Life skills - home hacks for child learning

Parents and guardians who spend long hours in the mornings, evenings, and weekends raising their children in between school hours know that kids are … let’s just say, not always as smart as their teachers make out during parents’ evening. 

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash school books, alphabet blocks and apple

Sure, the teachers will tell you little Johnny or little Sarah is on track to meet all learning outcomes to fulfil the needs of the curriculum, but that’s little comfort when faced with a seven year old who can’t complete a simple sum like 10 plus 11, and who also has no idea that saying things like “I done” instead of “I did” is one of the fastest ways to ensure that the local fast food outlets will be in rude supply of staff in the coming years. 

School can’t teach them everything. That’s why we’re going to look at a couple of ‘home hack’ life skills for child learning. 

IT skills won’t learn themselves

Years ago, IT lessons at school were just another lesson to put up with. You’d arrive in the morning, toddle off to geography class and learn about something useless like the population density of Tokyo, then maybe you’d waltz off to chemistry class where the professor would teach you all about something equally as snore-inducing like covalent hydrogen bonds, and then maybe you’d swan off to IT class. And what would you learn? That’s right. How to put formulas into spreadsheets. 

Then lunch time and something sugary to eat, because you owe your brain an apology. But IT is no longer a niche interest. It’s everyday life. Teach your child about Google and how to use the internet safely. Show your child word processing software (be warned, they will want to print everything - see genuine Brother ink cartridges), and explore creative things like photo and video editing together. Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are today’s IT learners. 

Read-along audiobooks

Stephen Fry is the voice of the Harry Potter audiobook series. He tells a story of how he couldn’t wrap his tongue around the phrase “Harry pocketed it” and so, after several failed attempts at reading out the sentence, he called JK Rowling and asked if he could change the wording to “Harry put it in his pocket."

Harry Potter coat of arms from Warner Bros Studio Tour, England

She said no because she wanted children to read along whilst listening to the audiobook, encouraging children to get through whole books on their own without stopping and getting bored when they couldn’t read a word. It really works - children love to listen and read along. 

(On a fun side note - just to annoy Stephen Fry, JK Rowling used the phrase “Harry pocketed it” in all subsequent Harry Potter novels). 

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