A new school year is just around the corner and if your family is like mine, some of the kids are excited and can’t wait to see their friends – and another child is a bit more apprehensive. If your child is a struggler – and even if they are not – these Tricks to Help Kids Learn might be just what they need to make this year better than ever!
While this post is for kids, teachers we have a viral post just for you – Classroom Hacks for Teachers.
Learning Tips for Kids
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5 Finger Reading Rule. During free reading time, when you are picking out a book for your kids to read, have them read it aloud to you, if they make more than five mistakes have them pick an easier book to start with. This helps build their confidence.
Use a pom-pom to help your kids write neater. Holding onto a pom-pom while your kids are writing will help your child improve their hand muscle control and will position the pencil for the best writing possible.
Get your kids a Wiggly Seat. These seats are brilliant for kids who have a case of the fidgets. Often kids, especially kinetic learners, need to move to learn. This seat helps engage their bodies in a non-distracting way, allowing them to learn along with their classmates.
Pencil fidgets are the rage now! These are awesome. Put a set of fidgets on the tops of your kids pencils. Not only will your kiddo be able to tell which one is theirs they will also have something to keep their fingers occupied while their teacher is talking.
Bracelets are another built-in fidget device. This summer, in preparation for school, have your kids make a thick loom band bracelet. The act of pattern making will help your kids with math later – and when your kids have the itch to move they can play with their bracelet.
Use your fingers. Not only can you add and subtract with your fingers, you can also multiply – here is a nifty trick to help you multiply double digit numbers – with your fingers, and pictured is the way I learned my nines tables. Math made easy!
Feed your kids protein packed meals with omega-3s in them. Studies have shown a correlation between the quality of the foods kids are eating and their abilities to pay attention and focus during class. Try to avoid sugars during the school week.
Get your kids a diffusing cuff. There are a number of scents that are known to help calm and focus emotions, even recall information. Add essential oils to a bracelet for your kids to wear to diffuse the scents throughout the day. When they feel edgy or mentally “lost” remind them to take deep breaths.
Tricks to help kids learn
Make a school binder for your kids. Use it as a place to organize communication with the teachers, returned homework, report cards, schedules, etc.
Homework station. You can either have an entire closet devoted to organizing your kids school and extracurricular activities – or like this mom, make a simple Homework Caddy where all the supplies your kids need to work are all in one place.
Do you have a forgetful kiddo? Help them keep track of their tasks for the day, or even the week with a chore bracelet. Are you heading out but need them to remember to do their homework, feed the dog and take a bath – add it to the bracelet and staple it on. When your kiddo finishes a task they can rip off that slip.
Help your kids learn to write with the help of highlighters. You can either highlight the lines for your kids to start writing on – or make the letters for your kids to trace. They will be able to see what you wrote and their own letters over yours.
Ideas to Help Kids Read
Often kids with dyslexia, or really any eye challenge, benefit from using hue-cued reading. Grab a colored transparent ruler and use it as a guide to help your kids know which line they are reading. It will help them track test in a book more easily when they are entering chapter books.
Do you have a kiddo who has dyslexia, or you think they might? If you are able to, like in a word document, change the text to one that is easier to read for people with dyslexia and other reading disorders. Every letter is unique in this font family making it easier to read.
Is reading a chore, a real struggle for your kids? Instead of setting a literal timer for your kiddos nightly reading time, shake up a glitter bottle. Have your kiddo read outloud until the glitter has completely settled to the bottom of the jar. Then they can get up and run around for one minute before shaking the bottle and reading again. The falling glitter helps to see an end and kids need wiggle time to help them focus.
Give your kids a laugh. Laughter is the best medicine and after a stressful (or exceptionally boring day) your kids will be perked up fastest with a smile. Here is a collection of lunchbox jokes. OR… you can get our printable joke book filled with over 125 jokes, perfect for a new tradition – make every Wednesday a little wacky this year. Add a sheet from the joke book to your child’s lunch!
Do you have a kiddo who looses their motivation as the year progresses? Stop that in it’s tracks before it starts this year. Plan to give your kids rewards and milestones to help them track their school year. After they are at the end of the six weeks take them out for ice cream (even if they did poorly) and discuss their plans for the rest of the year. AND have goofy recognition “events” for when your kids go above an beyond – like this welcome home fort. Fun!
Help Kids Love School
Becoming fluent or “fast” at reading is an important step in literacy. Once your kids have mastered sounding out words, create a word flip book, this tool can help your kids with speed reading and launch them into a life of reading.
If you have a kiddo who gets lost with adding past their fingers (what is 27+38?) but still likes the stability of working with something concrete, try using an abacus (you can make one). As your kids use the abacus they begin to grasp concepts of chunking numbers together, making tens and then seeing tens become hundreds. Abacuses are great for giving kids confidence in math!
Spelling lists are boring, and often kids do not see the relationships between common prefixes and suffixes with regular lists. Bring spelling to life with the help of building blocks in this learn to spell activity. Write a letter on each block and “build your words.”
Last but not least, don’t forget to welcome your kiddo’s teacher to her new year with your child. Help your child’s teacher get a head start on meeting your child. Just like teachers give you a welcome letter, consider giving them a welcome note back. I remember one mom who sent me a letter when I was teaching mentioning how cool her son was and some of the things that made him fun and unique.
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