The 2023 school year is here! February ignites a sense of excitement as our kids are met with school friends old and new, are introduced to their new classroom teachers, move back into a familiar routine, and begin to learn inside and outside the classroom. Learning is designed to be challenging for our little ones. New skillsets and tasks can be hard as they find their feet in their new year level. They can't be good at everything from the get-go! As we navigate our way through the first few weeks of Term 1, we've rounded up 4 ways to encourage a love of learning in our children.
Introduce reading to your regular daily schedule
Reading isn't often at the top of everyone's to-do list, and we get why! Between swimming training, cooking, cleaning, and music lessons, it can be challenging to find the time to encourage the young people in your life to pick up a book. We believe reading should be pleasurable, not a chore. Try and make 15-30 minutes dedicated to reading time - this could be after lunchtime in the classroom, or for parents just before bedtime snuggled up in bed together to pick up a book. At home, don’t be afraid to read aloud to them even if they’re reading by themselves! They will cherish this time with you – away from screens, with your full attention.
Find topics that interest them
We receive feedback ALL the time from parents, grandparents, teachers, and carers that George the Farmer has FINALLY been a reading and educational catalyst for the reluctant learners in their lives! Everybody eats, and everybody wears clothes! Whether your students are vegan or eat meat at home, everybody is supported by a farming enterprise, somewhere! Learning about how their food is grown connects them to what they eat and why. This is something that connects us all – no matter the religion, politics, or background of a diverse classroom.
Did we mention that farms are fascinating? George’s adventures on the farm are very relatable to country kids – while offering a peek into a new and exciting world for kids living in the city. Learning about all aspects of food and farming – from crops to honey to dairy to agronomy – is an enormous source of attention-grabbing interest.
Make learning fun!
There are SO many ways to learn. Why not learn while doing and get kids thinking outside the box? The George the Farmer team has a variety of different techniques to engage students of all levels. Why not learn about oats while baking Anzac bickies, or learn about wheat while making pizza? Strategies like these, plus a whole lot more, are available for free on the George the Farmer website.
Mix up their learning environments
Learning isn't linear. We all learn best in different environments. Some enjoy a structured indoor classroom, while others thrive outdoors in and amongst nature. An ideal learning environment for kids allows them to take advantage of their natural abilities and learn how to apply their skills in a way that suits the situation. While you can't please everyone, we do recommend mixing up what the classroom or home learning environment looks like.
The ideal lesson: break the lesson up by using different delivery modes to teach a topic. Take a George the Farmer 10-minute educational YouTube clip as the informational component, and pair this with an activity from the corresponding educational resource that can be completed outdoors or at the desk! This is a great way to apply kids' thinking and understanding of a topic, while also breaking up the environment they are learning in.
Our Educator's Guides are designed for Foundation-Year 4 students and cover STEAM subjects. The activities are engaging, creative, and entrepreneurial such as designing a robotic dairy, making butter from scratch, jewellery from seeds, and how to measure carbon sequestration in trees. Our guides are FREE to download from our website! If you'd like to take it further, you can add our educational George the Farmer books into the mix for classroom reading — and — a George and Ruby Cuddle Doll as an interactive teaching aid.
Image Credit: @goviemuster via Instagram