If Your Child is Struggling, Try Helping Them to Learn Outside the Classroom

Guest Author Tilda Moore, openeducators.org.

As a parent, seeing your child struggle at school or at home can be tough. First off, realize that you aren’t alone. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many kids have had trouble keeping up academically. While Athena Academy or your child’s school will provide the support they can, there is a lot you can do outside of the classroom to support your child’s scholastic success.

Read on to find out what you can do if your child is having difficulty in a certain subject or simply wants to expand their knowledge in a specific field.

Pinpoint what your child is struggling with

Before you can figure out how to help, you have to identify the problem. Feedback from your child’s school, such as reviewing recent progress reports, is one way to get the information you need. However, it’s also worth talking to teachers and being prepared for parent-teacher conferences to get a more in-depth understanding of where challenges may lie. Care.com provides a list of questions you can ask during parent-teacher conferences to guide the discussion.

Come up with a tailor-made learning plan

Once you have a better idea of what your child could use help with, you can craft a personalized learning plan for their out-of-school activities. Start by setting achievable goals, including both long- and short-term, and determine how you will measure and reward progress. When charting out your plans, also consider what type of learner your child is. For example, kinesthetic learners absorb information through action.

Try music as an educational tool

Once you’ve created a learning plan, you can start coming up with unique ways to help your child learn outside of school. Music is one option. Kids can master material through songs, for example. Check out how Athena Academy recently partnered with RIFFIT, an app that translates text to song, which may help some children better absorb information. Further, playing an instrument can help kids improve certain subject-specific skills. For instance, research suggests learning music can help improve math skills.

Look to the great outdoors for learning opportunities

Kids who have trouble sitting still and concentrating may find active learning outdoors is more their style. An activity like going on a hike is an opportunity to learn about nature, for example, while gardening is a great way to get a grasp on basic biology. This is also a great way to break up monotony if you need to work while your kids are home. Outdoor learning also offers other advantages, such as providing positive mental and physical health benefits and raising environmental awareness.

Find educational inspiration in the kitchen

If the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor learning, there are still many ways to leverage the home for unique educational opportunities. Head to the kitchen for engaging alternative lessons. Naturally Savvy provides a roundup of lessons you can try. For example, cooking cuisines from around the world can be a great way to learn about geography and other cultures. Meanwhile, baking can help teach skills like fractions and chemistry.

Learn more about childhood resources so you can better help

If you’re struggling to help your child thrive, you may simply need more resources. Check out the resources Athena Academy has already gathered to help parents on the subjects of dyslexia, social emotional learning, executive functioning and twice exceptionality. Honing your knowledge about how your child learns will help you find effective ways to teach your child.

Kids can learn in all kinds of ways. As a parent, finding means of nurturing knowledge acquisition beyond the classroom can help supplement their in-class learning.

This article is brought to you by Athena Academy, which serves 1st through 8th grade dyslexic and twice exceptional students. We are located in Palo Alto, CA. We utilize a project based curriculum to teach our bright and creative students. For more information, contact us today!

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