Tips to Boost Your Child’s Knowledge From Home
(Guest post by Laura Pearson)
Schooling your kids from home?
Even if your kids are schooling from home during the pandemic, it’s important to learn with them outside of regular classroom hours — whether that means playing educational games as a family or touring local museums and landmarks on the weekends.
Fortunately, the internet makes it easier than ever to get the information you need.
Whether your child is struggling in school or you’re looking for some ways to expand your little one’s knowledge from home, so many great games, activities, books, websites, and online learning programs are now available to help you do it.
The following tips will help you learn about the different things you can do to boost your child’s knowledge and understanding of subjects such as science, math, reading, English, history, and geography — all from the comfort of home!
This post contains affiliate links, for more info check out my disclosure page.
Science and Math
If your child enjoys science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) — or you’re hoping to improve your little one’s understanding of these fields there are hundreds of different websites that can help to support your child’s learning from home.
The experts at 2U recommend STEM websites like Science Buddies, Code.org, Funology, and Exploratorium — and games and apps such as Amazing Alex, Every Body Has a Brain!, Math Blaster, Fun Brain, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Through these STEM resources, you’ll find an array of games, activities, experiments, and other great learning opportunities for kids and teens.
If you’re looking for a fun way to teach your child about STEM fields such as astronomy, stargazing is another great activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. By downloading the Sky Safari smartphone app beforehand, you can identify constellations and stars by pointing your mobile device at the sky.
However, stargazing is best experienced when the moon isn’t full — as the brightness from the moon could interfere with your view of the stars. You can even pair the experience with a cool educational app like NASA Visualization Explorer!
Reading and Writing
While some children develop a love for reading and writing at an early age, others struggle with spelling, reading comprehension, and language skills well into adulthood. However, there are some steps you can take to improve your child’s reading and writing skills early on in life — all while having fun in the process!
Several great reading and writing boosters for kids include:
- Starting a reading challenge as a family.
- Solving crossword puzzles and word games.
- Writing with salt trays, finger paints, and sidewalk chalk.
- Keeping and writing in a daily journal.
- Writing and mailing handwritten letters to friends and family members.
- Reading e-books and listening to audiobooks.
In addition to these fun activities for kids, a variety of websites, online games, and mobile apps can help to boost your child’s reading, writing, and language skills. Several reading and writing apps for kids include Starfall, Ollie’s Handwriting, Endless Reader, Night Zookeeper, Reading Prep Comprehension, SpellingCity, EasyBib, and SimpleMind.
Several board games can help to boost literacy skills in kids. A few of them include Tall Tales: The Game of Infinite Storytelling, Sequence Letters, Hedbanz, Boggle, Apples to Apples Junior, and Read My List!.
History and Geography
Reading, writing, and STEM are all important subjects, but history and geography deserve some focus too.
To teach your kids about geography, for instance, Megan Machucho of We Have Kids recommends singing songs about the solar system, seven continents of the world, and the 50 U.S. states and their capitals — as singing words out loud can help kids to retain the information more easily.
Megan also recommends completing geographical puzzles, keeping maps and globes within reach, and playing games such as “Pass the Globe”, “Spin the Globe”, and “How Many Miles Away?”
To teach your little ones about history, however, head to websites such as:
- The Crash Course.
- PBS Learning History.
- National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- Big History Project.
- National Geographic Education.
Furthermore, you can use games and activities to teach your kids about history as well. According to Common Sense Media, some of the best kid-friendly video games that teach history include the following: Mr. Nussbaum! Learning + Fun (for kids seven and older); Geo Walk – World Factbook 3D (ages eight and up); FactMonster (ages nine and up); and The Oregon Trail: American Settler (ages nine and up).
Museums, Aquariums, and Zoos
If you’re looking for some fun offline activities that can help your kids to learn about history and other subjects like art and science, try visiting a local museum, aquarium, or historical landmark. Most museums update their exhibits on a regular basis, and many are geared toward children.
If you’re not comfortable visiting a museum during the pandemic, many museums are also offering free virtual tours at this time. Whether you’re looking to visit a museum, aquarium, zoo, or theme park, you and your little ones can enjoy a virtual tour of the National Women’s History Museum in Virginia, British Museum in London, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and even Walt Disney World in Florida.
How to Enhance the Online Learning Experience
Like most kids in the age of COVID-19, your children are likely participating in distance learning this school year — if not full-time, then half the time. And while keeping kids engaged has been a challenge for many parents and teachers alike, educational technologies like virtual reality (VR), code camps, and online learning programs can all help to gamify the distance learning experience and make schooling more enjoyable.
As your children learn from home, a fast and dependable internet connection and the right technology will all be essential regardless of whether your kids will be learning with VR, completing an online coding bootcamp, or enjoying educational games and activities.
Several essential tech tools for distance learners include 2-in-1 laptops, webcams, tablets, e-readers, and noise-canceling headphones.
Boost your kid’s knowledge from home
Thanks to the internet and the many technological advancements that have been made in past years, it’s never been easier to expand a child’s knowledge and education from home. With online learning programs, educational games and activities, virtual tours, and websites like PBS Kids, Khan Academy, and National Geographic Kids, learning from home has never been more fun or feasible!
Laura is passionate about teaching and loves writing to help teachers, parents, and students. She is passionate about advocating that learning should be fun and should not just be confined in the classroom. Edutude is her brainchild to be able to share free resources for teachers and parents.