Reinforce Learning and Education from Home
Things to Do to Extend the Educational Experience
Parents have a great opportunity to extend classroom learning at home. Reinforcement and real life situations strengthen understanding of the core subjects. What is wonderful and dramatic about at home learning is that parents can start at one grade level and work through grade level requirements, and then during the summer and the next year build and loop learning to a higher skill set in the same subject. When students understand the material that has been mastered they can continue the curriculum of the school through the summer without the loss which occurs when there is no reinforcement of learning during summer breaks.
Begin with basic shapes, for example. Have children look around a room and name basic shapes they see displayed in the various objects in the room. The kitchen table could be a square or maybe a circle. Additional shapes can be added as the basic shapes are mastered.
Measurement is difficult for most students. Take a measuring tape and measure waist size, the circumference of a forearm, or the length of a leg from the knee to the ankle bone. This way you can work on math terms, measurement terms, and names of joints or muscles, depending on the level of the learner. Take a yard stick and allow students to measure the height of their dolls and their action figures.
Does your child understand the ½” mark? Measure items that are 5 ½ inches tall or long and find all items that can reinforce measurments using ½” marks. Parents that are do-it-yourself improvement gurus can have children work either beside them for small measures, or small children can begin by just having the parents show the child how measurements are important when doing repairs. Once this is mastered, measure one inch and mark ½’ and ¼”intervals. When each interval is marked explain the relationship between ½ and ¼. Have the child explain this to the parent on the next measurement taken. This will help reinforce measures and fractions.
Additional math practice can include taking a quart container and an empty gallon container. Fill the quart container and pour slowly into the gallon container. How many times does it take to fill the gallon container? Making basic recipes allows students to read and understand directions, as well as practicing their measurement skills.
Find old books, magazines, or comic books. Have your child underline all the nouns in one color, all the verbs in another color after reviewing each part of speech. As parts of speech are mastered, underline adjectives and adverbs using the same reference materials. As students progress through the grade levels, this concept will work with subjects and predicates.
Maps are great learning tools. There are stores that will give away old or dated maps. Use the maps to learn the continents. Cut the U.S. map into states pieces then mix the pieces. Have students put them back together as a puzzle.
Review how state road sign look and have the child draw a state highway sign. Then do the same thing for major interstate highway signs. Resource maps with trees and crops are fun to make. The child may use the computer or other resource maps as reference.
Have children draw their rooms and all the items in it on graph paper, if possible. Have a square of graph paper equal to one foot. Then have them draw a diagram of the street with all the houses on your block with side streets and intersections drawn in and labeled.
Depending on the ability level, have a student read a new book, comic, or magazine and have them make a crossword puzzle. Younger students can arrange characters by hair color, age, or color clothing if it is a picture book. Older students can make crossword puzzles or other games from the vocabulary words. Have students stop every page or so to review the story and to check for understanding. Parents can help children make their own vocabulary cards to use as flash cards in the car, even on short trips this helps to reinforce new vocabulary words. The child can pick a word of the day and use it as many times as they can in a sentence during the day.
Work with context clues. If they run into words they don’t know, have them skip that word, and then read the sentence without the word. Ask them what would make sense in that sentence based on the story or surrounding sentences.
As you know, there are household chores that can be included in learning from sorting laundry to keeping a record of allowances. The main idea is to keep your child learning and engaged.
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