Posted Kara Deschenes on 10/14/2015 |Featured Columns & Series
Want to raise a lifelong learner with a curiosity for the world? Try these five tips to extend your child's education outside of the classroom!
Try Service Learning
Volunteering is a surefire way to boost your child’s emotional intelligence. By helping others they’ll learn the importance of kindness while building their own self-esteem. Whether they choose to volunteer at a local animal shelter or read to a group of smaller children, they’ll build confidence by knowing they can choose to impact others’ lives. Make it a family event and volunteer together to extend the feel-good fun!
Visit Local Culture Spots
Have a child that loves animals? Try visiting your local zoo. How about a budding artist? Hit up a museum to check out featured works of art. Many of these places have activities scheduled for children of all ages and have family-friendly events. Expose your children to a variety of experiences and foster a thirst for the world around them.
Explore the World
One of the best gifts we can impart to our children is a curiosity to explore the world we live in. Make a point to go to local parks together and enjoy nature. Try checking out a book on native plants and animals at the library to bring and read outside. Kick up the fun by playing a game to see who can spot the most items from the book on your adventure. Let the winner choose your next destination!
Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside of classroom books as part of everyday living. Making a recipe but want to cut the serving in half? Challenge your kids to help you calculate the measurements by showing them how you do it. Trying to decide which detergent is the better buy at the store? Educate your children by talking them through how you make the decision on which brand to buy. Once you start thinking through all of the decisions you make in a day, you’re sure to find a ton of opportunities to talk through reasoning and model your thinking.
While our digital natives may never know what an encyclopedia is, they do know how to pick up technology at lightning speed. Channel your child’s tech use by setting aside time to explore the internet appropriately. Keep a notebook handy to jot down questions as they come up (Mom, what do Kangaroos eat? How do lightning bugs glow? How fast does a cheetah run?) and then explore the answers together. Again, modeling the logic you use to conduct an online search is key to showing kids how to find targeted information. The world is theirs through a click of some buttons, but they have to know how to filter the information they receive.
Gone are the days where learning only happens in the classroom. Raise well-rounded kids by engaging them in experiences and fostering curiosity from within.