How To Continue Teaching Your Kids When They Get Home From School - The Ultimate Guide
When your kids come home from school and you ask the question “so what did you learn today”, the answer is normally “I don’t know” along with a typical teenage shrug.
Of course, we know that our kids are learning in their time away, but statements like this make us question how much is sinking in, and if our children will succeed when let out into the world.
Children will get most of the social and mental education from home, and although getting good grades can lead them to good jobs, if they don’t have a strong foundation to work on, these jobs may not stick. To avoid this issue, you can continue teaching them when they get home from school.
We have recently acquired the website afterschoolapp.com, and cannot wait to welcome the readers of this content into our fold. From the acquisition, we want to expand our after-school knowledge starting with this article.
Learning Needs To Be Fun
For someone to be interested in the learning process, they need to find it fun. Simply sitting your kids down with more textbooks isn’t going to make them engage with the content. In fact, they may end up resenting this part of their evening or weekend.
Instead, you should focus on some fun ideas and activities that hone into the topics they enjoy.
If your child enjoys fashion then encourage them to learn about sewing. They could create a Halloween costume using cheap items from a thrift store. You might be wondering how this idea can help someone’s overall learning, but through this activity, your child will understand money management, new skills from sewing, as well as designing. They will learn all of this while creating something they can be proud of.
This is an important part of learning outside of school. You want your child to have fun with their lessons, and ideally, they should be self-taught. If your child can learn how to teach themselves something, they will have a relaxed experience with learning and will develop the ability to regulate their education later on in life.
Many of us leave school wishing to never return to a stress-filled institution of boredom, but learning how to teach yourself skills outside of school will prevent your kids from developing a disdain for adult learning.
With this skill intact, your child will be able to go in any direction their life takes them, without being held back by a lack of knowledge in that field - they can simply teach themselves whatever they don’t already know.
Get Them Thinking Creatively
We have touched on this idea already, but get them involved in learning through creativity. You can do this in a number of ways.
Getting Creative In School
Our first suggestion is to encourage them to go wild with events or situations that they are already familiar with. For example, if their school has No Backpack days, encourage them to think creatively. They shouldn’t just show up to school with a paper bag, ask them to go around the house or mall and gather ideas that will make their choice of bag stand out from the crowd.
This will teach your kid 3 things - how to research, how to consider their audience, and how to create unique ideas.
This type of education can’t truly be found in schools. Your kid has to be pushed in real life to find and explore the world around them. You cannot teach someone how to have a unique idea, they have to create it themselves.
Even if your kid’s school doesn't have No Backpack days, you can play a game with your child and the loser has to use their “not a backpack” bag for the rest of the week.
Getting Creative In Social Events
Your child will likely host a party or two in their teenage years. Parties are a great chance to learn about the responsibility of the house, preparation for food and snacks, and creating a welcoming and exciting environment. These social skills will benefit your child when it comes to making friends, making good impressions, and eventually networking in the workplace.
Unique birthday party ideas come from experiencing the world and spending time thinking about how to incorporate these ideas into a fun evening event.
Let’s say your teen is obsessed with the hit TV series Euphoria. Encourage them to make a party based on the show. Get them to think about the outfit styles, the typical food the characters eat, and the type of music they play in the background. Next, consider the scenes that the show plays out and how you can turn them into a game.
This could be a fun activity the two of you could create together or a fun project for your child to work on independently.
Lastly, if your teen doesn’t want to dive into a special genre or TV show, they can simply pick a unique idea and run with it. Instead of having a typical party, they could hold an “anything but clothes” party instead, where all the guests have to come covered but cannot use typical clothing to do so.
Fun and unique ideas like this will teach them how to make fun outfits out of unusual ideas. This will educate them how to be resourceful, give them a new insight into everyday items and allow them to understand they don’t need to spend a lot of money to create something they want.
Help Them Understand The Financial World
Childhood and teenagehood shouldn’t be filled with the stress and anxiety that comes from financial management. Adults have to balance loans, bills, obligations as well as entertainment. These worries shouldn’t be put onto a child, however, if they don’t understand the financial world then the shock of financial management can be overwhelming when they jump into adulthood.
Without financial education, debt becomes a more likely worry.
To combat this, you can do one of two things. The first idea is to teach them how to make money on their own. The second is giving them an allowance.
If you give a child an allowance, they can learn how to save money and manage their financial interests. When spending money, they will learn how much their allowance is worth.
Saving money and learning to manage it is the most important part of this process. It doesn’t matter what they spend the money on - a new pair of trendy shoes, tickets to the cinema, a new game, etc. If they decide that saving up for the purchase is worth it, then they will have balanced their allowance with the product’s worth.
If the child has a job and works for their wage, this concept becomes even more striking. They will learn about whether the wait was worth it, but also whether the time spent away from friends doing a boring task was worth it too.
During this time, your child could learn what they do and don’t like about work. If they want to be outside and hate being locked up indoors, then this experience would help them find an outdoor job in adulthood. If they realize that the work itself doesn’t matter, they just like to see their money pot grow, then they will learn they can handle any job so aiming for wealth won’t harm their mental health.
These concepts can be hard to understand as an adult, especially if you haven’t worked as a child. Many of us take years to realize that one type of job doesn’t suit us but another job makes us happy. Allowing your child to explore this concept, without worrying about bills, will give them the freedom to learn about themselves and their preferred working environment.
Engage In Their Hobbies
Millennials were told that they could do anything they wanted, as long as they set their mind to it. By now we have realized that this idea isn’t true, there are a multitude of hurdles in your way and just because you are good at something, that doesn’t mean there is enough demand to create a stable job from it.
Instead of teaching kids that they can make money from their hobbies, teach them that they can gain mental clarity and a sense of purpose from them instead.
Use their current hobbies as sources of inspiration to teach them about mental health. Remind them that they don’t need to be stuck to their textbooks every day, and we all need a break from study or work to reconnect to the things that make us happy.
Engage with your teen while watching timeless movies and use this time to point out social awkwardness, relatable cringe moments, and the parallels between our society and the fictional ones on the screen. These conversations can help your teen learn about their life in context, and understand how to overcome social issues that may or may not occur in their life.
Sport is a particularly fantastic hobby to help people de-stress from the grind of life. Teaching your child that physical activity can help them find a sense of calm will help them navigate stress when the world becomes intense.
Support Them When They Need It Most
There will be times when your child struggles to talk to you. Perhaps they are being bullied, maybe they are feeling ashamed or confused about sexuality and gender expression, or they could be going into a downward mental spiral and don’t know how to call for help.
Although you need to give your teenager privacy as they learn to understand themselves, they need to learn that you are there for them when they need it.
Give them space while also explaining that if they want to talk about it, they can come to you. You may feel like rushing towards your child in this moment of need, but forcing them to talk won’t work. They need to come to you when they are ready.
As a teaching moment, you will allow your child to understand their feelings while also learning to reach out for support. This is arguably the most important lesson a person can learn. Asking others for help isn’t a sign of failure or weakness, it’s a bridge to becoming healed.
These teaching concepts aren’t ones you will find in textbooks. They are ideas and concepts that will help your child understand the real world around them. Your job as a parent isn’t to teach them how geometry works, it’s to teach them how to navigate the world they live in.
Explaining how to manage their emotions, finances, independent learning and creativity will help your child through the toughest moments in the transition between childhood and adulthood.