We’ve compiled six study tips for elementary school children, which can help set a solid foundation for learning. You will need to adapt these studying strategies to your individual child’s learning style and age. Once children reach middle school, their homework routines become more complex and you may find you need a new approach, although these tips may still be useful. 1. Help your Children Create a Studying Routine Making studying a habit and a routine helps children fight the resistance anyone might have to sitting still and studying after a day at school or in the evening. Get elementary … Continue reading
Some fun activities for children are just that…fun activities. Other activities you can do with your child can sneak learning in with your child not even knowing it.
Cooking is a Great way to get Children to use Math and more while having Fun
Cooking is something you can do with your children. Yes, it might make a bit of a mess, but it is a great opportunity for your kids to use their brains in a different way. What can children learn while cooking with you?
- -Math and counting skills – while measuring, fractions and volume
- -Following instructions – such as a recipe
- -Creativity – extrapolating from a recipe that you know, and making a few changes to make it more interesting. With some recipes, you can change some things, but not others – especially in baking – where exact measurements are crucial
- -Decision-making – how to put together a meal, what main dish, sides, and desserts. Or how to get out your tools and ingredients first, then get cooking.
- -Knowing how to cook simple items can help you child build confidence in their abilities but make sure they stick with simple things, and are not doing too much unsupervised in the kitchen.
There are many sites on the internet and books about cooking with children to help you get started.
Gardening is another great way to Engage Children in Learning
Gardening, especially vegetable gardening is both physical and mental. If you involve your child from the very beginning and walk them through the decisions you have to make, that is a big head start on learning. What skills would your child gain by gardening with you?
- -Decision-making and problem-solving – where to place your garden in your yard, or where to expand your garden, (this can even be done on a small scale in a sunny apartment window). What vegetables to choose – based on what the family likes and the sun, soil and moisture you have in your yard. Also, what hardiness zone you are in (what plants will grow in various parts of the country.)
- -Veggie gardening also helps kids connect with where the food on our table comes from. I remember my young nephew liking French fries, but not believing that baked or mashed potatoes were from the same vegetable.
- -Gardening is also a lesson in setting and achieving a goal: taking steps along the way, from planting to watering, to harvesting…and in managing expectations – not everything we grow will make it to the table.
Again, there are many sites on the internet and books about gardening to give you tips and ideas.
Playing Video Games in Moderation has more Benefits than you Think
Many parents have a love-hate relationship with video games, on the computer, with game consoles on the TV, tablets and smartphones. They can entertain your child, but often it is hard to pull them away. Yes, we need balance, but the next time you child wants to play a digital game, ask them to teach you how to play and then take turns. Or find a game that you can play together, or one that has two players so you can play at the same time. Some games are created to be educational as well as entertaining. Of course, make sure that the games are age-appropriate for your child before you jump in. But you’d be surprised at how much the brain has to work at some games – even those that are not “educational.”
- -Have them teach you how to play the game. It can give the self-confidence, and by teaching they have to think through what they do.
- -Educational games make help them learn or use math or vocabulary words or other school-based skills
- -Problem solving – most games have rules – kids have to figure out a strategy how to play and how to make progress in a game. Usually each level adds new twists, and decisions, to the game.
- -Decision-making and consequences – many games have interactions and choices that have an effect on the next steps in a game. Doing something questionable, often has negative consequences.
- -Imagination – kids think about games even when they are not playing. Just like you imagine in a book and what will happen next.
- -Reading – yes reading! Many games incorporate reading – to learn the rules of the game at least. But often kids get motivated by games like Minecraft to learn more about how to do or build more things in the game. They may ask you to help them get onto the internet and research game guides. Studies have shown that often these game guides are at a reading level higher than they normally read, but they are motivated to read and look up words and concepts so they can play better.
- -Cooperation – some games are single player, some are cooperative, some are competitive. Each game type can teach kids lessons about these things. But even solo games can help kids make friends…other kids who play the same game.
- -Even playing board games with your children can help them learn some of the same things.
So try involving your children in gardening, cooking and games and let us know the results. What tips do you have for getting your kids involved in these tasks, or when have you seen your children learning, when they didn’t even realize it?
When the weather outside is just too wet or too cold for extended outdoor play, you might start to run out of ideas to keep your kids entertained. Here are some ideas from a couple of Children’s activities blog that can keep your kids busy indoors. Click on the links below for some great ideas. Create an indoor obstacle course - If your kids have tons of energy, but it’s miserable outside – try this activity – it can keep kids involved for hours. As you design the course, take into account the ages and abilities of the kids who are participating. Blind … Continue reading
Are you a parent who is still a bit frazzled from having your children home from school over the extended holiday? Why not approach this coming weekend holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a bit differently. Why not get you and your children involved in a volunteer project via the national MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 19, 2015. What is Martin Luther King Day of Service all About? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Day, originally a celebration of the birthday (January 15th) of the fallen civil rights leader, has been a U.S. Federal holiday since 1983 and is … Continue reading
New Year’s resolutions for children ages 5 to 12, when done well, can be a positive experience. However, if done poorly, they can set up a child to feel disappointed and inadequate, according to mother of three and family therapist Michele Southworth of the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia PA. Unkept New Year’s resolutions can be even more demotivating for kids, than they can be for adults. “New Year’s resolutions are hard enough for adults. Let’s not model for our children the feelings of making a promise to change that, by February 1, they’ve forgotten or failed; let’s not set … Continue reading
Time away from school doesn’t have to mean your children stop learning. Sure, give them plenty of time to play and explore new holiday toys and games, but build in a few fun writing exercises too. ALOHA’s Reading | Writing program works to get children to see writing as a fun and enjoyable experience and build confidence at it, rather than having writing being a chore. Have kids write a short note to family members who they only see during the holidays. Have them tell a story of something exciting that happened to them this past year, or tell of … Continue reading
Let’s face it, our children’s lives are busy. Between school, extracurricular activities from ALOHA Math or Reading|Writing sessions to sports or piano lessons, and time to just be a kid…that can be a lot to juggle. Parents can help children learn time management skills by following a few steps: planning, organization, scheduling and adaptability. A bit of time working with your kids on managing their time, can also help a parent’s busy schedule run more smoothly as well. Let’s Talk about Adaptability First We know every week is not going to go along with our plan. Unexpected projects or homework … Continue reading
Exam time is upon us, and all parents know that it could herald some stress. Here are some easy tips to help kids handle stress of tests and exams, which would help ease our state of mind as well: Effective study and revision: Work out a study timetable for exam preparation, with inputs from your child. Their participation in planning ensures that they would be equally invested in being responsible and sticking to the study schedule. Encourage your child to be independent and study on their own as much as possible as it is unlikely that you would be able … Continue reading
Exams for kids can turn out to be a time of stress and food might either be exploited or ignored at such a time. While handing out that pack of chips might seem like the easiest solution, it is definitely not the healthy one. Here are some tips on how to help your kids eat smart and fuel their body and brain at exam time: Eating at regular intervals: Rather than 3 heavy meals a day which will leave the kids in a sleepy state after each one, aim to give them smaller but more regular meals over the course … Continue reading
Health and fitness are areas that we have started getting more serious about, not just for us but for our children too. The term “fitness” must ideally be a combination of physical and mental health. As parents, we try to incorporate physical activities and de-stressors such as yoga in our children’s schedules. What are the ways in which you could stimulate their minds equally as well? A conventional classroom might utilize the left side of the brain that contains the centers for speech, writing and analytical thinking. The right side is also known as the creative side and contains the … Continue reading