About two months ago we asked our tutors to provide some tips to help parents motivate kids at home. I took some time to read some of the hundreds we received and noticed a recurring theme. Almost half of our tutors cited their best tip was encouraging parents to bring learning into everyday activities. At the mall? Calculate the discounts! Pass by Jefferson Ave? Discuss Thomas Jefferson’s role in our country’s history! I love the idea of involving the whole family in education so I asked our resident homework expert, Joan Rooney, for some more ideas on how to make learning a family affair.
We all lead busy lives. It’s hard to squeeze in the learning our children are supposed to do such as homework and studying, never mind additional activities that challenge our young learners. Sometimes assignments can be more fun when the entire family participates. Here are a few tips to motivate your kids to keep learning even when the school day is over.
Does your younger child have sight words to learn? Is an older child working on vocabulary? Try posting words on colorful post-it notes around the house for younger children. Post vocabulary words for older children and for the family. Older children love to challenge their younger siblings. Can you stump each other with a new vocabulary word a week? Who can use that word in the funniest sentence?
Tell me what you are reading?
Is that a good book? I’ve always wanted to read that book, do you like it? Showing an interest in what your children are reading and doing so in a genuinely curious way communicates that you value reading and you value your children’s opinions. There is an added benefit too. Discussing books or articles encourages us all to think critically and analytically about the work which reinforces learning and understanding.
Math problem of the Month
Word problems are often challenging for students of all ages. Post a math problem on the refrigerator and let the entire family figure it out. At a minimum it may be encouraging for younger students to see their older siblings and parents grappling with how long it takes those trains that are leaving and arriving at various stations at different times to finally get to their destinations! If you want to challenge your children, check out Bedtime Math. This is a free service that will email you a math challenge every day. They even break it down for younger and older students.
I’d love to hear from you! How does your family make learning more fun?