We can all relate to that all too familiar conversation with our child when they complain about a particular subject being ‘boring’ and how they have no interest in it. We, on the other hand, sympathise with our child and basically advise them to get on with it as there is no other way. But perhaps there are things we can do to help our child find the sessions slightly more bearable and even fun at some point. And yes, we might decide to make this a joint venture by speaking to your child’s teacher to see if there’s anything that can be done in class to change your child’s view or attitude towards that subject, but there are also things you could do to help your child at home.
Below, we have put together some suggestions that may help you as a parent to stimulate your child’s skills while making life more interesting for him/her class.
1. A great way to introduce a new topic could be to use themes. This would help your child get to terms with the idea and concept. For instance, if your child has begun learning about a certain period (back) in time, you could have preliminary discussions around this, then find activities that can be done at home to help facilitate your child’s understanding of this. This could be along the lines of:
2. As we know, a picture says a thousand words, so why not cut things short (or get more in) with a video. Having an interesting video ready to “kick-off” a new subject is always a great idea. Get as creative as possible with this, which means find a video that addresses that topic in a more creative, engaging and fun way as this is more likely to hold your child’s attention for much longer. As an extension of this, you could:
3. Discuss your endeavours with your child’s teacher to see if they are having an impact on your child’s progress at school and if so, perhaps the teacher might be willing to incorporate some of the ideas into the class activities, to make it more fun for everyone. Do this with care as we don’t want to step on anyone’s toes here!
4. Scour events happening in your local community to see if there’s anything that will aid you in helping your child. There may be a “free talk day” at the zoo about an animal your child might be required to write a non-chronological report on for example. Or you could arrange for one of the (very nice) zookeepers to take out a few minutes of their time to speak to your child about one of the animals in question. And don’t forget – there are always the museums which are great places, for information gathering. The brilliant thing about museums is that they are subject-based which means, if your child is struggling with a topic in science, a trip to the science museum might make for further enlightenment, as could a trip to the natural history museum, should the topic of the week be in that department.
5. Invest in a few items that might help your child understand the topic much better. These could be informative books, games, learning items like shapes etc. If you are able to access the curriculum for the term, you might be able to plan better and get some of the items at a much better rate.
6. Speak to other parents in your child’s class to see if you can glean some ideas off of them and vice-versa. This could become a collective effort so everyone is invested in the cause. This way, group trips could be planned, items could be recycled. This way, activities could be done together, thereby making them much more fun for the kids involved. If there are more parents involved, the easier it might be to convince the teacher to incorporate some of the activities into the class schedule.
All of these ideas will not only help your child become more engaged with the topic but will also help him/her retain the information much better as they would be learning by doing. It is really amazing to see how much one can learn or assimilate subconsciously by doing things.
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