According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, reading scores among children in the US have not improved since 1998. The report identified the way that reading is taught in schools as the main culprit for this flat growth.
It’s no secret that the modern, public school system has failed many children and continues too. As a parent and a teacher, there has to be alternative steps you can take to give your children the education they deserve. The best way to do this would be to rethink the way we approach education.
Rather then view education as a strict disciplinary function, why can’t we make learning more fun. Research supports the fact that students perform worse under a stressful environment and perform better under a playful environment. For this reason, we thought we’d share some tips on how to make education more fun for kids.
Invest in Technology
Today’s youth are more tech savvy than the generation that preceded them and this can be used to the teacher’s advantage. Listening to a lecture is even difficult for a college student, no less a child of incredibly limited attention span. By incorporating screens and visual learning materials, such as powerpoint, video, and images into lessons can make paying attention a little more bearable.
Beyond this, there are plenty of online educational games and apps designed to incorporate with specific lesson plans and help students learn through interaction. There are drawbacks to technology, such as the fact that kids might end up fooling around with prank apps and texting, but interactive programs can be leveraged to make lessons more fun and engaging.
Even just allowing the choice to use a tablet or computer for notes can be of significant value to your children.
Make Learning Interactive
To continue with this point, the more interactive a lesson is, the more likely a kid is to actually pay attention to it and remember it. For younger kids you can get free handwriting worksheets and math games, but for older kids you want to make your lesson plans creative, such as projects that involve videography, painting, sculpting, etc. to allow children to research and understand their topic fully.
Creating lesson plans that allow kids to take the lead is a great way for kids to interact with each other and engage the material.
Create Fun Games
What’s the best way to make a lesson fun and interactive? Turn it into a game that actively challenge’s the students mind and offers fun rewards. Whether it’s a trivia game, bingo, jeopardy, or whatever, I’m sure we can all remember those lessons as the most enjoyable. Kids are naturally competitive, so combine that with their passion to learn as well.
Offer Fun Rewards
With this said, not every lesson or lecture is going to be fun or interactive. There’s only so many ways you can make math into a game. This is why it’s important to offer fun rewards, such as field trips, field days, and fun assemblies for students to break up the monotony of lesson plans. Even for the homeschooled child, being able to play a fun game or go outside in between lessons or directly after one is a great way to keep your child engaged.
Offer Students Choices in Lesson Planning
Finally, children are fiercely independent and hate to be told what to do. By offering students the ability to lead lesson plans and give them a choice between games, whether class should be outside, or what activities to incorporate into a lesson is another great way to keep them engaged.