Turn snow days into learning days for your kids
Winter is sneaky. It can lay low and let us enjoy a day or two of sunshine before roaring back to life and burying us under a blanket of snow. Savvy parents will have a plan in place to keep the kids busy on those blustery no-school days. Here are some tips with that in mind.
Making a maze
Mazes help kids to learn problem-solving skills. You’ll find online versions that will keep their minds focused for hours. Or, you can stick with pencil and paper versions, if you prefer. After they’ve gotten their feet wet, have them design their own maze and challenge you or their siblings to find the way out. Extra points to the maze designer if you find yourselves flummoxed!
Solving a mystery
Murder-mystery parties are all the rage among adults. But why should grown-ups have all the fun? Stage a child-appropriate mystery or spy party of your own and let the kids piece together the clues. Gear the hints towards topics from science, math or history to give this activity an educational bent.
Remember that ancient, dog-eared Monopoly board you almost threw away last month? Well, break it out and get ready to roll the dice because board games are back, according to USA Today. Plus, many of them offer brain boosting benefits. Pop some popcorn, gather the family around the kitchen table and prepare for some old-fashioned family entertainment that’s still in style in the Digital Age. Just make sure to check the game’s age rating, because some modern versions are a bit too mature for young players.
Speaking of Monopoly …
Have a real estate learning day
Teaching subjects one at a time is a great way to dig into the meat of the topic. But knowing isolated facts about math or geography or economics is rarely as good as bringing all that learning together in a practical, holistic way. This is why learning about real estate is such a great option.Real estate is a complex field that requires skills in math, science, English, social studies and home economics.
By incorporating real estate-based lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science and so much more.
Get up and dance
Dancing offers benefits well beyond the social kind. It teaches coordination, provides exercise, and perhaps most important of all for harried parents – it lets kids work off a little energy. You’ll find plenty of family-friendly dance videos on YouTube and other online sites. Or, just keep a DVD on hand if the weather fiddles with your Internet connection.
Have a themed discovery day
You hear a lot these days about living in the present and that’s good advice. But it’s just as important to remember where we came from, which is why history is such an important subject for kids to explore. So, the next time a snow day rolls around, consider having a themed event focused on specific eras or events from the past.
For example, you could focus on the 1920s and have kids look up fact about the decade, either online or in books. You could even do a costume party in which they dress up like characters from the time period. Wrap it all up by watching a film or TV show set in the particular era. This is a great way to make the past come alive.
Preparing for the unexpected is a great habit to pass on to your kids. So why not prepare for the next time Jack Frost turns your community into a winter wonderland?
Jenny chronicles her family’s ups and downs in homeschooling on her site, SpecialHomeEducator.com.