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10 Ways to Help Your Kids Academically

10 Ways to Help Your Kids Academically

Wondering how to help motivate and support your child when he's struggling in school with a particular academic subject? We put this question to moms who have experience in the teaching department – our Homeschooling Mom Bloggers. Below are some of the terrific tips they use with their own kids. (To read all the responses, click here.)

1. Use Your Child’s Interests as a Learning Tool

Find a way to incorporate something your child is passionate about into the subject to make learning fun! For example, if your child is a LEGO maniac (like our son) and he was having problems in Science or Math or English etc...I would use the LEGOS. . . to create a learning environment/assignment. . . . If your daughter is passionate about dolls or art, I would [work] that to my advantage and create an environment using those "props" to teach [her]. Children will learn quicker and eager when there is something they LOVE or are passionate about incorporated into it! –Melissa C. Newell of The Joys of Home Educating

2. Try a Different Approach

“If we have been using a text, I might use board games, manipulatives, field trips, crafts, educational videos (Brain Pop in particular), iPhone apps, computer games, etc. I might even call in another adult or older child to try to present the material, as sometimes all that is needed is to hear things worded differently.” –Maureen Sklaroff of Homeschool Mo



3. Get Hands-On

"If you can, use concrete, hands-on activities to help your child understand abstract concepts. That’s very important with young children and helpful at any age (especially with kinesthetic learners)." -Deb Chitwood of Living Montessori Now

4. Make up a Song

“Make up songs (or use already available songs) to help them learn what they need to learn. Skip counting songs, for example, or songs to learn the presidents or the states and capitals.” –Julie of The Adventures of Bear

5. Increase Retention with Play

“The *single most important follow-up* to any lesson is to incorporate what they learn into how they play. By encouraging your children to play with their new knowledge you increase their level of retention and actively promote further curiosity.” –Kristen of Teaching Stars

6. Reevaluate the Homework Environment

"Children who are tired or hungry cannot possibly perform as well as those who are well-rested or have recently eaten a nutritious meal or snack ... Location counts, too, as outdoor distractions, indoor noises, room temperature and many other factors can affect performance. Most everyone will admit to being distracted by a chilly window, a pencil-tapping family member or the sound of the garbage truck at one time or another." -Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau of Quick Start Homeschool


7. Be Enthusiastic

“Muster up enough energy and enthusiasm for the both of you! ... I personally find science projects and anything related to crafts about as much fun as plucking my eyebrows, but I engage my best acting skills and learn to have fun with my little mad scientists and crafters.” -Melyssa Williams of the daze of us

8. Set Goals and Rewards

"Use the motivational ideas such as the workbox systems, ticking off a task list, surprise gifts . . . star charts etc." -Nadene of Practical Pages

9. Stay Patient

“Mostly, try not to get frustrated. Your child is probably just as frustrated as you are, and so it won't help if you are both having a bad attitude ;o)” –Erica of Confessions of a Homeschooler

10. Focus on the Positive

"I like to step back and look at the big picture. I find something positive about whatever the child does when working in the difficult area. I love to remind my children that I'm more proud of the fact they try when they face a challenge than when they succeed at something that comes easily." -Annie Peters of Learn at Every Turn

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