6 Ways I Engage My Own Child

As far as education goes, before it’s digi-anything, it must be fun, relevant. ENTERTAINING.

The basis of all GREAT education is creating an atmosphere where the audience is engaged. Wanting to learn. Excited to learn.

So in today’s blog, we shelf “edtech” (well, not entirely) and, instead, go “old tech”.

What follows is Kate’s list, “6 Ways I Engage My Own Child”. What would you add to the list? Leave your comments below, and let’s start a conversation.

Be excited about learning yourself

Remember that children will learn from what we do, not what we say. Share new things you learn with your child. Point out interesting things while driving and talk about them. Share with them the things you loved when you were a child. It is wonderful for children to be able to imagine their parents as young and to see them excited about remembering new things they learned.


Even in Africa we have snow. Maya and I up early to see the snow in Philippolis.

Do it together

Maya and I do things together. Spending time exploring rock pools, siting on the floor and building Lego together, playing card games and board games – this means give TIME! Play together and don’t be afraid to get dirty clothes. Paint and mud wash out but the learning is never forgotten.


The garden was pink for a while, but then it rained and all was back to normal.

Read with your child

Books at night, signs and boards when in the car. Use big words. That is how we learn new ones.

If you don’t know an answer find it out together

One of the best lessons to teach your child is that you never know everything, and that it is not a problem. What you don’t know is an opportunity to learn. If you show children that you can find out things you don’t know, they will never feel inferior – they will feel empowered to discover.

If it is not working, try something else.

Don’t just do the same thing louder! Children learn differently and it is our responsibility as educators to create learning opportunities that can be accessed by children with different learning styles. If learning lists of sight words is not working, make your wall a giant book with flash cards. See who can make the craziest sentences. You have to be able to read the words to do so. But it is definitely not a list! Use the myriad of apps available. Try different ones for reading or math’s… find which works for your child.


Maya in Hazyview working on the “word wall”.

Most importantly make it fun
Learning should never be boring. Nowadays in the digital era find games that teach. The gamification of learning is where education must go. I watch Maya create worlds and buildings and structures on “Mine Craft” but then I ask her to show and explain to me. Be amazed by what your child can create. Imagine.

Note: “Kate’s list” was inspired by a conversation about challenging education, which is what we do at Good Work Foundation. However (and it’s a big “however”), education is not challenged by simply changing the medium, for example paper to tech. Education is challenged by creating environments that maximise the chances of learning, problem-solving, and creativity. Edtech is a part of the answer, but not the answer in itself.