They say parents are the child’s first teacher. I agree. From the time our kids were born, we start introducing concepts like numbers and alphabets. I spent money buying books, educational CDs, and toys that could help them in their development. Although homeschooling is out of our options, I still made sure that the kids will learn the basic concepts even before they start going to school.
Fast forward today where my kids are (slightly) bigger, my role as their first teacher never stops. Aside from teaching them after school and helping them with their homework, I also make sure that learning never stops and will be extended at home.
Don’t get me wrong. We don’t have a classroom set-up at home, except for the kids’ study table. When I say “extend learning at home,” this means practical application of the things they learned and will learn in school.
Here are some ideas you can also try:
1. Educational Shows
Yes, I let the kids watch TV from time-to-time. Cartoons from Disney Junior will always be their favorite, but I let them watch educational shows from National Geographic, Animal Planet, or History. My kids are into solar system these days, so I look for videos from YouTube and download them so they can still watch offline.
More importantly, I watch with the kids. It will be a never-ending question-and-answer portion, but I watch with them so I could quiz them after.
2. Pretend Play
I’m at this point in my momma life where pretend play is getting better and more effective. One of my kids’ favorite games is the Shopping Day game. I bought them a cash register, printed Philippine money that they will use when paying, and let them go around the playroom and family area where they can “buy things.” It enhances their Math skills (addition and subtraction, anyone?) and deepens their vocabulary. Plus, the kids tend to fight on certain things that they like, so it teaches them to take turns, share, and be patient.
The bottom line is I give them ample time for play. They’re kids. They need that.
3. Word Games I love Boggle. When I saw one in Toys ‘R Us, I immediately bought one for the kids. They’re still struggling with it and having spelling issues, but it’s a good start to build their vocabulary and enhance their ability to spell.
4. Mini Field Trips
Learning doesn’t end in classroom. In fact, that is the reason why schools incorporate field trips in their yearly activities because kids need to be outside the four walls as well. Why wait for the annual field trip when we can have several, right?
As much as possible, I try to expose my kids to different settings. We watch plays,
go to a farm or zoo, trip to the grocery, or go to different places they won’t always see among others. Exposing them in different situations will make them more aware of the world around them instead of confining them inside the classroom.
5. Typing Website for Kids
Surprisingly, my gradeschooler has Computer class. Aside from the basics, they will be taught how to use several applications. Yes, she’s too young, but with this technology-driven world, we have no choice but to keep up with the trend as well.
I found this cute website about kids’ typing. I encourage my kids to write, but typing is one skill they need to learn as early as now since, let’s face it, they will eventually type reaction papers, book reports, and so on as they get older.
6. Read, read, and read.
I read a lot when I was younger. I’m happy that I was able to instill love for reading on my kids, although I have to admit that it wasn’t easy to convert them.
I let the kids choose the story that they want to read and ask them questions thereafter to check if they understood what we just read. There are also instances when we just improvise stories. I come up with a storyline and the kids just add their ideas to their story. It’s another way to tickle their imagination plus I let them control the story,
7. Encourage hobbies.
We used to do crafts when the kids were younger. Now, painting is life in our household. This has been their favorite ever since they started schooling and I compiled all of our favorites, which they made over the years. Depending on the kids’ mood, I encourage them and let them do whatever they want for as long as it will be beneficial for them.
What’s the point? Don’t let learning be confined in four walls. We can always do something to extend learning while making sure that the kids are relaxed and having fun.
How about you, mommas? How do you extend learning at home? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, so make sure you comment below.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.