The value of education can be gauged by the fact that it is enshrined as a fundamental human right in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and most state constitutions. Of the things that caregivers care about, education ranks quite high in the list.
However, thanks to rampant inequality across the world, quality education can be exorbitantly expensive.
Fortunately, here are 6 budget friendly approaches to quality education that you should know about.
Looking beyond the classroom: a holistic view of education
Education is typically considered the instruction that students receive at educational institutions, where a teacher imparts knowledge to a student.
However, the definition of education can be expanded to include acquisition of knowledge and skills outside of schools and colleges, which helps students become more empowered, capable, and well-rounded individuals.
A holistic view of education does not take into account simply how quickly a preschooler learns her ABCs or how many long division problems a fourth grader can finish in an hour. Instead, it encompasses the academic, social, and emotional needs of students.
Furthermore, a holistic approach to education is not limited to the classroom — it can be imparted at home, on the playground, on a family holiday, and virtually any other setting. And importantly, taking a holistic view of education can allow parents and guardians to take budget-friendly approaches to providing quality education.
Budget friendly approaches to quality education
A few budget friendly approaches you can take to ensure a good education are:
Encouraging play-based learning
Play-based learning is a way to encourage active learning, which engages the brain in many ways. As Raising Stars explains, it helps children make sense of the world around them, build relationships, develop cognitive skills, and build the confidence needed for further exploration.
Play-based learning does not focus on prescribed outcomes. Rather, it allows children to explore their environments and channel their creativity through play. For instance, games like finger painting and playing doctors are part of play-based learning.
Remember, playing is fueled by a natural curiosity about the world, which is crucial for learning.
Building reading habits
Reading is not only a habit that provides great learning outcomes in school, but it is also vital for lifelong success. Reading improves knowledge, promotes critical thinking and analytical skills, develops vocabulary, and increases attention span.
It is, therefore, very important to inculcate an interest for reading in your children. You can do this by reading a bedtime story to your child every night and taking them to the library or bookstore regularly to pick out books that are most interesting to them.
Fortunately, we now have a wide range of ebooks available online, most of which are very affordable. Make sure you invest in a book-reading device like Kindle, so you can make this approach to education as affordable as possible.
Leveraging technology for learning
Phones, laptops, TVs, and tablets are ubiquitous in every home and it is virtually impossible to keep children away from screens today. Children’s excessive screen time often causes concern for parents, and rightly so.
Fortunately, this is one example where we can make lemonade out of lemons that life throws at us (technology). Introduce your children to fun learning websites for children that they can use to learn outside of school, so they can turn their screen sessions into something productive.
Encouraging asking questions
Children are naturally curious. As babies and toddlers, they put everything in their mouth (often at the horror of caregivers) to learn about it. And when they are finally able to speak, their questions don’t seem to stop.
The best thing you can do is to let them ask questions and answer them to the best of your ability. Your child should feel like they can and should learn about things that spark their interest, and that you will be there to help them through it.
Taking them on field trips
If you’re trying to teach your child where we get our food from, why not take them out for a day of strawberry picking at your local farm? If your child is learning about the American struggle for independence, then why not take them to see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia?
Remember, your field trips don’t have to be expensive trips to other cities and countries. You can make a trip to the doctor’s office or even the park a fantastic learning experience for your child.
Helping them with science experiments
Most of us know at least a bit about how volcanoes erupt, thanks to the erupting volcano experiment we performed in school, where we built a volcano with clay and made it explode using baking soda and vinegar.
Fun experiments help your child remember important concepts. So allow them the space to plan their own science and art experiments, or work with them to come up with easy and cheap experiments using equipment from around the house.
Budget Friendly Approaches to Education is a feature post