Continuing learning when not in the classroom for fourth and fifth graders.

Youth development skills are as important to practice out of school as they are in school.

Even when children are not in school, they can continue their development in learning skills. Michigan State University Extension says parents are their child’s first teacher. There are many ways we can incorporate learning through our daily activities and routines.

Adults can encourage reading skills in their child’s own world. When they see us read, they can pick up on a lifelong enjoyment of reading. Take advantage of your local libraries and the programs they offer. Have your children act out stories and put on a performance. Introduced them to poems and have them write their own. Gather local maps to different attractions in your area or bus maps. Have them follow the map to their destination. They can find the fastest route and estimate the time with two different routes to get to their destination. Have a map by the TV when you watch the evening news.  As you watch the stories from a different state or country, have the child locate the area on the map.

We can continue to work on writing skills in a fun and entertaining way. Have children write down what they want to say instead of talking at certain times of day. This will help them with spelling and communicating through writing. Have them write down the grocery list, their chores or the rules of the house. Using a large calendar will encourage them to write things down that need to be remembered. They may even enjoy writing down their own events, birthdays and holidays.

When it comes to learning math skills, we need to make it fun. When shopping, have them take an inventory of what you have on hand and have them write down what you need, and make a list before you leave. Let them look up the item and compare prices for the best buy. On a piece of paper have them write down what you have to spend. As you shop, have the child write the prices down and add up as you go, or at the end to see if you have enough funds. You can also have children watch gas price at different stations and compare. You can ask them how much it might be to get three gallons. They can also watch out for the sign of the speed limits. Have children follow the weekly temperatures in the newspaper as another number activity as well.

We can always incorporate social studies in everyday children activities. Visit a different ethnic store or restaurant and compare the differences. When you get home look up the region on a map or the internet. Have your child make a map of your own family and write down what each person’s responsibilities are to encourage team building. Have your child draw a map of import dates in their own history; draw a line and have them start out with their birth.

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