Learning At Home

What can you do to enhance kids’ learning when they’re not in school?

  • Make the most of everyday opportunities. Each trip to the grocery store is a chance for kids to learn about math, vocabulary, or where things come from. Bath times are great beginning lessons in physics and practice in motor skills. Story time with a brief discussion afterward helps them grow in reading comprehension as well as a love of books.

  • Talk about the same topics they are covering in school. This gives children the chance to ponder, discuss, and explore what they learned at their own pace which helps them to better understand and remember what they are learning in the classroom.
  • Turn off the TV. No, you don’t need to ban TV in your house, but many American families are not happy with the amount of TV they watch. Some parents may feel that they have no choice because they can’t entertain the kids all the time. Try encouraging children to play independently (but nearby depending on age) without the television. They may whine at first, but after a while it may become much more natural. Playing like this allows kids imaginations to get some exercise every day: a huge benefit to learning.
  • Pick out toys and activities that require problem solving and creativity. Just like adults, children grow most when they are challenged and able to express themselves. These need to be appropriate to their age and ability because something too difficult will result in frustration. There is no magic solution; just try a few things until you find what works best for your child!
  • Take some time to answer their questions. You won’t be able or want to answer every question (particularly for kids in the “WHY?” phase) but taking an extra minute or two to dialogue with them can have a big impact.

Don’t be hard on yourself as a parent if you feel like you miss out on an opportunity because you are tired or stressed. Children are natural learners and very adaptable, plus today is always a good day to try again!