Keeping kids away from their computer and tablet screens can be a challenge, especially during the coldest months in winter. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of online options that can help your kids learn while they are having fun.
Don’t just let kids pick out the most popular games to play (well, they can play those, too). Try to insert learning time into the games they play, so they’ll at least get some benefit to their computer play time.
Here are some ways to enjoy the time your kids spend in front of the screen:
● Try real estate lesson plans. Never thought of that before? 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.
● Try incorporating earth science into your kids’ play. Kids are constantly learning about the
world around them, and games that target the Earth’s wonders will keep them entertained for hours.
● Try free games and apps. There are tons of games online that kids can play and learn, from math to science to English and more. Teachers use computer games to teach children all the time. Parents just need to learn where to find these games. And many of them are free.
● Try a MOOC. Older kids can learn so much from MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses. MOOCS are college classes that are made available for free to the public. You can’t get credit for them, but you and your kids can learn almost anything. Plus, it can help prepare your child for what to expect in college.
● Learn a language. There are so many ways to learn a language these days that it’s almost silly not to. There are many apps where you can learn languages for free. Studies have shown that learning a foreign language helps expand your mind and can even ward off dementia. You and your child can learn a language together, then plan a big trip where you’ll put your new language skills to use.
● Coding fun. Computer coding is a skill that all modern kids should learn. Most coding apps for kids are free or very low cost and will help them in school and beyond. Learning computer programming teaches you logic, persistence and attention to detail, which are skills that will help in any field.
● Learn to draw. YouTube has an amazing amount of videos that teach you how to draw. They help kids of all ages develop the skills to draw almost any sort of character they like. If you could use some help in that area, join in! When you’re finished, create your own living room art show to showcase your new skills.
● Move your body. YouTube also has free exercise videos for kids that feel more like fun dance time. Join your kids for a good workout and you and your youngsters will get fit and create great memories and laughter. Plus, they’ll be exhausted afterward, and you’ll all sleep better.
● Learn an instrument. You can learn to play music online as long as you have the instrument on hand. If you don’t, you can rent one from a music shop and have your child learn by watching online videos. You’ll have a family band before you know it.
Screen time doesn’t have to be a bad thing if it’s done properly. The correct screens will help your children learn and expand their minds while playing games with you and each other. Many educational games are as fun as they are smart. You’ll feel like a super-parent when your kids learn important skills.
By Jennie Wise, SpecialHomeEducator.com