We have a guest post from Patricia Dimick. She’s sharing some tips and helps to strengthen your child’s academic skills, at home. I hope you are encouraged by her post!
Each time you interact with your kids, it helps their development. Your child’s learning experiences don’t always need to be carefully planned and structured. Kids are flexible and acquire skills through everyday and practical activities like going grocery shopping or folding laundry. These routine interactions are one of the most natural ways to reinforce your child’s academic and social skills early in life.
While it might be easy to give your kids a bunch of stuff to play with and go about your chores, kids are more likely to learn by doing things along with you. Even simple things like building block towers allow you to demonstrate how to do things so your child can learn. Participating in your child’s playtime and other activities helps build their skills and creates opportunities for strong bonds and healthy communication.
Involve Your Child
Just as you participate in your child’s activities, involve them in yours as well. In addition to making your kids accountable for helping with cooking or chores, your kids will learn skills like following instructions, counting, measuring and reading.
Learning through Household Chores
Showing your kids how to clean up after themselves teaches responsibility as well as a strong work ethic, time management and personal organization. Even toddlers can pick up their own toys. You can help count and sort as your child goes along. Give your kids a timeline such as setting a timer for 10 minutes. This will help them learn how much time each task takes. Make cleanup fun with natural products like vinegar and baking soda to clean out the sink drains. Have school aged children help you organize home office supplies and work to set up a homework station with paper, pens and other essentials.
Making food together is an amazing opportunity to boost academic skills at any age. Math concepts can be taught while counting eggs or measuring flour and sugar. Language skills are attained by reading recipes and writing grocery lists. Older kids can make meals on their own, which requires increasingly complex skills.
Engaging your kids in DIY projects gives them a chance to express themselves, explore ideas and learn how things work. Your kids will also be able to develop fine motor skills through drawing or using scissors. Academic skills are also honed through making shapes, describing pictures, trying science experiments or starting nature collections. These projects can help to reduce stress and can even teach kids about resource management by using recycled materials.
Make Your Bedtime Routine Educational
Having an established bedtime routine comes with many benefits, including falling asleep faster and promotion of a healthy relationship with your kids. Reading a bedtime story helps to instill a love of reading in your child and it helps to ingrain an appreciation of language and communication. At young ages, you can read to your kids, and once they learn how, they can read to you. Bedtime stories help lower stress and also have positive effects on logic, comprehension and critical thinking skills. You can alternate reading books with making up your own stories or even having your child tell you a story. Your kids will develop a stronger vocabulary and be able to showcase their creativity and imagination.
A family game night is a great opportunity to enjoy quality family time while also having fun. Games strengthen family relationships and help promote healthy communication skills. Try a variety of games, including board games, cards, charades and even hide and seek. Teach kids how to follow the game’s rules. They can read the rules to you if they are able. Games are also a great way to practice gracious winning and losing, as well as academic skills like keeping track of points. Logic, strategic thinking and creative problem solving are also academic skills that can be attained through playing games. Try easy games like matching for little children and more complex games for older kids.
Rely on Technology
Technology is another helpful tool to foster your child’s skills. When your kids are using their limited screen time, it should be for a higher purpose than watching cartoons or sending photos. The learning process can be fun with age-appropriate apps, programs and online educational websites. Preschool children can learn about shapes, colors and words while older kids can improve their reading, vocabulary and geography skills. Most of these activities are interactive and include information for both visual and auditory learners. Video game developers continue to create innovative ways for kids to learn, but be sure to check the ratings to make sure they’re appropriate for your child. Some TV time may also be okay for your child, as public broadcasting offers educational programs that teach lessons about sharing, spelling and counting. Documentary, history and science programs can be great for older kids and teenagers.
Your home’s safe environment is an excellent place to introduce and maintain good academic skills for your kids. These strategies help to make the learning process effortless. Your kids will also have a valuable array of skills when they begin their formal schooling, and these skills will also be beneficial to them later in life.
Patricia Dimick is a Denver based freelance writer and a fun stay-at-home mom.
This passionate coffee drinker loves to write about parenting topics and enjoys DIY projects.
Patricia spends her free time playing table tennis or enjoying trips to nature with her precious daughter and loving husband.
You can reach her @patricia_dimick.