While school is an important contributor to your child’s education, it isn’t the only place your child can learn. Yet, many parents struggle to come up with ways to teach their children anything outside of the classroom. But there are tons of ways that you can show your child the fun side of education and get them to continue to learn even when they’re not at school.
Embrace Everyday Education
Recognize the value of answering children’s questions as they arise in daily life. Letting them play sports allows them to learn teamwork while watching a game is an opportunity to explain statistics and history. A visit to the zoo or botanical gardens opens up the door to a discussion on biology.
When you take children to the store, use the opportunity to teach them new words and about the way the world works. Discuss the practical applications of fractions while baking cookies. Ask them what questions they have so that you can answer them, and always encourage them to ask “Why?”. The worst thing you could do is stifle their curiosity. Curious children become curious adults who continue to seek knowledge. Discourage children from being curious, and they’ll become limited.
Take Advantage of Tutoring
Tutoring doesn’t have to be expensive or a hassle. There are plenty of online tutoring services like Thinkster that will allow you to get access to a tutor for a fraction of the price.
Thinkster works on tablets, laptops, and desktop computers, and your kids will be able to work on their math facts or advanced math lessons, no matter where they are, with a dedicated Thinkster Math Tutor. In only a few weeks, your child could see significant improvements in their math scores.
Thinkster programs are recognized for their efficiency. Your child starts off with an assessment test, so they don’t waste time on reviews of material they already know. The baseline determines what they know and what they don’t, and it shows parents how far the child is progressing. You can consult with an academic advisor to answer any questions you have and explain both your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Take Advantage of the Local Library
You don’t have to spend a fortune on books at the bookstore or online content to keep your children entertained. You can borrow books for free from the library. Reading these books to them and encouraging them to read themselves will give them a lifelong love of learning. Or let them roam free and pick up books on any subject they like the most.
Get a Dose of Culture
Expose your children to a wide variety of cultural enrichment activities as possible. This includes but isn’t limited to visiting museums, watching ballets, attending plays, and going to concerts. This expands your child’s horizons, especially if you do it when it is a fun break from sitting at a desk all day.
If you’re religious, get your kids involved in classes, retreats, and youth group activities. They’ll learn about their faith as well as the spiritual concepts and history behind it. Take your kids on community outings, too, so they can talk to local experts. For example, going to historical sites allows them to see and experience history that seems distant and irrelevant in history books. This is a way to engage in deep, interactive learning on your own time. It also creates memories for a lifetime.
Plug Into the Web Wisely
Don’t give your children unfiltered access to the internet. Instead, teach them how to search for answers to their questions. While you’re at it, explain how to identify credible sources of information that are accurate, timely, and reputable. Use advanced tools to keep them away from unsafe sites. And monitor their usage so they don’t spend too much time in front of a computer screen.
Commit to a Cause
Community engagement is not only a way to expand your child’s horizons but teach them the importance of being responsible citizens. You can engage in a cause that is close to both your hearts. For instance, you could go to an animal shelter close by and give them the opportunity to learn more about animals. They’ll have the chance to interact with community activists and learn about what they do every day. This could even spark them to become activists later on and give back to their community.
Use that iPad for Good
Instead of having them play mindless games all day on their iPad, try to find apps that will teach them something instead. You could install the TED app on their tablet, for instance, which will send notifications every time new talks are uploaded and allow you to build playlists on their favorite subjects.
TED talks usually are very simple and targeted towards novices, and many of them will be simple enough for them to understand. Kids usually love science and cultivating their interest in science early on will reduce the time they spend on time-wasting activities. They will constantly seek more knowledge instead. This could give them a significant edge later when they’ll have to work on STEM-related subjects, and will allow them to grasp complex concepts much more easily.
Another thing you could do is find apps that will allow them to hone their math, language or cognitive skills. There are plenty of apps out there that could help them improve their performance while being fun at the same time. Games like Motion Math: Pizza could teach them things like basic economics by teaching them how to buy ingredients, make pizzas, and manage their own pizzeria. These are the kind of games that will allow them to internalize important knowledge that they’ll be able to apply later on in their lives.
Learning shouldn’t be limited to the classroom. These few tips will help fire up your child’s neurons and teach them to love learning in all its forms now and for the rest of their lives.