Even when your child isn’t at school, you can encourage learning. Get excited about new books and games that you can enjoy together. Find independent activities to share when you’re too busy to be both a parent and a teacher. Be creative and imaginative.
Stories for Understanding
Everyone learns in slightly different ways, but fun is often the one element that makes it easier to learn. If your child likes to read or spends hours telling you stories, make sure to read together. When you read about the things you want to teach your child, you can emphasize curiosity and imagination. Ask questions and have a conversation about what you’re reading, so it is a natural experience and doesn’t feel like an assignment. One day, you could read a book about becoming president, a book about krill, and a book about a famous painter. This could make your child eager to learn more about social studies, biology, and art.
Imagination and Play
Kids have fun playing make-believe. During this time, children can become anything from explorers to panda bears. Let your child play. Sometimes, your child might plop down in front of you and complain about homework. The school day is over, but you can help by making the homework seem more like play. A report about worms could lead to a short family walk. Maybe some math problems taste better as slices of pie. When the complaint is about something you want to do with your child, even though it isn’t homework, don’t dismiss the idea. Be patient and find another way to do the activity. If you want to teach your kid how to tell time, but are yelled at each time you take out the flashcards, try practicing with a real clock. Hand the clock over so your child can move the hands.
Just as you celebrate your child’s creativity, use yours. Teach using fun activities, and the learning will also be fun.