How do you leverage the most out of this education you have chosen for your child? What kind of educational support can you offer your child and his or her classroom teacher?
Ask your child’s teacher for a copy of their memory work. Have this on hand near the dinner table. After dinner, ask a few sound-off questions or for a memory verse from the Bible. Brain research shows that the more memory is reinforced the more likely the information will make it into long-term memory. This simple routine will have a big payoff for your child, creating memory pegs for future learning.
Record the memory songs from school on a CD. Ask your teacher for the words of any and all memory songs. Record these together as a family and then use the CD in the car. Your child will love that your voices are on the CD, and it again will help reinforce his or her learning.
Have a competition to see who in the family can spell all the weekly spelling words correctly. It’s a family spelling bee!
Go to the fabric store and buy some clear vinyl to fit your dining table. Find some old National Geographics and remove the maps. Place a map under the vinyl and now you have a perfect discussion starter at dinner. You will find your children bringing up things about the map of the week or month, whichever you decide. You can use this simple tool to reinforce your child’s history studies. National Geographic also has some outstanding earth science maps.
Ask your child math questions whenever possible. Take them to the grocery store and have him or her figure out which brand is the best buy. Ask volume and comparison questions. I was listening to a math educator talk about how this kind of parent/child interaction builds math literacy. One young man in my math class is very sharp on his math facts and because of this skill he does well on computations. He told me his father made him do flash cards every night after dinner until mastery was accomplished.
Read aloud everyday to your child. Keep reading to your child even into the teen years. Read scripture. Make it your goal to read all the way through the Bible with your child. My husband, Steve, and I made it completely through the Bible with our children twice and few books shy of a third time. Keep reading good literature. Excellent literature is the keystone to Christian classical education.
Intentionality is a building block to support.
Barbara Hansen serves as The Cor Deo School’s sixth grade teacher.