7 Ways to Improve Childhood Education Outside the Classroom

School is very important, but it's not the only setting where your children can learn. Read our seven suggestions for firing up your children's minds to learn beyond the school walls.

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Juice Images/ Veer

Your children don't need to be in close proximity to notebooks, book bags, whiteboards, and pop quizzes to learn. True learning isn't just about memorizing history facts and solving math problems. Learning is an interactive -- and lifelong -- process of analyzing, questioning, and discussing; learning is looking for new meanings and unique applications of knowledge in every situation.

There's a big world of questions, places, and people out there: Try to expose your children to as many meaningful experiences as possible. You'll broaden their knowledge, improve early childhood education, and cultivate the type of awareness and appreciation that can't be taught from a textbook. Read our seven suggestions for helping your children learn outside the classroom.


Adapted and reprinted with permission from Letters From Home: A Wake-Up Call for Success & Wealth (Wiley, 2010, www.ReiserMedia.com) by Andrea and David Reiser.

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Recognize the Value of the Public Library

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Recognize the Value of the Public Library

Libraries are invaluable resources that provide (free!) public access to a well-curated collection of books and archives. Libraries are hubs for information on a staggering amount of fascinating topics -- all just waiting to be gathered and shared with your child. Helpful professionals are available to guide and encourage your child's quest for knowledge.

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Explore the World at Every Opportunity

Jason Lindsey

Explore the World at Every Opportunity

When you travel with your kids -- whether it's a day trip or a week-long vacation -- they can learn so much about the world. You can teach children about history, geography, and the diversity of cultures, traditions, and customs. How your family travels can spark curiosity and conversations.

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How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy

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Embrace "Everyday Education"

Scott Little

Embrace "Everyday Education"

While they may seem mundane, everyday activities can open the door to exciting new lessons. For example, baking a batch of cookies can illustrate the practical applications of math, science, and nutrition; attending a Little League baseball game can illustrate statistics, history, and teamwork.

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Get a Dose of Culture

Photo Courtesy of Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Get a Dose of Culture

Expose your children to as many artistic and social highlights as possible. Museums, zoos, historical sites, and cultural events such as plays, operas, ballets, and concerts are great ways to teach and entertain kids. Often, kids will find these adventures more fun than sitting at a desk in school. Plus, they can broaden their horizons and possibly excite lifelong interests, hobbies, and passions.

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Have Some Faith

iStockphoto

Have Some Faith

If your family belongs to a religious community, get your kids involved in classes, camps, retreats, fellowships, and youth groups. Children will learn about faith and ancestry in the context of history, as well as religious and spiritual concepts.

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Take Every Opportunity to Answer "Why?"

iStockphoto

Take Every Opportunity to Answer "Why?"

Even the most unremarkable moments can become teachable, milestone events. Accompanying Mom or Dad to the office can spark a conversation on commerce and industry; looking at the night sky can inspire questions about celestial objects in the vast universe. Look for everyday opportunities to learn as a family -- and remember to embrace the natural curiosity and wonder of your kids.

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Get Plugged In -- But Do It Wisely

Fancy Photography/Veer

Get Plugged In -- But Do It Wisely

Technology is an integral part of today's modern world and improvements are being made every day. This means that your kids have the ability to access information and satisfy their curiosity instantly! Encourage your children to search on the web for answers to their questions or watch credible how-to or news videos. Make sure to explain the importance of filtering information so it is accurate, current, and reputable. Also make sure to monitor your children's activities to keep them smart and safe.


Adapted and reprinted with permission from Letters From Home: A Wake-Up Call for Success & Wealth (Wiley, 2010, www.ReiserMedia.com) by Andrea and David Reiser.

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