Creative Ways To Help Kids Learn by Laura Pearson of edutude.net
Every child learns differently, and it can be tough to watch them struggle in the classroom. Fortunately, you know your child best, and there are a number of creative ways you can help them tackle even the toughest subjects by providing at-home support. Learning disguised as fun can be particularly beneficial when it comes to catching and keeping their interests.
According to Empowered Parents, many people learn by doing. As such, provide opportunities for your kids to tackle tricky subjects by trying our creative new problem solving approaches. For example, children can better embrace the idea of how fractions work by following a recipe. Help them pick out their favorite cookie recipe, shop for the ingredients (also using math skills to find the best deals) and then prepare a treat for the whole family. You can also base your allowance and household chore list on current math subjects – this will teach not only math concepts, but good budgeting skills as well.
Creative pursuits can help kids work both sides of their brains, and according to Bright Horizons, these can also help with overall development. Encourage your child to take up a musical instrument, enroll in an art class, or take them to a craft shop and let them pick out new materials to experiment with. Learn about different cultures through music, dance, and cuisine, or find the book version of their favorite movie and help them identify the different approaches the authors and filmmakers chose to take in their adaptations. This type of critical analysis can help kids in a number of different academic settings.
The natural world offers countless learning opportunities. Budding scientists can look at leaves and soil samples under a microscope, identify different bird species, and learn more about topography of various landscapes. Consider investing in a telescope to see the stars and learn about constellations, galaxies and black holes. Or boost their STEM skills through weather spotting and prediction. Encourage hands-on experiments at home – your child’s teacher can clue you in as to what’s being studied in the classroom and you can take things a step further at home. This demonstrates your involvement in their academic lives and your desire to help them thrive.
Reading together with your child can be beneficial in a variety of ways, whether you’re focusing on textbooks or selections they’ve made from the library on their own. Reading together will help you become familiar with what they’re studying in school, and provide you with insights into what they’re personally interested in learning about. Stop and ask questions along the way and help your kids analyze, dissect, and understand what they’ve read. In addition to being an effective way to bolster skills in study areas where they might be struggling, this approach can help you address other societal topics kids may have a hard time understanding.
Disguise Learning As Fun
Sometimes parents need to take what they know about their kids and find creative ways to help them learn via activities they already enjoy. For example, there are many educational video games on the market – great for kids who are gamers. Maybe you have a child who enjoys shopping – there’s a great opportunity to teach math skills related to purchase price, sales discounts, and taxes. Kids can also help one another learn via “playing school,” an especially good concept for kids with sibs at home. Teaching someone else a skillset is a great way to learn more about it yourself.
Kids are well attuned to what their parents do, and if you’d like to model good educational practices, consider continuing your own education. Earning a degree in an educational field can help you advance your own professional prospects, while also giving you an inside track on what’s being taught in your child’s classroom. You and your child can set aside time to study together each day – they’ll likely be inspired by your commitment and come to recognize that learning is a lifelong pursuit.
We hope you’ve found these ideas helpful and that they will help your child succeed in school. Remember, it takes a lot of hard work to be successful, but with a little creativity and support from home, your child can achieve anything.