norway is? We may be able to see ____’s castle.” If you catch their attention by using their favorite characters they will become interested in checking them out. Spending time and having fun as a parent/child will give parents the opportunity to praise their child when they know something which will give them self-confidence and encourage future learning. It is important that parents take the time to look at maps and/or encyclopedias with their children and listen to what they have learned when they look at them on their own to encourage their curiosity.
It is often easier to remember things that one has researched on their own and learning new things makes children excited about continuing their learning. “Maps”, “dictionaries” and “encyclopedias” encourage children’s curiosity and increase their knowledge. Please leave them in an easy to reach location and incorporate them into your child’s daily learning.