This is a sponsored post written by me for Eye Level Learning Centers. All opinions are mine alone.
In today’s world of common core standards & nationwide testing, learning can easily become devoid of fun and individualization. However, as a parent, I am always trying to make sure I am helping my kids truly master the academic concepts they learn in school. Whether it’s through worksheets & lessons or academic enrichment at Eye Level Learning Centers, keep reading for easy tips on making learning fun & engaging for your child this year.
1. Get them moving!
Kids love to be active so I like to incorporate movement into everyday lessons. If you’re teaching the concept of counting to a preschooler, have the child jump as she counts to ten. It’s a fun way to keep them engaged in the lesson and make it feel more like play time rather than lesson time.
2. Seek after-school help that focuses on critical thinking!
In today’s world, critical thinking skills are essential. I love that Eye Level Learning Centers develop personalized Math & English curriculums that improve a student’s critical thinking & problem solving skills. In fact, the curriculums are based on the philosophy that successful learning takes place at the eye level of the child. By determining the specific learning needs of each child, the instructors are able to create realistic goals & develop an individualized program that caters to the child’s particular weaknesses.
The Math & English programs are based on the concept of small-step learning, where each subsequent lesson builds upon the previous lesson. This philosophy actually develops a student’s self-esteem in their own abilities and helps them achieve academic success week after week. By ensuring that the student masters content before progressing to the next level, future learning becomes free of frustrations. Another result of building a strong academic foundation is that the child will be able to complete more complex problems with improved accuracy and speed.
I am really loving the well-developed math program at Eye Level Learning Centers. It consists of the following components:
- Basic Thinking: builds understanding with numbers & arithmetic.
- Critical Thinking: encourages application of knowledge to problems, such as patterns, relationships, spatial sense, reasoning, geometry and more.
Developing strong critical thinking skills is crucial. These are skills that will enable the student to effectively analyze a problem and determine a solution to complex questions.
Want to encourage your child to work on his/her critical thinking skills? Eye Level hosts an exciting Critical Thinking Challenge each year. Students throughout USA and Canada compete against each other for the regional grand prize of $1000 (10 winners from 5 regions). Visit criticalthinkingchallenge.com for participation details.
Curious to get started with Eye Level? Here is a basic overview of the process:
- Diagnostic Test: This evaluates the student’s knowledge base.
- Initial Starting Point: This establishes the student’s place in the curriculum.
- Self Directed Learning: Students follow a prescribed self-directed method to develop learning skills.
- Assessment: Students are given a level test to see if they have mastered the material.
- Feedback: Instructors provide consultations with parents regarding progress.
Whether your child needs academic help with specific topics, wants an overall enrichment experience, or is simply looking for a challenge after school, Eye Level Learning Centers can help! Eye Level was founded in 1976 and now has over 1,100 centers worldwide. There are programs available for children ages 4-15. Thanks to the low instructor-student ratio, each student receives the attention he/she deserves. Check out Eye Level Learning Centers and develop your child’s critical thinking skills today!
3. Pick educational toys!
There are so many educational toys on the market nowadays that beautifully combine teaching with fun, interactive games. One of our favorites for our preschooler is her talking laptop that encourages her to fill in the missing letter in a word. Another favorite is a simple matching card game that teaches the concept of letter recognition for toddlers & preschoolers. By making it feel like a game, the child gets involved in the fun and doesn’t realize lessons are brought into the mix.
4. Incorporate lessons into everyday life!
I have always been a proponent of incorporating math & science into everyday life. When my daughters & I are at the supermarket, we discuss the concept of subtraction when figuring out how much change the cashier will give back to us. When we are at the park, we discuss the concept of photosynthesis and its role in helping plants thrive. When we are baking in the kitchen together, we review the concept of fractions to figure out how many total cups of flour to add to the bowl.
5. Break up the lesson!
If you are teaching your child something that is complicated or time-consuming, it’s a good idea to include a break in the lesson. What can you do during the break? You can go for a walk together, have a snack, read a book… just give the mind a break from the lesson temporarily. When it’s time to go back to the lesson, the child’s mind will be ready to focus again.
6. Keep it interactive!
Whenever we are learning something new, I always love to find creative ways to get the kids experiencing the lesson in an interactive, hands-on way. If we are talking about science, I will look for an experiment they can perform (planting seeds, mixing baking soda & vinegar, etc.) If we are talking about math, I will grab small blocks and encourage the kids to use the blocks to visually display our computation sentences.
7. Focus on their interests!
Whenever possible, keep the lessons focused on something that interests the child. For example, if your child absolutely loves toy trains & cars, find ways to bring them in your lessons. If discussing science, talk about the physics of the speeding car or the chemistry of the reaction that powers the vehicles. If discussing history, talk about the development of the railroad and how it revolutionized transport throughout the country. Find ways to bring your child’s passion into the lesson.
How do you make sure your kids are staying on track academically? What is your best tip for keeping learning fun? Have you ever checked out an Eye Level Learning Center?