It's 2017! I'm sure many of you have already thought about your goals for the new year. It seems obvious at the start of the new year to come up with ways that we want to improve ourselves. But, what about our children? Have you spoken to them about their goals for the year? What would they would like to accomplish in the new year? Below are five different areas where elementary aged students can work on improving over the new year:
📚 Reading: Are you really reading with your first grader every night for at least 20 minutes? Really? Make this your goal for the new year. It is extremely important to do this one simple activity every night. Scholastic put out a study in 2015 stating,
" 41 percent of frequent readers ages 6 to 10 were read aloud to at home, while only 13 percent of infrequent readers were being read to."
This study shows how important it is to read aloud to your child. If you want your child to be a lifelong reader, then you must commit to this daily habit.
Older elementary aged children who are confident readers should always be reading something. There is a book for every interest and personality. Time has a list of the top 100 books for children. Many of these are picture books, but not all.
📈 Math: Are your child's math facts under control? Mastering the basic math facts is essential to future success in mathematics. It is very difficult for a child to master long division if he does not know his multiplication facts. There are a multitude of websites that can help children master their math facts such as XtraMath.
🌎 Science: A great goal for science is to peak your child's interest in science. On a day off of school like MLK day, take your child to a science museum like the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver. Another option is to enroll your child in an after school science enrichment program like Mad Science.
🎨 Humanities: Encouraging art exploration for children is another important goal. In a school setting, children often do not have enough of an opportunity to explore their artistic side. Most of the school day is dedicated to preparing for standardized tests. Parents usually need to add art of some kind to their child's day after school. Many recreation centers offer art classes such as the Castle Rock Rec Center in Douglas County. Current classes being offered are KidsArt, cooking, drama, dance, scrapbooking and music.
⚽ Physical: Again, due to an emphasis of schools on testing, children do not have enough time during the school day for physical activity. Some children have one maybe two recesses a day of 15 to 20 minutes. Physical Education classes are dwindling. Students have PE about every three weeks or so. This is simply not enough physical activity. We are all aware that children (and adults) should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The answer is a sport of some kind. It does not have to be a team sport either. Swimming, archery, and skiing are all excellent individual sports in which children of all ages can participate. Recreation centers are the best place to start when looking for a program. Get your child involved in more physical activity for a lifetime of health.
If you need help with achieving these goals for your children, Aim for the Stars Tutoring would love to provide your family with the support it needs. We support families in their academic goals and in coming up with a plan for enrichment activities for families.