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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Enhancing a Child's General Knowledge

By Jamie Miller

With the advent of search engines that can summon up answers at the click of a mouse, how important is developing your child's general knowledge?

In a competitive job market, very important, it would seem. With more and more graduates competing for the same jobs, businesses are having to consider new ways of differentiating the best from the very best.

The person who can engage clients on a range of interests is now the person who bags the job.

So how early can you begin developing your children's general knowledge?

According to new research, a child's brain becomes particularly responsive somewhere between the age five and puberty. This is the reason very young children find it easier to learn a second language when compared to adults.

Critical periods of development may then continue throughout childhood, during which the brain starts forming crucial maps of neuron pathways, which can serve a person for life.

So start early.

Unlike other important skills, developing your children's general knowledge is inherently fun-based. Children love to play - and general knowledge is best developed by engaging your child in games and quizzes. Listen to some of the best quiz-players in the world, who credit their capabilities to playing Trivial Pursuit as a child.

Getting your child to label a world map can not only be a fun task for the child – but will endow them with a basic sense of geography that will serve them for the rest of their life. Important when you consider a 2008 poll showing that 37% of Americans were unable to locate their home country on a map.

If you want to motivate your child even further, add a reward to the mix. Instead of simply making your child earn a treat through good behaviour and household chores, make their earning contingent on successfully completing a quiz you design. If you set the quiz at the end of the week and give your child time to prepare, you will be getting them familiar with the nature of a test and help them develop key revision skills, which will serve them throughout their school life. The quiz should not be so hard that they fail: it is the process rather than the content which is more important. The satisfaction that comes with being able to complete the quiz will also further encourage your child's desire to be knowledgeable.

Since research has shown that new information can only be retained when it attaches itself to existing knowledge, you will be doing your child a huge service by expanding their core knowledge.


Jamie Miller is the author of ‘How To Become A Quizzing Genius' and helps people who want to improve their general knowledge. His website is:

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