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What you’ll find in this article: Ways to help your active or creative child thrive in school and how to use a computer with the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor to help them get excited for learning.
Things have changed so much since I was in school.
Gosh, it’s changed so much even since Styles was in elementary school. It seems that kids these days are pushed into learning how to take tests with little thought about deductive reasoning or problem solving skills.
Kids are expected to sit in their seats quietly and there is little play associated with learning.
I remember having to do reports and projects all the time, and as much as I didn’t love doing them, I learned so much. My kids don’t have the same opportunities. Instead, they come home with a ream of paper worksheets every day, sometimes finished, others not, that they are expected to complete at home after spending hours at school
Styles thrived at school when he was younger, and he’s thriving now, but my littles are both very active and have become increasingly frustrated with school. Madilyn struggled for a while, and Grady was having a hard time this year too so I had to work to figure out ways to help them become and stay interested in an education system that isn’t necessarily serving them.
One of our previous educators helped me with some ideas for the homework battles for Madilyn and I’ve passed them along to Grady. I believe so much in art, music, and play so I have incorporated those things into their homework time.
It basically comes down to remembering that they’re children and that play MATTERS. That’s how all young learn, even animals. That’s why kittens play-pounce their peers, why puppies play-fight, why baby pandas roll down hills and have to climb back up.
This is how the young learn. Through play.
I’m not one of those parents who believes kids should learn to read before they go to school. I’m not impressed when someone else’s child can.
I am more impressed with a child who has street smarts at this age.
They’ll all catch up eventually, whether you push them or not. My own high-performing teenager couldn’t write his name or read a simple conjunction when he started first grade. By the end of first grade, he was reading at a 4th grade level and is now in the top 99% of state- and nationwide tests.
He is my proof that play works.
So here are a few tried-and-true tips on how to reduce your child’s stress at home and ways to make learning at home more fun.
Let them cook with you.
This one hasn’t always been easy for me because I really don’t need any help making a mess in the kitchen, but I’ve found that if you let your child help you cook their meals, they’re more likely to try new foods, and they can learn something while they’re at it.
- Discuss fractions with them. Instead of using a 1 cup measuring cup, use a 1/3 cup measuring cup three times to help them see that when you use it three times, it produces one full cup.
- Allow them to count the ingredients you’re going to use
- Let them crack eggs in separate bowls so shell fragments are easy to dig out
- Let them set the timer and keep an eye on how long it takes to cook the meal
Have a Dance Party.
When they’re beginning to get cranky and just don’t want to sit still another minute, set a 5-minute timer, put on their favorite tunes, and dance with them. Let them know ahead of time that one the 5 minutes are over they have to get back to it.
This also works really well with chores!
Let them play with electronics.
I know in this electronic age, there are many parents who have a problem with this, but I think it’s important to find a happy medium between imaginative play and outdoors play and electronics usage. There are so many online programs that make learning fun for children.
Recently, Madilyn’s teacher switched all of their homework to an online program called Compass Learning. Madilyn no longer cries when it’s time to do homework. She is always so pumped to get home and get on her new computer.
Having electronics that are easy for the kids to use is important to me. I looked for a machine that was both computer and tablet and landed on the Lenovo Yoga 720 with the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor. Their old computer was slow and they became super frustrated when they were trying to learn or just watch YouTube videos. Now they have a computer that can keep up with their digital learning without reminding them that sometimes sloths move faster than our computers. Now they can both have multiple tabs open and it doesn’t bog the machine down.
See more about the Lenovo Yoga 720 with 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor below!
Let them use markers, colored pencils, or crayons to complete their homework.
This was a big one for us and completely changed the course of their education. Now that they are allowed to use colorful tools to complete their homework, they are more willing to sit down and do what they’re supposed to do. If your teacher isn’t okay with this, talk to them and let them know that it’s important to you and your child. If they still aren’t okay with it, it’s quite alright to request a new educator for your child.
Let them color and draw.
We use our new Lenovo Yoga 720 to print fun coloring sheets out. They don’t even have to be educational. Let your children flex their creative muscles and explore color. If you want to get really creative, give them an 8-pack of crayons and have them mix colors to create new ones.
You can also use the sketchpad on the Yoga to use different tools to paint or draw original classics. It’s a fun way for them to paint without the mess and cleanup!
Madilyn has also recently been watching YouTube videos that teach kids how to draw. Her artistic ability is really amazing to me and before buying the new computer, she couldn’t watch a full video without the video freezing constantly.
Help them spark their creativity!
Let them play.
This is one that doesn’t come naturally for us adults. It’s okay and natural for your children to want to be loud and to have extra energy, so stop trying to squash that. Let them play outdoors or at a local park, and let them feel like they have some autonomy when they do it, don’t hover. Let them run in the house between 3 and 4pm. Help them perfect their skills in relation to the sport of their choice.
Let them be little.
Let them read in the dark.
Grady has had a difficult time appreciating the beauty of reading to yourself. He wants his mommy and daddy to read to him instead, so I asked my Facebook followers to help me come up with ways to get him excited to read. There were some really helpful gems, but the most helpful one came from his older sister.
Let your child pick a flashlight out, then let them hide under their sheets or in a dark room and read with the flashlight. This feels like an adventure to your child, and suddenly reading feels less like a chore and more like a camping trip.
Let them feel in control with a self-scheduler.
Kids want to know that they have some control over their lives, and I realize this can be a difficult thing for parents to let go of, but when you give them a little control, they tend to be able to develop habits and reasoning skills on their own. They can see that they have soccer practice at XYZ time and probably need to get their homework done before they make a decision to play with the neighborhood kids.
Hang it in an area where they can easily access it. Come up with incentives that motivate your child such as more screen time, more play time, a movie out at the theater, etc.
Raising kids isn’t easy, but it can be easiER…
…if you can find a way for children to be kids and still meet their benchmarks. Employ some of these tips over the course of the next couple weeks and see if they help! Tag me on Instagram using @SummerLenDavis to share your success stories with me!
As I mentioned above, Madilyn and Grady’s old computer froze up constantly and made it impossible to get anything done without serious frustration. Now I’m able to let them work on their own content and watch educational videos without breaking down into tears. Cortana voice command helps my youngest child retrieve the information he’s looking for when he’s not quite sure how to spell it which is a great time and sanity saver for me.
The Lenovo Yoga 720 is thin and extremely lightweight which makes for a perfect travel companion. We take road trips a few times a year and I love that this machine becomes a tablet for the kids to write and draw on while we’re flying down the road. It also allows them to get their school work done when they’re missing school for our fun family vacations. The battery life on this thing is INSANE. It lasts a whole 6 hour drive and we still have battery to spare.
And of course, thanks to digital copies, they can watch movies without lags when we’re traveling.
There is a 40% performance jump between 7th Gen and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processors and 2x better performance compared to a 5-year-old PC. For our kids who have been raised with all the information they could ever hope for at their very fingertips, this is important.