After a long day of work, picking up kids, driving kids places, and doing everything else that you must do each evening, you are probably really tired.
Your children may be tired too.
Making it a habit to do schoolwork together is important. Adding to the curriculum is even more important. In an education system where less than 10% of science classrooms perform experiments with their students, it is your job as a parent to take the weight.
I am an advocate of educating your own children. Honestly, I don't know when it happened, but parents have shrugged off teaching life skills and academics to their children. I hear parents say, "It's the school's job, not mine...” That is just not true.
Every day you should pick something to do with your child that involves thinking and doing. For example, maybe you will go out, collect leaves from plants, and research the plants using a flora and fauna book.
Here are the activities that I do with my daughter and you can do them too:
Create a plant journal.
This is one of our favorite activities to do. Each evening, we take a nature walk around the neighborhood to collect plant materials and press them into the journal. Using a plant identification book, we write down what they are, where we found them and their major qualities are.
You can do this in a simple composition journal or a small sketch book. Buggy and Buddy has a cute plant journal exercise if you are interested in that! The other one I like is from World of Learning.
Create an 'ABC' journal.
Glue each letter onto a piece of construction paper. Every Monday, post that letter to the fridge. Throughout the week, find items that start with that letter.
Use a composition book to collect the findings. This is a perfect opportunity to practice letter writing. We usually find things that start with the letter that interest her. For example, during 'A' week, we found a trail of ants outside, which prompted us to write a story about ants in the journal. This led to a trip to the library to learn about ants...see my point. Letters are great way to form little all-inclusive lessons. I use these composition notebooks, but you can find them at the dollar store sometimes (so hit or miss!).
Create a story journal.
My daughter tells ravishing stories. Whenever she wants to tell me a story, she reminds me to get the journal so I can write it down for her. One day she will be able to read her own stories and that is wonderful.
Some days we do not get to do a whole lot. On those days, I make sure that we take a walk outside. The company of walking and conversation with a 3 year old can be a great way to wind down, yet spend time together before dinnertime.
Do you have crafts or activities that you do with your child every night?