Your child's teachers provide a valuable academic foundation, and the greatest gift you can give your child is to be involved in their learning. This can be done through creative methods that go beyond helping with homework. Dawn DeGrazia shared her experiences taking a page from homeschool methods to supplement her children's private school education at home. Check out these fun and engaging ways to supplement your child's education:
Foster a Love for Reading
Reading is a crucial component in your child's education. Reading comprehension skills will play a vital role in academic success. In today's world, students would rather read social media than to go to the library and dive into a new book. You can help instill a love of reading from a young age and will enrich a child’s life forever.
One way to do this is to read as a family. When your child is young, this is often done as bedtime reading. Too often, this tradition of reading together stops when the child becomes too old for bedtime stories. Perhaps choose chapter books you can read as a family, and replace time that may ordinarily be spent watching television with family reading time. You can take this a step further and make it even more fun by choosing to read age-appropriate plays together and act them out in your living room. To encourage independent reading, offer a small reward for creative book reports. Give your child creative freedom to choose how to present the book to the family in a "show and tell" style book report.
Life by Numbers
When it comes to math, the most common question among students is "when will I ever need to use this in real life?" Help them use and improve their math skills through organic experiences. For instance, by allowing your children to plan and cook one meal, they can put many math skills to use. Give them a budget, and help them shop for the necessary ingredients. While helping to prepare the meal, ask questions such as what the amounts of each ingredient would be if they were doubling the recipe. Through this activity, they will practice various math skills while having fun cooking for the family.
Look for other creative ways help your children learn math skills through play. Legos are an excellent way to teach fractions. For visual learners, this makes the concept much easier to grasp. If your child enjoys art, practice measuring, and geometric skills through craft projects.
Explore Your Surroundings
You can enrich your child's science and history knowledge through a multitude of resources around you. Research plants, trees, and animals native to your area and visit a local park or go for a nature hike somewhere nearby. Create a scavenger hunt of the things you researched and set out to find as many of them as you can. Use this as a tool to learn about things such photosynthesis, conservation, and the behaviors of the animals in your area. During your adventure, collect items such as acorns, leaves, etc., to use in an art project depicting your adventure, such as a picture frame to hold a photo from your day.
Take Field Trips
Kids love field trips. Make use of free resources in your area such as zoos, museums, science centers, etc. While learning in the classroom is valuable and important, children retain more when they experience what they are learning. Visiting a history museum and seeing the actual uniform someone wore during a battle they have learned about has a tendency to make it more real and spark the curiosity to learn more. Wildlife rescues and historic places in your area are also excellent places for this type of learning.
Explore parenting tips online for hands-on experiments you can do at home, book recommendations, creative field trip ideas, and more to supplement your child's learning. You will help your child succeed in school while instilling a love of learning that will last a lifetime.