Cindy Doyle Richardson-Keys
Daughter of Christ, wife to Amiri, mother of six, accounting student, entrepreneur, modest, humble, reliable, patient, grateful, blessed, ME!!
Educating your children beyond the classroom: Tips for re-enforcing what they are learning
Your degree may not be in Elementary Education, but you will always be your child’s teacher beyond the walls of the school building. Your lesson plans will vary depending on the child and the subject that will be used for enrichment for the day. There’s a math, reading, writing or science lesson waiting in the kitchen, grocery store or in front of the TV.
Younger children (infants – 5 years old) absorb any and every thing!!! Their brains are ready to receive everything you expose them to. If your child attends daycare/preschool, ask the teacher for a general calendar that covers material that will be taught for that week or month.
- If your child is learning letter sounds and phonetics, play “I Spy” in their room to find something that begins with the same letter sound. Ex: Lamp starts with the letter L.
- Pick out clothing to wear for the day that starts with the letter for the week. Ex: You can wear the shirt today that has something on it that starts with the letter D. The child can then pick between the two shirt options that you layout with the image of a dinosaur or a race car.
- Color and shape recognition is always fun! Use descriptive words when describing things to your child. Ex: Your dinner is on the green plate that is shaped like a square, here is a purple hair bow with a heart in the middle, do you see the red stop sign shaped like an octagon?
Adolescents (6-10 year olds) are eager to prove and show you how much they know! Pretend that you are the student and they are teaching you about something new and fascinating that they have learned in school. And actually, this may become a true role for you as your children began to teach you the new conceptual math methods that they are learning. This is the moment that you realize things change quickly in the classroom within a 20 year span.
- Thinking outside of the box is key here. Challenge your child to read the closed captioning on the TV screen for their favorite sitcom on Disney that may be showing a rerun.
- Economics lessons are great at this age! While grocery shopping, give your child a $10 budget to purchase all of their lunch items and snacks for the week. Remind them of the number of days that they will need to purchase items for as they make their shopping choices. This is also a great lesson on balancing a healthy diet. A lunch box filled with Rice Krispies Treats, Jell-O Pudding and a Kool-Aid Jammer may fit in the budget but will not balance according to the suggested servings on http://www.choosemyplate.gov.
These tips are great for applying and enforcing the knowledge that your child is receiving in the classroom. Constantly communicate with the teacher and check the school’s website to see what objectives must be learned for the standardized testing that your child will receive. When you are actively involved in their education by engaging them in out-of-the-classroom activities, they will better conceptualize and appreciate the extra lessons received from their most loved teacher, YOU!