If you are like most parents who value education, you probably have some concerns about what you should be doing to keep your children’s minds sharp during the months when they are not in school.
The Key to Engaging your Learner is to capture their Interest. When we are interested in a subject, our level of Attention is at its maximum and so is our ability to learn and retain information. So if your child is enthralled with bugs, for example, they would probably love to expand their education about bugs through a visit to a local museum that offers a hands-on learning experience with bugs.
While connecting with your child about their education, try asking them questions to activate and strengthen the networks in their brain:
- What did you do at ________today? (Recognition Network)
- What do you think would have happened if….? (Strategic Network)
- If you could do ________ over, what do you think you would do differently and what do you expect might change? (Strategic Network)
- How did you feel about…? (Affective Network)
- What part did you like best and why was that your favorite part? (Affective Network)
Some Benefits of Summertime Learning Activities:
- Children who stay mentally active during the summer months have an easier time transitioning back to school in the fall.
- Developing our Cognitive Skills by studying is what captures our Interest and will ultimately pay off in other areas where there is less interest in the subject matter.
- Educational Activities where the learning environment is less formal than the typical school setting offer a great opportunity to build socio-emotional skills too.
This summer, whether your family has plans to vacation together or your children have plans to attend outdoors school, guitar lessons, math camp, or a journalism class, make sure to connect with your children about their education. Keep the Learning Fun, Challenging, and above all—Interesting!
By Jessie Campbell – Executive Director, EMPOWER