Help Your Kids Learn!
What parents have known since the beginning, teachers are just now starting to realize: not all children will sit still and study. Not everything has to be in text in order to learn. Anything that can stimulate your child's imagination and creativity opens the door to learning.

To help your child's focus, you can try playing his favorite music in the background while he reads. Perhaps it's not normal, but I can have my headphones on, full volume, listening to Pantera of all things, and intently read. It helps me to block out distractions, especially when I'm commuting to and from work on the bus during rush hour.

Another medium you can experiment with is movies. For example, if your child is reading "Romeo and Juliet", watch the movie (the one filmed in the 70's) after you read the tradgedy. You can even go into television programs :)

If you are concerned that your child watches too much tv, try to incorporate some "quality time". Discovery Channel and their sister stations, The Learning Channel and Animal Planet, are jam packed with educational programming, and it's just plain "goood watchin'" *g*. "The Crocodile Hunter" is one of my favorites, as well as "Beyond Bizarre", and anything that has to do with dinosaurs, anient egyptians and gadgets :)

Also, check out The History Channel! Last month, they featured "Heavy Metal Month", which was all about steel, machines, trucks and the like. What ruffian little boy wouldn't enjoy that? Besides that, *I* learned a few things about Andrew Carnegy that I didn't know before.

Also note many subjects blend in with each other. For instance, explaining the Crusades would not only be under history, but under religion as well. Don't be afraid to tackle a couple areas at the same time. I've found children really get a better grip on the situation :)

Finally, older children should use the computer as much as possible to develop their writing skills. However, I feel younger children should master writing out text before really using a word processing program.

This, of course, doesn't mean school-aged children shouldn't use a computer. My son has his own e-mail account. However, sending IMs does not replace pencil and paper - though these days, mastering a keyboard is a must!

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