How To Re-engage Your Child When Learning At Home
Parents often start off the year with lots of ideas, plans, and momentum, confident that they will keep that momentum through the year. But as the weeks pass by, parents may be finding themselves slipping into a rut, and they might find their child staring longingly out the window and letting out long sighs of boredom. If this is you, you are not alone! Many parents struggle to keep their children engaged as the routine starts to drag and the excitement from the beginning of the year drains away.
Take a deep breath and start with some of the following tips to help re-engage your child to learn while at home!
Add Some Variety to the Schedule
Variety is the spice of life. No one likes to get stuck doing the same thing every day. Having a schedule is important, but be sure to switch up the activities from time to time. While ensuring that all of the subjects are still covered, talk with your child about varying their schedule in order to keep learning enjoyable.
Take a printed copy of your monthly schedule with all activities listed on it – cut out each day and throw it in the air. Your child can put it together in the order they would like. Another option would be to let your student pick the day’s activities from a hat so it will be a surprise for them (and for you) each day.
“Play” with History
When learning about history, such as Lewis and Clark’s expedition, why not have your child write a play based on historical facts? Acting as a scriptwriter, your child could outline dialogue that is rich with facts and includes important dates, historical figures and events. And if your child has a love for music, make it a musical!
They may even get credit for it! At Enlightium Academy, students can request that they film the play or musical and submit it in place of an essay or project!
The Student Becomes the Teacher
Nothing captures a child’s attention quicker than if they are tasked to teach the class. Give your student a chapter or subject, and have them learn about it on their own and teach you! Reversing the roles will shift focus from the student receiving the information to being able to deliver the information. This is a way to increase your child’s emotional engagement and have them be genuinely invested in the lesson.
Get Out and About
This is probably not a new concept for you, but it is important to occasionally get out of the house to learn. Be sure to take time at least once a month and visit the museums, historical sites, and other attractions your city has to offer. One of the benefits of homeschooling is teaching your child in the comfort of your home, it is easier to re-engage your child’s mind when you re-energize it! So, do a bit of research and go somewhere you have not been before once a quarter, semester, or year. The trip doesn’t have to be far or extravagant. You might be surprised at what learning opportunities are waiting just around the corner!
For example, when studying zoology, go to your local zoo. Stop in front of each animal’s habitat and have your child tell you three things about that animal. This will test cognitive engagement from your student. When in front of the lions’ cage, your student might be able to tell you (1) that lions are indigenous to Africa, (2) that they are a member of the family Felidae, and (3) that the average lifespan of a lion is 13 years in the wild.
Mathematics Scavenger Hunt
Many students have a difficult time engaging when it is time for math. The concepts are there, but putting them into everyday scenarios requires a bit of thought. Take your normal errands such as driving, going to the grocery store, or cooking dinner, and think of math problems for them that allow your child to apply concepts learned in math lessons. You might make up simple addition problems related to the ingredients you make with food, or subtraction problems for the amount of gas you use when you drive. These make math more concrete and useful for your student.
These are just a few ways to kick-start your student’s mind for learning. Above all, do what works for your child. Each child is different, and something might work for one child that doesn’t for another. Making learning fun and engaging!
Enlightium Academy is a private Christian online school that serves homeschooling families by offering a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher-supported, and affordable education from the comfort of your home. For any other questions about Enlightium, please call (509) 319-2288, or visit EnlightiumAcademy.com.