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How to Make Everything a Learning Experience for Your Kids

May 11, 2018 12:00 AM

Schooling, in one form or another, is mandatory for all our children. Many parents feel that the conventional classroom fosters the ideal learning experience for their kids. Generally speaking, most parents feel this way because they do not see themselves as teachers because they do not have a college education or teaching certificate. What they don’t realize is that this is not the case.

Parents begin teaching their children from the time they are born, and the best part is that it’s natural. Parents don’t realize that they’re teaching, and the infants don’t know that they are learning. This is the essence of the learning experience that can be incorporated into everyday life with your youngsters.

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is a growing field and jobs are in high demand. The problem? Few students are interested in these subject areas. Teachers can only do so much and are under intense pressure by the state to produce high test scores. However, you, as parents can step in and teach these to your children in a fun, meaningful, and interactive ways. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan either. Just including your children in your daily activities is all it takes.

Here are some examples for you to jump-start your creativity:

· Grocery Shopping – When your kids are with you in the grocery store, have them help you identify prices for the items on your list. For example, ask your preschooler to help you find the item that has a #4 as the first number. Or if your children are older, ask them to compare prices and which is greater then, or less than the other, or practice their estimation skills. You can even learn about percentages.

· Cooking – Cooking involves chemistry, math, and science. Your youngsters will see firsthand how science works and how different ingredients affect others. It also uses measuring, of course, with fractions, as well as whole numbers. Again, you don’t have to make a triple layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Whether it’s homemade marinara sauce for the spaghetti you’re having for dinner, banana pancakes for breakfast, or good ‘ol chocolate chip cookies. If your making sauce, have your kids be your tasters and tell you what it needs, or if it’s too salty.

· Nature Walks – Walking a trail or in your neighborhood park is a great way to let your children explore and discover in their own ways. While they are out, you may ask them to collect a few leaves, flowers, rocks, sticks, etc. Then, when you get home, you can examine them under a magnifying glass and have the youngsters tell you what they see. Have them show you the similarities and differences between the different objects.

For a full breakdown of STEM and why it’s so important for kids, check out this website, CommunityPlayThings.com (http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2018/kids-in-stem).

When kids are actively engaged in their learning and participate with hands-on activities, they are less likely to forget what they’ve learned and more inclined to enjoy the atmosphere and learning process. They are curious by nature and are eager to learn more about the world around them. This kind of teaching also allows them to experience the “real world” and how it functions. Most importantly, have fun spending time with your kids. When the family is relaxed, so is the environment which makes learning fun for everyone.


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