As summer dwindles down, it’s time to get your kids back into the swing of school. Trading in sprinklers and trips to the ice cream parlor for books, pencils and rulers might not be your child’s favorite thing, but it’s a transition that every family must face together. Getting creative with how you approach learning after school can really enhance the learning that takes place during the day. Here are several tips to get you started:

  1. Get creative with problem solving – Not all learning has to be done with your kids’ faces buried in books and their answers on paper. Experiment with different types of learning at home. Have your kids solve a problem by coloring a solution or by videoing them act out an answer. By incorporating different methods of learning, your kids will begin to approach problems in more than just one way.
  2. Kids Tablet Learning: Flickr and Toca BocaIncorporate technology into learning– While we definitely wouldn’t advocate staying indoors all day, there are some online games, software and even video games that can stimulate your child’s mind. Check out PBS Kids for several problem-solving activities that will really get the wheels turning. Your children will be having so much fun, they’ll hardly realize they’re learning! Curious about some other educational video games for the kids? Time Tech lists six more, including Big Brain Academy, uDraw Studio and LittleBig Planet 2, among others.
  3. Make learning fun – How can you turn an otherwise monotonous worksheet into active learning? Try creating flashcards with questions on one side and answers on the other. Is your child studying for a spelling test? Have them challenge you to a game of Hangman as they become familiar with the different spellings (You can even play online!). Putting them in charge will lend them just the confidence they need to transfer these skills into the classroom.
  4. Participate in after-school activities – A great way to introduce your kids to a new learning environment is to enroll them in after-school programs. Of course, swimming at Goldfish is only one of many options. Check out art classes, cooking classes or acting classes that are a nice complement to the academics typically taught in school. Not only will your kids look forward to their weekly lessons, they’ll be stimulating another part of their minds!

Remember that each child is different. You child may respond differently to some of these suggestions versus others, but keep an open mind; there are so many ways to transform learning into a positive experience.

Do you have any after-school suggestions that you would like to share with other Goldfish parents? Let us know!