Educational institutions are now “teaching to the test” for federal funding. Schools need the money so the focus is away from art, music and PE and onto literacy and math.
So what does this all mean for you? You need to step up your academic instruction at home, check backpacks, communicate with teachers and help your children stay on top of their homework. But as several moms and dads on twitter tell us, learning at home is about more than academics. Enhancing your child’s learning with cooking, art, music and life skills will help your child to become a competent, skillful and ethical child.
Here are five quick tips to help you enhance your child’s learning experience at home.
1. Plan a time daily when you and your child sit down with their backpack, open it and review a) What they studied and learned today b) What homework they have for tomorrow c) Their recent grades on tests and d) Their schedule for completing upcoming assignments and projects. Kids do not have the skill to “preview” or look forward in their planning so you need to be their “brain” on this and help them be organized thinkers. Building your child’s love of reading comes with simply reading newspapers, magazines and even comics. Problem solving can be explored as a family with puzzles, crosswords, and games. Your kids will love sitting down for a game of bananagrams or scrabble.
2. Help your child learn organization skills. An informative book to help you is Organizing the Disorganized Child by Kutscher and Moran. This book is great for everyone not just parents who have kids who are chronically disorganized.
3. Use everyday life activities such as cooking to teach science and math. Think about it, you can teach conduction on a stove and math with measuring cups. Bake some cookies while you’re at it. Dad @pwcarey tells us to “Explain EVERYTHING I take for granted. How a stove works. How conduction works to make the pot hot to make the food cook.”
4. Time spent with your children at home isn’t only about academics. It’s about making time to put down your media and connect. @savingsomeday tells us “At home learning isn’t school. It’s time with mom/dad to discover whatever the mind fancies, to ask questions, to connect.”
5. At home enrichment also includes creating the space for open discussions and exploration with your kids. @workathomespace offers this tip “Have them read a variety of books, open discussions about what’s happening in world seen on TV, newspaper, in real life.”
Whether organizing homework, teaching your child how to cook or just laying on the couch talking openly, you are your child’s first and foremost teacher, so get connected and enjoy!