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Schooling

Learning Activities For Preschoolers To Get Them Ready For School

Sending your child to preschool can be a harrowing experience for many parents. It is a “letting go” of sorts that most people haven’t experienced before, which is why some parents try to delay it. If you put in some groundwork and prepare your child for preschool, not only are they going to feel better going to school, but you will feel better about letting them go. It will never be easy, but you can make it easier.

No matter how close preschool is, here are some ways to get them ready for school with learning activities:

Read Books About School

Read as much as possible to your children. As preschool looms closer, start reading books about school itself so that they start to understand what to expect. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about preschool, but that is a good idea too.

A word to the wise: be careful about reading books that paint school as a scary place. Try to avoid books that have mean kids, bullying, or haunted schools. They can scare you and your child!

Create Games Around Personal Care

Preschool teachers are outnumbered and cannot always help every child right away. Create little games around things that your child will need to do to feel comfortable, like tying their shoes, zipping their coats, sitting properly, washing their hands, and writing their name. These small tasks will help them to get the most out of school.

Go To The Preschool

If possible, take your child to his or her preschool and have them “learn” the building from the outside. Walk around the parking lot, playground, and grounds. If it is a church or another type of building that is open, ask if you can go inside and walk around. 

Play Tag, Hopscotch, & Other Common Games

If you want to get your child ready for school, another learning activity is simply to teach them the basic games you play as a kid. Knowing the basics of tag, hopscotch, backyard cleanup, kickball, and musical chairs will help them to learn when they are in school. Why? Most preschools use these games as the backbones of their teaching exercises. When they learn these games before school starts, they will learn the material better and feel more confident when participating. 

Encourage Play

The best thing you can do is encourage your child to play at all times. Playing increases their imaginative capabilities, which pushes them to create connections and build up their social-emotional skills. 

If you want to encourage play that teaches them, a great way to do that is through MindFinity, which only requires a few minutes a day of different types of play. For more information on MindFinity, please click here.

Teach Schedules

One great activity that will help your child immensely is to have them build a schedule. Encourage them to think about all of the things they want to do in a day and then put them in order so they can all get done. At first, your child will make the mistake of trying to do “too much” without breaks like nap time or snacks. Over time, they will start to make the same schedule every day.

You aren’t only preparing your child to follow a schedule, but you are starting to teach them time management, how to tell time, and regulating their body so that school isn’t such a shock.

Interested In Learning More About MindFinity?

Join Mindfinity today, and see how playing daily games will transform your child’s mind into that of a multi-talented polymath thinker. Your membership includes: unlimited access to the videos from Opher’s Toronto Parent Workshop where he teaches you the methodology, new games to play with your child released over time in the Games of Games Program, live online events, membership to the private MindFinity Member Community on Facebook where you can share ideas, get help from certified trainers, and get inspiration from other super parents like you, discounts to upcoming live MindFinity events, and new levels of the MindFinity program as they come out.

Categories
Parenting Schooling

So Your Kid Is An Kinesthetic Learner – Now What?

If your child is a kinesthetic learner, they have a few things going for them and a few things that you need to be on the lookout for, especially in schools. Kinesthetic learners are the types of people who learn by getting up and doing things instead of sitting there and hearing about doing them. Often, they are the kids who succeed in science or math because it involves movement. They may struggle with more introverted subjects like English or history.

MindFinity helps you to teach your children and increase their Inventive IQs through various activities that strengthen all of their learning styles. Our games will have your children learning while dancing, singing, cooking, and more. They only take a few minutes every day, but they will quickly become your favorite time with your kids. To learn more, click here.

What Is Kinesthetic Learning?

Kinesthetic learners are the types of kids who move around a lot, and they do better when they are active. Whether they remember things better when singing a song that has movements, or they are gifted in some type of movement, they will always remember things better when they can use their bodies as well as their minds.

How Do I Know If My Child Is A Kinesthetic Learner?

 Children who are kinesthetic learners aren’t just the kids who can’t sit still, and kids who can’t sit still aren’t always kinesthetic learners. To spot a kinesthetic learner, look for these signs:

  • Your child excels in sports or physical activities
  • They move their hands or bodies when working on a problem
  • Your kid has a good sense of body awareness
  • Kinesthetic learners often grow bored of assignments quickly
  • They don’t like “step by step” projects

There are some negatives to having a kinesthetic learner as a child as well. Some of these signs include a general disinterest in things like reading or studying. These learners are easily distracted by what is going on around them, if only because it allows them to move their heads. 

How Can I Use This Information To Help My Child Succeed?

Kinesthetic learners are some of the most easily spotted learners in a class, but they are also some of the most underserved students. With class sizes swelling to 30+ in almost every public school, teachers can’t incorporate learning into their lesson plans. There simply isn’t enough room! Unfortunately, kinesthetic learners also tend to be very bad at auditory learning, which is what the modern school system uses the most often.

To help your child succeed, you need to figure out a way to get them moving. This could be by using manipulatives while doing something like math or science, building out labs or projects that require them to physically move around. For English class, buying an audiobook and having them walk on the treadmill while listening can be helpful. 

With younger children it is a bit harder, but if you can find dances, plays, or activities that require them to at least stand, which can be helpful.

Consider the environment as well. Kinesthetic learners benefit from standing desks, peddlers, yoga balls, and even fidget toys. Teach your child how to calm themselves down when they get the urge to move around the room. If you can control the classroom or the schedule, make sure your child has breaks to get in movement. If you don’t, talk to the teacher to see if he or she can schedule some movement. Teachers often need a student to run errands for them, and kinesthetic learners are great for that.

MindFinity Helps Kids Learn Through Play

Our award-winning program helps your children expand their brains and learn polymath thinking skills while dancing, playing music, doing martial arts, and moving around! You get a new game each weekday, which takes about five minutes a day. And you can expand on the games and have your child put their imagination to use. For auditory learners, many of the basic skills are taught through music and patterns, which they then learn to transfer into visual and kinesthetic disciplines, helping them to develop the skills that they need to thrive.

Interested in learning more? To learn more about MindFinity and sign up for a free trial, click here.

Categories
Parenting Schooling

What Is Meaningful Learning In Today’s School System?

Meaningful learning is a bit of a buzz word these days, and there are some pretty clear reasons why. In a world where children are leaving school not prepared for life, it has become clear that we need to get better at teaching kids.

Meaningful learning is a way to solve that problem, at least in part.

One of the basic foundations of meaningful learning is pattern recognition. Without it, children will struggle to see the connections between their material. MindFinity can help to teach your child how to recognize patterns in the world around them, including in real-life situations. For more information on MindFinity, please click here

What Is Meaningful Learning?

Meaningful learning takes what children have already learned and allows them to apply it to new situations. It helps them to understand how all of the pieces of a concept fit together and make a whole. This is the type of learning that helps children once they become adults.

Mindful learning isn’t sitting there, getting lectured at. It is playing, moving, active learning that is constructive and allows children to be fully engaged in their lessons. 

What Are The Goals Of Meaningful Learning?

Meaningful learning has two major goals and many, many small goals depending on the lesson. These two main goals are:

  1. Retention – students need to be able to remember the material at a later date.
  2. Transfer – students need to be able to use the knowledge that they’ve already learned to solve new problems.

This is different from the type of learning most students are exposed to now, which is basically “remember this until the test and then forget it,” except in rare instances.

Pros and Cons Of Meaningful Learning

Like any type of schooling or learning, there are some distinct advantages and disadvantages of meaningful learning. Meaningful learning helps to foster learning in kids of all levels by:

  • Encouraging them to be an active part of their schooling process;
  • Enabling them to understand a topic, not just remember test answers;
  • Connecting the dots between previous topics and new information;
  • Focusing on how the world fits together with pattern recognition and cause and effect.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to be aware of as well:

  • Children are often hesitant to change to this type of learning;
  • Teachers need to tailor their lessons to different types of learners;
  • It can take a while to achieve meaningful instruction

It helps to start your child with meaningful learning at a young age. This will give them more of a foundation to build upon. It isn’t impossible with older learners, but it is a more difficult transition to make.

Can Meaningful Learning Serve All Children?

It can be very difficult to serve every single child in a classroom with every lesson, but this is something we have to try to do. Meaningful learning isn’t necessarily a way to structure a lesson, but rather an end goal of that lesson. It can be tailored to fit many different learning styles. The execution can look like a lecture with a slideshow presentation or it can look like an educational video game

What you need to pay attention to is whether or not the topics your child learns build on each other or they can simply forget what they learned and move onto the next topic.

Interested In Learning More About MindFinity?

Join Mindfinity today, and see how playing daily games will transform your child’s mind into that of a multi-talented polymath thinker. Your membership includes unlimited access to the videos from Opher’s Toronto Parent Workshop where he teaches you the award-winning methodology, new games to play with your child released over time in the Games of Genius Program, live online events, (membership to the private MindFinity Member Community on Facebook where you can share ideas, get help from certified trainers, and get inspiration from other super parents like you, and new levels of the MindFinity program as they come out.

Categories
Schooling

How To Avoid Holiday & Summer Learning Loss In Your Kids

Avoiding learning loss is a big problem for many schools, teachers, and students. It is a very real thing that happens to people of all ages. You probably notice it at work: something that came easily to you when you were going to work on a daily basis is hard after a few days off. 

But can you avoid it when children have longer breaks for summer or the holidays? Yes! It isn’t going to be easy to do, but it should come as second nature once you’ve established some good habits in your child.

What Is Summer Learning Loss?

Summer learning loss is the term we use to describe what children “forget” when they aren’t in school for an extended period of time. Summer is the worst time for this, but holiday breaks can also lead to learning loss.  Some people estimate that students lose months of what they learned in school, particularly in subjects like math and science.

It isn’t just the fact that students forget specific topics like math or science, part of the problem is also a loss of schedule and routine. When children are allowed to create their own schedules, they tend to lose the discipline that makes school easier for them. While you cannot really take over the role of teacher, you can help to create a routine that will discipline them and make the transition easier. For example, encourage kids to sleep well, but maybe prevent them from waking up at noon.

Consider Investing In A Daily Learning Activity

Making it a point to do some learning on a daily basis can just keep information at the forefront of your child’s mind. It doesn’t have to be hours of instruction, but keeping them in the habit of learning can make all the difference.

If you need ideas for fun, project-based learning activities, consider investing in MindFinity. We will have your child learning through different activities and projects that don’t feel like homework. Click here to learn more.

Consider Enrichment On What Children Have Already Learned

You aren’t a teacher, so do you have to become one for your kids? No! Think about what your child has learned in school and just reinforce it. It can be as simple as taking a trip to a museum, reading a book, watching a short documentary, or playing a game. This doesn’t have to be about reinventing the wheel or taking on the job of a teacher for a few months. 

Throughout the school year, make notes about what your child learns and then plan a few activities around their favorite things.

Make Sure They Aren’t Always On Screens

Screen time is great (especially if you need to get things done) but sometimes spending too much time on screens can lead to learning loss. If you think that your kids are spending too much time texting, watching TikToks, or just doing things that don’t really have any positive effects, find ways to break up that time with different types of activities.

Let Your Kids Be Kids

Remember that childhood is really short and adulthood is long. You want to give your kids time to actually be kids and have fun too. If you try to push your kids too much, especially when they should be on a break, it can lead to burnout and trouble in school – even for gifted kids!

MindFinity Helps Kids Learn Through Games & Projects

Our award-winning program helps your children expand their brains and learn polymath thinking skills while dancing, singing, doing martial arts, and moving around! You get a new game each day of the week, which takes a few minutes a day. And you can expand on the games and have your child put their imagination to use and expand on projects that they are already doing. You’ll get some fun ideas as well!

Interested in learning more? To learn more about MindFinity and sign up for a free trial, click here.

Categories
Parenting Schooling

So Your Kid Is An Auditory Learner – Now What?

As we have already discussed, there are a few different learning styles and everyone has one learning style that is their strength. For some, it is visual learning and others excel in auditory learning, meaning they operate best when they hear information or examples. While the school system does try to teach all types of learning, auditory learners often do fairly well because of lectures and traditional teaching.

Kids who are auditory learners may even choose to close their eyes and listen to lectures instead of taking notes, though that often doesn’t go over well with their teachers. If your child is struggling in school, it could be that they aren’t getting information in a way that helps them learn. For example, simply copying down notes isn’t going to help kids who are auditory learners.

MindFinity helps you to teach your children and increase their Inventive IQs through various activities that strengthen all of their learning styles. Our games will have your children learning while dancing, singing, cooking, and more. They only take a few minutes every day, but they will quickly become your favorite time with your kids. To learn more, click here.

For now, let’s talk more about your auditory learner and how you can best help them to succeed.

What Is Auditory Learning?

As mentioned, auditory learning means that someone learns best when they listen to directions, facts, or discussions. They prefer to sit in a lecture over reading a textbook. Some auditory learners prefer to listen to teachers, whereas others prefer general conversations in class. These are the students who need to hear directions instead of reading them on a piece of paper.

Of course, these learners can get information in other ways, this is just the best way to reach them.

How Do I Know If My Child Is An Auditory Learner?

Auditory learners can be slightly more difficult to identify than other types because we tend to explain something and visually show it, so we don’t pick up on those children who learn better from hearing things. However, early signs include:

  • Well developed communication skills
  • High-level vocabulary
  • Good imagination and storytelling skills
  • Strong listening skills
  • Not afraid to speak in public
  • Easily distracted by background noises or conversations
  • Talks to oneself out loud when solving problems
  • Reads directions out loud

There are other signs as well, including general interest in music, podcasts, radio, and other forms of “listening” entertainment.

How Can I Use This Information To Help My Child Succeed?

If this sounds in any way like your child, you are pretty lucky in that there are some easy ways to help your child succeed. The first is that you need to use your voice when helping them with schoolwork or even just teaching them something about life. 

Children who are auditory learners will benefit from repetition, so repeating information that you need them to know and remember is important. If your school offers it, maybe consider recording lessons so that they can hear them again.

Another way to help your child succeed is to simply have conversations with them about what they are learning. Engage in that conversation, when they hear you say things, they will remember it. Just make sure that what you are saying is accurate.

This may be easier for certain subjects, such as history or science, but consider supplementing with YouTube videos, documentaries, podcasts, and other mediums that they can listen to instead of reading textbooks. You may even consider getting audiobooks for their English classes.

MindFinity Helps Kids Learn Through Gameplay

Our award-winning program helps your children expand their brains and learn polymath thinking skills while dancing, playing music, doing martial arts, and moving around! You get a new game each day of the week, which takes about five minutes a day. And you can expand on the games and have your child put their imagination to use. For auditory learners, many of the basic skills are taught through music and patterns, which they then learn to transfer into visual and kinesthetic disciplines, helping them to develop the skills that they need to thrive.
Interested in learning more? To learn more about MindFinity and sign up for a free trial, click here.