Yes, parents, I hear you.
How do you keep your children focused on learning while giving them breathing room to grow and not throw a fit at more homework?
As a Titi, (Auntie), I have had the experience of dealing with my nephews and nieces when they were too tired to look at another workbook, puzzle, game or whatever I wanted to throw their way to keep their minds actively growing.
In the age of too much screen time (more on this later), and social media distractions, we adults are constantly trying to figure out how to raise a child who does not live on their phones or computers. Crazy right?
As a child, I was always outside. Television was for night time viewing only and even then, I could only watch my favorite shows if all my homework was done and reviewed by mom. You feel me, right? Today is a different time and a whole different ball game.
Speaking of games, let’s find a few to get you and your young ones outside. Yes, there is always buying a soccer ball, baseball or basketball and those are all great with helping instill physical activity into your child’s life, but what if you want to make sure they are soaking in the learning material they need to pass a class or an extracurricular class, like a second language?
Consider creating fun quizzes you can incorporate into a game or event. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, you can act out their favorite movie or television show. Then add the quiz questions in order for the character or next scene to continue. Is your child struggling with math? Play mathematical concepts with physical movements for a chance to bake chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes.
The Great Outdoors: consider taking your young ones to the park. After play time, during snack break or lunch, have a reading session or do a fun science experiment that won’t destroy your amazing carpet outside.
The best way to keep them learning without them feeling like this is another study session is to organize a nature walk combined with a scavenger hunt. What are they struggling with in school? Find a way to make that class come to life and have them hunt for those items that can help them remember what they keep forgetting in class.
Example: if studying a second language, cut your examples of the alphabet, like ka, ki, ku…etc and have them find the word you are using to help them remember the alphabet. Ka–a paper cup or ki, keys or a craft item, like keys or bees for memorization.
Parents have to get creative today. I know from experience, when relying on old-school parenting ways, your child could come up short on the social platform as well as educationally. The pandemic was no help keeping your child off the computer screen, but now there are many ways to combat computer burnout.
Consider relay races, spelling hopscotch or a math or geography-themed game requiring movement. What kind of technology will keep the fun and excitement alive? Educational videos? Interactive?
Adding dance or art moves the body and the mind.
Do your kids like K-pop or Hip-hop? What is a trend you could put into music and a dance routine? The prize: uploading the finished product on Tik Tok, or Instagram for a class project or just for fun. Have your child help you come up with unfamiliar words to their favorite song that incorporates a lesson you want them to learn, like English. They will find using tough words they struggle with helps their memorization efforts. Learning a new language? Add the new words into a song they love or choose a song that has those words in the lyrics already.
These creative ways with dance or art can have you and your child on top of our personal learning goals. If you need ideas for DIY crafts or art pieces to design, YouTube is great for finding channels that will show you and your child step-by-step ways to make craft pieces.
You could also check out this website, Craftjoy.com they send you craft boxes monthly for a fee, but it may be just what you are looking for.
Promote physical education through extracurricular activities like sports or martial arts. These activities also promote skill development while ensuring physical engagement.
Find the sport or activity that you both love. Something the entire family can be a part of and reap the benefits of having family time, physical movement and learning sessions without feeling like you stuck yourself and your child in another class.
Karate is a great example of this. Whether you do this together or your child takes a class, they can show you what they have learned during an afternoon at the park. These classes also incorporate some Japanese key phrases or words and this can help in their efforts to learn a new language or how to focus their mind during study time.
Let’s face it, parents and children are overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time to do the things they love and enjoy. This is where you come in with creative ideas to combine their wants with your needs.
Starting now while your child is young will only ensure that as they grow older and into adulthood, they will attack their tough issues head on as they are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to do so.
Thank you for stopping by.
Head over to our YouTube channel anytime for sing-alongs, read-aloud videos and much more. Always a pleasure sharing my life, tips and tricks for stronger, kinder and healthier human-beings.