Enriching your child's education isn't about adding more homework, it is about adding more depth and generating new innovative ideas from the material. Every student learns in different ways, and by academically enriching their education at home, their ability to contextualize and conceptualize their learning materials can really benefit their learning potential in the long run.
Here is a list of the best ten ways to enrich your child's education
1. Constantly Evaluate What Needs Attention
Your child may be a genius at math, but can struggle with reading or writing homework. By evaluating your child's overall performance in school you can see what subject your child needs special attention in and provide added enrichment. Whether the child needs a private tutor or just some extra help at home, paying attention to their school performance and what they need special attention in can be very beneficial.
2. Be Proactive
What we mean is to connect with your child's teacher every now and then to track your child's progress. Conferencing with teachers is another trick that might open up a dialogue about where the curriculum is heading. If you are fully aware of your child's progress then that can help with planning enrichment activities down the road.
For example, if you know that your child is learning angles of various shapes, you might want to add easy and fun activities with your child to get them thinking and excited about angles as a whole. Have them think about the angles of a bicycle or the angles of different household items. Look for opportunities where angles present themselves in real world situations.
If your child is learning about parts of speech, you might want to test them from time to time on whether certain words they see or say are nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
3. Get a Hold of Learning Materials
Teacher materials aren't just for teachers. There are stores that have these materials for purchase near you, but you can also find them in bookstores, libraries, or online. Flashcards, games, maps, and various workbooks can be bought or rented to added enrichment to your child's education. If your child can benefit from some added practice in physics, it might be useful to find some materials that pertain to that subject.
4. Visit The Library
When you go to the library talk to the librarian, they are extremely helpful. They are really good at finding the resources you need. Becoming friends with a local librarian can be very beneficial throughout your child's education. Not only can they help you find supplemental materials and thoughtful enriching add-ons, but they are also very smart people that can help you find information on any subject you need.
5. Get Out and Explore
Your child probably sees the same environments almost every day.They go through the same routine day in and day out. They need breaks and changes in the daily routine too. Whether you choose to go on a hike in a forest preserve/park or head to a museum or other learning based destinations, it can be very beneficial to your child. If you really want to change things up, try a weekend camping trip, show them the joys of living without technology.
Change your vacations from lazy beach days or hitting the slopes for the weekend to a more educational experience. Check if there are any historical or entertaining attractions that you and your child can visit. Vacations to big cities offer plenty of exploration and learning. For remote destinations, try to be a traveler and not a tourist by embracing the culture. Wherever you choose to go, make the most of the experience for your child.
6. Be Part of The Learning Experience
If your child is learning a new concept in mathematics that they are struggling with, try to join them in the learning experience. They won't feel all alone in the struggle. Not only will this make for interesting dinner time conversations, but it will also help your student when they need the assistance.
If you get a syllabus at the beginning of the school year, try spending time following along with the topics your child is learning.
If your child has a section on the American Revolution coming up, try refreshing yourself on the topic or picking up a book like 1776 or and biography about George Washington. There are a lot of great history best-sellers out on the market that will assist you in enriching your child's education..
7. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Planning can be very beneficial to your child's education. Let's say your child is studying American History this year. Maybe plan a weekend trip to a place of historical significance that might supplement the topic of American History. Is your child learning French or Spanish? Go check out that new French bistro or Spanish tapas place one night for dinner. Or you can stay at home and cooperatively cook a recipe pertaining to those subjects.
Check for openings of museum exhibits that might interact with your child's education. There are many places that offer events and activities like this that would enrich your child's education.
8. Use Resources
There are tons of parent resources that can help generate ideas for activities with your child. Put yourself in the teachers shoes and try to think of ways in which to make learning fun. From ABC Teach to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there are plenty of places that post lessons. Many local museums, zoos, aquariums and libraries offer educational resources, and they often offer special events, camps and courses that the whole family can have fun at.
9. Tutoring Can Be a Great Source of Enrichment
It is a big myth that students only use tutors when they are failing. Many students use tutoring to enhance their learning experience. Tutors can not only help your child get organized and ready for their lessons, but they can also offer supplemental enrichment activities for the student to participate in. If your student is struggling with a particular subject, a tutor is an awesome option to help your student get the most out of their education.
10. Keep Calm
Education Enrichment isn't rocket science. Enriching your child's education is about being able to adapt what they learn to their surroundings. Enriching you child's education can give them different perspectives to various subjects and ensure academic success. As a parent look for learning opportunities that you can take advantage of every where you go. Relax, it's easier than you think. Remember that learning isn't all about school days and homework, but about applying concepts to understand the world around us.