Thinking Caps Tips for Making the Most of Fall 2020

As we move into an uncertain back-to-school, we’re finding opportunities to transform learning experiences instead of just trying to bring the classroom home. Here are some ways that you can reframe learning for your child.

  1. Focus on skills, not worksheets
    Too often, school is about sitting in chairs and completing tests. We worry about ticking off the check boxes. Instead, focus on skills. For pre-schoolers, arm them with social-emotional tools such as turn-taking, patience, and working together. Play board games, wait for a snack and create together at home. For middle schoolers, it’s all about executive functioning. At home, map out the schedule together, organize materials with your child, and have them create their own learning goals. Self-advocacy, identifying when to ask for help, and how to ask questions are vital skills in high school. Support your child by having them evaluate their work and communicate with teachers. When kids are empowered with skills, they have the tools to learn.
  2. Cast your anchor
    With your child, think about what is most important for them to learn this year. Set goals together. What are they curious about? What’s hard and they need more attention and practice with? Maybe your kiddo is really interested in genetics. Or they’ve always struggled with time management, and conforming to school schedules has been challenging. With kids spending less time in school, they can focus their energy on tackling bigger goals in addition to foundational content.
  3. Dive into self-directed learning
    We learn best when we’re curious when we are able to do. This fall is a rare opportunity to dig deeper. Sit down with your child and discuss questions whirling around in their head. Read, write, draw, and count around topics interesting to your child, working core content into projects. Self-direction will unlock motivation and engage the learner.