Educational Activities to Help Your Kids at School
Our children's education is something that is hugely important to all of us, but sometimes a parent's involvement in this education only extends as far as choosing the right school. However, recent research suggests that parents who maintain an involvement and encourage their children to partake in educational activities for kids at home could be providing many advantages â most notably giving their children more confidence in the classroom.
Turning Learning Into Fun
One stumbling block that's faced by many parents who try to encourage learning in the home is that their children simply aren't interested. Kids go to school and work hard five days a week, so it's not surprising that most of them want to play at the weekends, rather than do more schoolwork. That's why transforming boring learning into fun educational activities could be the perfect solution. The question is this: how can we balance fun and learning to create activities that our kids get excited about, but which also teach them important life skills and everyday knowledge?
The Michigan Department of Education stated that âthe most effective forms of parent involvement are those which engage parents in working directly with their children on learning activities at home'. So for activities to be both educational and fun, we need to devise a list of games, tasks, and challenges that we can do alongside our children. Here are three great ideas that tick all the boxes:
â Boost Writing Skills Through Variety
Writing skills are something that some children pick up very quickly, while other children master penmanship a little later. Whether your child is an early starter or not, you can get them into the habit of holding a pen and writing on paper through regular drawing sessions. However, if your kids become bored easily, there is a way you can maintain their interest â through variety. Set up a table with a number of different types of paper (plain, coloured, lined, textured) and different writing tools (ballpoint pens, pencils, markers, crayons, coloured inks). You could also include pencils of different thicknesses, or even a paintbrush. This variety will stave off boredom, while also encouraging your kids to practice their writing skills.
â Encourage Maths Skills Through Building
When your kids were three, they could probably think of nothing more fun than counting â you probably know exactly how many steps there are to your local shopping centre! Unfortunately, by the time they reach school age, counting becomes more of a chore. The trick is to turn maths into more of a fun challenge, and building blocks are the perfect way to do that. For younger children, build two different towers and ask your kids to count how many bricks make up each tower. For older kids, challenge them to build structures made of a certain number of blocks, such as 5 blocks high and 3 blocks wide for example. Allowing them to be creative and flexible is an excellent approach to maths â something which is often very black and white.
â Improve Speech Patterns Through Karaoke
Although your kids probably know plenty of words by now, they may still be struggling with proper sentence structure, and placing the words in the right places. The best way for your kids to learn is simply through immersion, through listening to other people speak and copying the speech patterns and intonation. However, as you may have noticed, your school-aged kids might not always be up for a long conversation with mum or dad! Instead, why not switch on the radio and host a little karaoke session at home one night. Pour some drinks and lay out a bowl of snacks to create an authentic atmosphere, and get those songs blaring. Your kids won't realise it, but by listening to songs, they're subconsciously improving their speech and language acquisition.
Encouraging children to learn at home is widely considered to be one of the most beneficial learning tools outside of the classroom, with research suggesting that family participation is twice as likely to indicate academic success than family background or status. If you're looking for easy ways to help your child at school without tutoring, then fun educational activities could be hugely beneficial. Why not come up with some of your own ideas and see if your kids become more confident in the classroom?
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