November 13, 2021
In this guest post Gloria Martinez provides 5 steps that parents can follow to supplement their child’s education.
Many parents have concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their child’s education, particularly for those who were learning remotely for some time. The good news is, you can supplement your child’s learning in myriad ways with these 5 tips.
Build on the School Curriculum
Teachers always appreciate when parents take an active interest in their child’s education. Start by inquiring about ways you can help reinforce learning concepts your child is studying in the classroom and ask your teacher if your child is struggling in a particular area or excelling in a specific space. You can use this knowledge to help them come up to speed in areas that need extra attention, as well as foster and encourage growing areas of interest. Teachers are a wealth of information when it comes to pointing parents toward online resources, and if your child needs additional assistance, like tutoring, teachers can offer advice on the best approach to getting supplement help.
Encourage Creative Pursuits
Creative activities stimulate different parts of the brain and can engage your child in learning on a whole new level. Encourage them to take up a musical instrument, provide art supplies, or look for online or safe in-person dance, martial arts, or theater groups. Build on things you know your child already enjoys. For example, avid readers could be encouraged to try their hands at creative writing, while a child who loves to draw might be interested in taking up watercolor painting or studying different artistic drawing styles and techniques. These activities can be done as solo pursuits, or as a family or pod unit activity.
Get Back to Nature
Take learning outside, whether that’s simply practicing vocabulary words under a tree, taking a nature walk and identifying local flora and fauna, or learning how to track and spot storms. Plant a garden, grow flowers from seeds, or form a family bird-watching club with regular outings where you can photograph and log your findings. Hands-on learning in the natural world can foster a love of nature and encourage environmental stewardship. If your child is studying science, look for ways to integrate experiential learning in your own backyard or neighborhood. Not only is this an enjoyable pursuit that gets kids outside, it allows them to learn in a way that’s not always possible in a traditional classroom setting.
Encourage STEM Studies
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, which will be critical areas of study necessary for jobs of the future. Meet kids where they are in these subject areas and look for fun ways to encourage an affinity for learning. For example, math is necessary for following recipes when cooking and baking, and pet care can even teach scientific principles like water testing for aquariums or learning the nutritional needs of other household pets. According to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, STEM learning leads to lifelong innovative thinking that has the potential to change the world!
Embrace Immersive Technology
Today’s kids are growing up in a technologically savvy world, and parents can use that affinity for screen time for scholastic pursuits. In addition to educational apps and programming, some types of gaming can be mentally enriching. According to Today’s Parent, games that teach critical thinking or foster hand-eye coordination fall into the realm of learning, and some studies show that gaming can be a stress reliever for kids, as well as help improve self-esteem.
Lessen the frustration that can come with slow downloads by ensuring you have a high-speed internet connection — otherwise, you could find both your work computer connection and your child’s devices may not be able to work simultaneously at optimal levels. Also think about picking up a set of over-the-ear headphones to enhance your child’s experience.
All children learn in different ways and have different educational needs. With some of the ideas above, you can keep your child learning even when they’re not in school.
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