Learning Outside of the Classroom: Things We Can Do As Parents

Formal education is really important for children, and by the time they leave school they will be able to read and write, do mathematics, understand sciences, religion, geography and so much more. Academic education gives children many skills that they will need in their careers and in life generally, which is why so much time is devoted to learning these things when they're young. However, it's important to remember that so much learning can, and should take place outside of the classroom too. There are life skills that can be learned and perfected by getting out into the world and practicing them, and there's plenty we can do as parents to help to encourage this. Here are some ways we can keep our kids learning, outside of academic settings.

Incorporate learning into daily activities
Consider turning everyday tasks into educational opportunities by asking your children to help with simple maths problems, reading instructions, or learning about the science behind how things work. For example, while cooking, they can teach children about measurements, ratios, and heat transfer.

Encourage reading
Reading is a crucial skill that helps children develop their vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking abilities. You can encourage reading by setting aside time each day for independent reading, visiting the library regularly, and discussing books and articles together.

Take educational trips
Trips to educational institutions, such as museums, zoos, and science centers, can provide hands-on learning experiences and help children understand complex concepts in a fun and engaging way. For example, visiting a science museum can help children understand physics and engineering, while visiting a historical site can teach them about different cultures and civilisations. Travel is great as a family, not only is it fun but there's plenty to be learned so do travel if you can!

Encourage hands-on learning
Hands-on activities such as arts and crafts, gardening, and building projects can help children develop their creativity, fine motor skills, and problem-solving abilities. You could provide materials and support for these activities, allowing children to experiment and learn at their own pace.

Play educational games
Games can be an enjoyable way for children to learn. Parents can play games that help children develop their math, language, and critical thinking skills. For example, word games can help with vocabulary and spelling, while logic puzzles can help with problem-solving and critical thinking.

Use technology for educational purposes
Technology has many educational applications, including online learning platforms, educational apps, and online resources. Parents can encourage their children to use technology in a safe and responsible manner to expand their knowledge and skills.

Volunteer and give back
Volunteer work and community service can help children understand the importance of giving back to their community and develop empathy and a sense of responsibility. You could encourage your children to participate in volunteer activities, such as helping at a local food bank or volunteering at an animal shelter.

How do you encourage learning outside of the classroom?