Do you like having your child’s curriculum all prepared and ready to go?
Does your child respond well to the structure and feel safe knowing what’s coming?
Or….is it time to shake things up this year and extend your child’s learning options?
Go ahead, free your learning!
1. Alter your curriculum
Sneak a peek into your upcoming curriculum or planned lessons for the year. Which ones seem yucky? Do you wish you could improve it? Check online here or here or have a lesson or whole unit created for your child that fits his/her unique needs. It’s a great time to get it altogether so you won’t have to worry about the planning later.
2. Skip it..for now
Reschedule a lesson or unit for later on down the road. It may be 6 months or more. Taking into consideration the developmental levels of children is a sensible reason to wait for certain skills. Read more about why waiting is sometimes a really good option.
3. Extend or preview
Sometimes your child will really latch onto a topic or the opposite will happen and your child will show no interest in a topic. Using one of your child’s learning styles as a focus can help if you build in an extension or preview activity. Find a workshop that will engage your child in a different way (and leave you more free time) or schedule a workshop for yourself that will open your mind to new kinds of possibilities.
4. Online Groups
Though many parents want to limit their child’s screen time, using online groups can be a good alternative especially for your shy or introverted child to chat with others, contribute, and learn more from others. Some groups are created with teens in mind, while others are for all ages.
Contests are great options for children and most are free. They could be tied to an upcoming unit (if you can schedule it right) or may just be an outside the school plans activity. There are writing contests, invention contests, and many others. Upon entering, your child will get to participate in an interesting way and maybe get some constructive criticism from someone besides yourself.
6. Educational games
These don’t have to be online and you don’t have to remind your child that they’re learning. Whether it’s an online game like Mathbreakers or playing chess, Clue, or some Thinkfun games, your child’s learning can continue without the formality of a pencil and paper. Often, learning games can increase visual and spatial development and problem solving skills.
7. Take a different path
Replace the poems in your unit using more humorous ones, choose a different country to study, kick off a unit with a food from the time and place. All of these different paths can make learning more engaging.
8. Incorporate culture
Many times feeling disconnected from historical settings can be remedied by a visit; either in person or virtually. Look online for webcams of historical places, make some foods, or dabble in the native language to reinforce cultural understandings. Whether you’re interested in helping your child understand what it was like in colonial Williamsburg, Virginia or using Google Earth to take a look at the pyramids of Egypt, seeing is believing!