Kas Winters

Easy Ways to Teach Children


Kas Winters

Mother of Family Ideas

Easy Ways to Teach Children While Doing Everyday Activities

by Kas Winters, Mother of Family Ideas™

Some children learn more through simple everyday activities than they do in school. The bits and pieces of time a parent and child spend together learning also build relationships, making the process even more valuable—and fun too!

Reading is often thought of as something that is connected to school classes, but it can be taught and encouraged at home. When our children were young, we read EVERYTHING! That included street signs, cereal boxes, milk cartons, signs on buildings, words on packages in the grocery store, words on notes on the fridge, and more. Reading happened daily. If children can read and comprehend what they read, there is nothing they can’t learn. Being a good reader is the first step to understanding every other class a child attends. Our daughter placed index cards all over the house to label everyday items and her children learned to read words like “clock,” “window,” and others long before they started school. Of course, reading books aloud with children and letting them become comfortable with words is a perfect way to build vocabulary, spend time together, make memories, and learn how to read. With older children, share books. Read what they are reading and discuss ideas. Have books and magazines available at home. Give magazine subscriptions to students. Let them see you read.

Math is a subject that intimidates some students, but if they become friends with numbers early, there is no fear involved. Count things aloud! Count steps when you are going up and down. Count socks as they are mated and folded. Count to 100. Fill a bag with 100 things such as paper clips. Count red cars as you are driving down the road. Use fractions to bake something (½ tsp, etc.) or to divide a pizza into equal sections. Set up a pretend store and use play money for transactions to learn to add, subtract and make change. Let children use a calculator but also insist that they learn to function without one. Add up miles from point “a” to point “b” on a map. When students see the usefulness of numbers in everyday life, they are more likely to find learning them to be something of value.

Science surrounds us. Grow things. Watch outdoor plants grow, flower, and go to seed. Identify trees and flowers while walking in your neighborhood, a park or while traveling. Kids feel good about themselves when they know about things and science is a good thing to know. Talk about the different varieties of fruits and vegetables in the produce department and make a game of trying each one and deciding which are favorites. Help children do easy “kitchen science” experiments with baking soda and vinegar, freeze things, and “see-what-happens-when . . .” activities. (Directions are available online.) They can learn engineering concepts by building with blocks and building sets, playing with wheeled vehicles and making paper airplanes. Collect rocks. Dry and press flowers and use them for art projects. Invite science into your family in the form of fun.

Just about every subject can be learned at home in a manner that feels like play, and I’ve always said that, “Children learn the most when they think they are playing. As soon as someone says, ‘Now we are going to learn . . . ‘, some kids flip their learning switch to the ‘off’ position.” Work to develop a love of learning instead of a fear of school.

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