What are some fun ways of supplementing your child's education outside of school?

We're interested in hearing your strategies for keeping the learning going on weekends, holidays, and vacations!
In Topics: Helping my child with school work and home work
> 60 days ago



Oct 1, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I agree with every idea given by ChildSpeech...  Since I just answered a question like this one yesterday, here are some more ideas.

1.  Go to the public library and check out books.  Get them their own library card as this will make them responsible for taking care of them and returning them on time.  Let them pick out books that interest them even if they look easy.  You want them to practice reading and research indicates that it isn't necessarily the level they are reading, but how much time they are reading.  Kids will read if they find the material interesting.  This is also a good time to introduce different genres.  for example, if one of the children likes dogs, find nonfiction books about different types of dogs or how to train dogs.  Then find a fiction book about dogs.  The librarian is a great resource and usually love to suggest titles.

2.  Roll up your sleeve and volunteer.  Depending on the age of the children, you can volunteer as a family.  This might be at a local food bank or religious organization.  It might also mean helping out a neighbor like raking leaves, planting flowers, walking a dog, etc.

3.  Explore the community.  As you are running around town, point out different people's jobs.  Talk about what they did to get that job and what responsibilities are associated with it.  Also check to see when the public offices are open for tours like the fire & police stations, mayor's office, election office, county court house, etc.  Often they will open their doors and give private tours where the children can ask their own questions.

4.  Whip up something taste to eat.  There is a lot of science and math involved in cooking - just ask Alton Brown from the Food Network.  You can tie in nutrition.  also, if they get good at making one meal, they can repeat it taking the burden off of you!  

As you learn and have fun at the same time, discuss what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how this applies to school and learning.  I believe that kids really want your attention and are usually willing to do anything as long as you to it with them.  

If you need more ideas, please feel free to email directly.

Have fun!
Barb K

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Additional Answers (1)

ChildSpeech... , Child Professional writes:
There are so many different ways you can supplement your child's education out of school. Almost any activity at home or in the community can turn into a learning activity. You can make each activity appropriate for your child's level. For example, in the grocery store, turn the shopping experience into an I Spy game. Have your younger child guess what kind of food you are describing. After they guess, have them go and get it! For your older child, give them a list of their own and let them practice their reading as they find the items on their list.

As you're driving, have your younger child practice categories by naming all the animals, vehicles, and types of buildings they see. Your older child can practice counting all the items they see or finding all the letters of the alphabet on the signs you pass.

Before you go on a special outing such as the zoo, talk to your children about the different things they might see. Make a list of their favorite animals and have them follow the maps to find those animals.

At home, spend time as a family reading together. Play educational games that include concepts such as colors and numbers. Make up your own guessing game by describing an item to your child and having them guess what you're thinking of.

When you turn any everyday activity into a learning experience, your child will be having fun and not even realize they are learning at the same time!
> 60 days ago

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