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When you think of ways to educate your children outside of the classroom, the internet may not be at the top of your mind — especially because we’re living in a time when everyone is glued to their electronic devices. Kids are more apt to retain information if learning is fun, so along with being a clever way to keep them occupied, they’ll also gain confidence in the classroom if they walk in feeling more prepared.
Brush Up on Math Skills
With the number of STEM jobs rising with no sign of slowing down, it’s important for kids to have strength in math subjects. The internet is a great way to help kids get in some study time in fun ways that they may not be practicing in school. Check out HomeAdvisor’s lesson plan collection that offers over 100 ideas for applying math in real-world scenarios kids will love, including home design and architectural activities. They’ll have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re learning!
Digital Magazines and Television Programs
Magazines including Time and National Geographic and television programs such as BBC and PBS may not sound like kid pleasers, but these resources — along with others — provide kid-friendly content covering subject matter like history, the environment — even politics — in the form of games, puzzles, and sing-along songs.
Explore a Career
It’s never too early for a child to start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, even knowing that they may very well change their minds in a few years. There are several online resources that offer everything from interactive activities such as taking a mock interview to tests to see if you have what it takes to make it in a particular career. These sites also teach applicable skills kids can use in everyday life. Many teachers use this method in their curriculums.
Take a Digital Art Class
Crayons, markers, chalk and paint are great art tools, but learning the basics of digital art at a young age can prime a child for a vital skill that may help them with their studies or even a job down the road. Digital art classes teach kids skills such as layering, how to build a digital collage, patterns, artwork and more. Bonus points for being completely mess-free!
Learn How to Cook
If the breadth of your kids’ diet is buttered noodles, it’s time to teach them just how delicious a balanced diet can be while learning how to prepare a meal in the process. But forget about grabbing a cookbook. Many online cooking courses include videos that make everything a little easier and more interesting.
Of course, it your kids are young, parental supervision in the kitchen is a must. Cooking teaches kids about different cultures and cuisines, stimulates the five senses and even incorporates math and science skills by learning measurement and the chemical reactions that take place during baking.
Become an Online Astronaut
Your kids may be into “Star Wars,” but how much do they really know about space? Online courses provided by organizations such as NASA and Space Camp make it possible to build a virtual space station and see how astronauts see the Earth from space while learning about the solar system in detail.
While the internet provides an endless array of options for entertainment in all areas, take a break from the computer once in a while and give your kids a physical game to play. The best games teach key skills such as cognitive ability, creativity, problem-solving, strategy, math and spelling. The combination of online and tangible games provides variety while opening the door to learning about a wide range of subjects.
Jenny Wise homeschools her four awesome children. As any homeschooling parent knows, every day is an adventure, and Jenny has begun chronicling her experiences at SpecialHomeEducator.com. She hopes to use the site to connect with other homeschoolers and to provide helpful advice to parents who may be considering a home education for their kids.
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