Summer is coming to a close and the school year will be back in session. While there are surely many long faces about the end of vacation, the start of the school year is the perfect time to establish family educational goals and assorted activities for you and your young one to take on as you continue the academic journey together.
Naturally, the school systems will have many resources and opportunities to offer, but there’s nothing better than spending quality time at home while simultaneously furthering your child’s education and expanding their future skills.
But the school covers so much, where could we even begin?
At Greater Leaning LP, we’ve curated some of the best learning activities that you can enjoy with your young one in the comfort of your home or while running errands.
An easy at-home activity you can start today revolves around the dining table. After school, you can help your child identify words that have the k, g, f, t, d and n sounds. Enlist your little one to help you set the table and as you two work together use and emphasize words like cup, dinner, table, family, napkins or dish. If your child has trouble with pronunciation, make sure you are providing a clear model of the word without directly correcting the child’s speech. This will let your young one work through the difficulties that may arise with certain words and pronunciations, and it’ll undoubtedly boost their confidence as they work with you to complete daily tasks, like setting the table or cooking!
As an added bonus, you and your child can discuss the sounds they hear in the kitchen as you prepare dinner or clean up after the meal. Have your child share the sounds they hear that stand out to them, like a tea kettle whistling, refrigerator doors opening and closing or running water. This can simultaneously help your child with their speech pronunciation and categorization as they learn to discern the proper place of kitchen and dinner associated tasks and items.
Since school is back in session, there are undoubtedly going to be reading assignments, and naturally, the opportunity to encourage your child’s education through leisure reading is also present. So take the time to turn these assignments or regular reading sessions into learning activities!
Aside from the required reading, establish a time to regularly read with your child. It can be after dinner, before bed or even during breakfast! After you’ve chosen a time to regularly read with your young one, make sure all their books are on low, open shelves for easy access.
Now, be sure to choose books that have lots of repeating rhymes, words or phrases. These will allow your child to quickly pick up the repetition and bolster their ability to take part in the family activity with ease. Once you and your child have made it through the books a few times, stop before the repeating phrase, rhyme or word, and encourage them to fill in the blank! While it may seem minute, this will create a more active reading time where your child is just as involved and invested in the story as you are.
Along with having them fill in the blank, talk to your child about what you see in the pictures. Allow opportunities for your child to comment without placing pressure on them to answer questions. This can be done with chapter books that don’t have pictures as you comment about different characters, inference about what might happen next, or discuss new vocabulary while reading. Employing these little activities while reading can drastically alter the interaction of reading time, further your child’s education and allow you both to bond over a regular family activity!
The benefits of at-home activities are that they allow you to take an active part in developing your child’s langue and reading skills. This can undoubtedly empower parents and children as they work together throughout the school year to create a brighter future rich with opportunities. Yet the most important aspect of all, you and your child get to spend quality time together while sharing laughs and discovering that learning can be a fun activity.
So celebrate the start of the school year by establishing your favorite after-school learning activities and let the family bonding start off with a bang. While you both may have enjoyed summer, by using Greater Learning LP’s educational activities you’ll both remember the ever-present joys of learning and laughing together throughout the school year.