How to Support Your Child with Learning Beyond the Classroom
written by Charley Sunday
As a parent, you already know that your child’s education is crucial. However, learning doesn’t just take place in the traditional classroom. Supporting your child’s education by engaging them in learning at home can help reinforce concepts learned in school and lead to high levels of academic achievement. At the same time, at-home learning can help your children learn real-world skills and broaden their perspective on the world. Check out the following tips to learn how you can support your child’s education outside the classroom.
Make Time for Your Kids
When you have a busy job, making time for your family can be tough. But carving out time to spend with your children is incredibly important, especially if you want to support their education at home. No matter how busy your schedule is, dedicate time to your child’s education. It can help to create a plan of attack before a busy season at work. For example, you could schedule an outdoor learning session every weekend or help your kids practice music for half an hour every night. Even if your time is severely limited, your support will go a long way.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a way to free up more time to spend with your children, working from home might be ideal. For starters, running your own business can be challenging, but if you go back to school for a degree, you can give yourself an edge over the competition. Better yet, if you choose an online program, you can learn at your own pace. There are lots of business degrees available; see your options and decide which is the right fit for you and your family.
Go for an Educational Hike
Getting outside and exploring the natural world is a great learning opportunity. Take your kids on a hike, or visit a local forest trail, and plan some activities to get those minds working. For example, Diary of a First Child suggests having your children look for specific plants, insects, or wildlife. Bring along local guidebooks and species identification guides. You could even bring a camera along so your kids can snap pictures of things for study and examination later. Be sure to use your outdoor excursion as an opportunity to talk to your child about the importance of nature and environmental conservation!
Explore Nature in Your Backyard
You don’t have to travel far to educate your children about the natural world. Your own backyard is home to thousands of plant, animal, and insect species. Exploring your backyard is a great chance to teach your children about biodiversity. Have your kids try to point out as many different species as they can and hypothesize why these species might thrive in your backyard ecosystem. Try to go out during different types of weather and at different times of the day so your kids can see how the natural ecosystem changes and adapts.
Conduct Science Experiments at Home
Science experiments teach children about physics, chemistry, biology, and other important STEM subjects. Conducting experiments in your own kitchen can help your kids visualize concepts taught in school, like the properties of different liquids or how sound waves move through things. You can find all kinds of fun experiments online, many of which only require a few household items.
Get Your Kids Involved in Daily Tasks
As you go about your day, try to get your kids involved in what you’re doing. There are learning opportunities all around you! For example, if you need to go grocery shopping, have your kids help you come up with a budget and keep track of your spending as you add items to your shopping cart. Your kids can also learn by helping you cook or bake. For example, Kidpillar explains how baking a cake with your kids is a chance to show your kids how carbon dioxide—produced by baking soda and baking powder—helps a cake rise when it’s in the oven. Your kids will pick up countless valuable skills just by shadowing you as you go about your life!
Learning can happen anywhere! Whether you’re heading out for a day trip to the mountains or hunkering down at home on a rainy day, look for opportunities to support your child’s education. And if you’re a busy working parent, schedule time for learning with your kids! You’ll cherish these memories forever.