The Importance of Family Learning
Family learning is a very broad term, but overall we can understand it to describe any sort of learning that takes place between generations of a family. It isn’t formal learning and isn’t talking about when adults help children with their homework, but is more to do with (for example) a mum teaching her children how to bake, or a child and his grandad making paper boats together (yes – I’ve been watching too much Peppa Pig this week).
Family learning in this sense, the sense of a passing of skills down the generations, and a sharing of interests is one of the most important things your child can experience, because statistically it will be the majority of their learning experience – they spend far more time at home, with their family than they ever will in school (only 15% of their time is spent in a formal learning environment).
Time spent learning at home can have an enormous influence on your child’s attitude to learning and their life in general – if they experience it regularly they are likely to have a more positive attitude towards lifelong learning as well as a growth mindset where they see that adults can make mistakes, learn and grow just as they can! Children who have role models that value learning and who see themselves as learners even outside of school are more likely to feel that they are learners too. If they see learning valued in the home, they will value their learning in school all the more.
Examples of Family Learning
Enough theory – how do we put the principles of family learning into practice? We’ll be giving some ideas on social media throughout the week, but here is a list to get you started:
Reading together: As we have said in a previous blog, children who see adults who value reading are more likely to value it themselves. Why not find a book that none of you have read and try it together? You could go to the library as a family and choose some books to read together – and don’t forget, there are audiobooks aplenty as well, and listening to one as a family can be a nice, quiet and calming activity.
Learning a language together: Many families who are new to the UK will do this quite naturally, as they learn spoken English together – often the children will do better than the adults, as their brains are primed to pick up languages. There is nothing stopping any family from trying this though – choose a language and take a course! Our new tutor Rebecca is offering Spanish sessions (she has taught in both Spain and Portugal) and is very happy for the family to join in – if you are all learning at the same pace, then you can practice together too! There are also some fantastic apps on the market such as Duolingo.
Get outdoors together and learn a sport or a game! The weather is still good enough at the moment to go out and make use of the UK’s outdoor sports facilities. Why not break out the tennis rackets and go and have a knock about on a local outdoor court? Many sports halls are offering socially distant and COVID-safe ways to hire a badminton court. You could even do a park run together and begin the journey of couch to 5k as a family!
Want some more ideas?
The Family Learning Festival is a national festival running this year from the 17th October to the 1st of November, and they have a plethora of events for you to get involved in.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, why not follow us on Facebook, as this week we’ll be sharing even more great ideas to get your family learning together!