Your child getting lost in the classroom? 3 simple ways to keep them learning

Different kids, different learning levels. Importance of parent/teacher education tag team. 

It's a challenge many teachers face: educating an entire classroom with so many children on different learning levels. That's why education is a team effort between educators, parents, and the children.

While many parents work to support their child's learning at home, between work, family, and other activities how do you keep your child from getting lost in the mix?

After spending time, sometimes money, and other resources getting your child mentally prepared for school, it can be frustrating to watch an earlier flourishing child suddenly hit a plateau once they enter a mixed classroom setting. Mother of two, Tracie Williams, knows your frustration. The 19 year veteran educator offers five simple ways even busy parents can support their child's learning.

Tip #1 - Talk to them. Having conversations with your children engages them and builds their vocabulary.

"My husband and I were just talking about that the other day," says Williams about their eight year old daughter, Zoe. "She said, 'Daddy you just don't have any spontaneity.' And, we were like (looking at each other), 'Who? What?'" Williams laughs at the impression of her daughter, now third grade, who both parents have always talked to. "Even when she was in kindergarten, she was using words that were not typical for a five year old."

Tip #2 - Use teachable moments. Williams says they happen often - from everyday life to family vacations.

"They love the beach. We talk about the sand, the textures; those are things they are taught in school anyway."

And, you don't need a fancy vacation. Just visit the public library, a local museum, or the many family events offered throughout Central Alabama.

"Just go online and look up what's going on in Birmingham. I love the local library. Plus, it's free."

Tip #3 - Incorporate technology. The Internet offers a vast repertoire of online learning games and apps for your smart devices. Today's technology makes learning fun and keeps the momentum going.

Websites like teach math, science, English, and reading. Many Alabama schools already offer it on campus, and children can continue at home for free. They can earn points for use at school. And, they receive coins and prizes through the program, which makes the learning process exciting.

Or the online "accelerated reader"..program.

Tip #4 - Read with your child. It doesn't have to take long. Get into character and have fun. Stimulate their critical thinking skills by asking them questions about the story you've read.

"If they can read, it's gonna cover everything else," adds Robinson Elementary School Principal, Tracy Ford.

Tip #5 - Get artsy. Arts and crafts encourage creativity, which is fun exercise for the brain. There are activities for every interest. Whether you're coloring with crayons, painting with water colors, baking cookies, or designing doll clothes. Kids love doing activities with parents, and these "childlike" ventures can also be surprising sources of stress relief for busy grownups.

For more information about educational websites, apps, and other resources to aid in your child's education, contact their teacher, school counselor, or principal.

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