I am very excited to join 25+ bloggers from Kid Blogger Network in
School’s Out: 10 Top Series! To see all the topics, follow this link.
Check out collaborative Pinterest Board for more fun ideas to do with children this summer!
In the recent years more and more parents and teachers raise great concern in regard of screen addiction in children. Having all the gadgets, programs, games around and children being constantly on screens affects children’s ability to read, be creative and socialize.
You probably remember me participating in Screen-Free Week just a little while ago. So why am I writing in favour of the screen time while trying to make sure my child enjoys screen-free activities? As a mother of two and a teacher I can see the benefits of screen time for learning process when given in moderation and with supervision. I control what my daughter watches on screens and how much time she spends with them. Screen time can become a fun, entertaining and useful way to assist learning and bonding between family members if used wisely and in moderation.
So, here I am, offering you my Top 10 Ways to Utilize Screen Time for Learning.
1. Homeschooling and Self-study.
Internet offers great sources for all sorts of projects, craft ideas and self-study. I wish we had so many sources when I was in school! So while on vacation, your children might have some summer projects to complete and some computer software (Photoshop, online tools as Picmonkey or simply Picasa) can assist with editing pictures taken for the project and research useful information on flora and fauna of the certain area and whereabouts of places to explore.
2. Reading Skills Development.
There are tons of interactive websites, games and apps that help with the development of reading skills. I have always been a great fain of Starfall. I use it for my own children and within the classroom. We have also found Leapfrog DVDs to be helpful in this process. There are tons of other sources. My advice would be to test the game/app/source first and then decide whether it will be useful for your child or not.
Here’s a post from This Reading Mama suggesting their favorite YouTube ABC links for their toddler.
I have noticed with my niece and nephew that they are reluctant to take books and read them. So we’ve been trying to encourage their reading skills. Such devices as Kindle and Tablets can serve well to help encourage reading in general. Online libraries (free and paid) offer much wider variety of reading material these days and some books that we can’t easily “hunt down” in the shops can be found there. Of course, unlike reading books, reading off the screen should be more controlled as the eyes get more tired from screen reading than from books.
4. Language Development.
The applications and activities are in no way should be the main sources for language development. However they can be a great way to supplement and make it more thrilling for the child to learn and explore the vocabulary.
Jay of Learning to Play and Playing to Learn suggests few apps that proved helpful for her own child in language development.
5. Geography and Navigation.
I think a great example here would be the posts by Becky of Kid World Citizen who explores some apps helpful in learning about geography and map navigation. If you travel in summer, these skills would be useful!
6. History and Cultures.
I can’t even get started on how much we can learn through numerous TV series, apps, games about culture and history of different countries and own heritage.
7. Physical Education.
We enjoy such programs as ABC of Yoga that help me and my daughter both stay fit and thoroughly satisfy the young child’s demand for screen time! Singing up for actual classes is great but sometimes we have younger siblings to care for and no chance to take the older ones to those classes, so such programs could be a wonderful addition to the time-pass together with all the children!
8. Math and Science.
School Time Games ‘s collection has always been a great source in my classes for various activities, including science and math. Reviewing learned during school months material via interactive online games is fun and entertaining and makes the child dig deep into the memory to use all the acquired knowledge.
9. Character Development.
When we choose a movie or TV series to watch together as a family, we try to watch something that emphasizes various virtues and good character. We absolutely love The Cosby Show which is one of the best series of all times showing love and unity in the family, promoting good character and simply entertaining!
10. Foreign Language Learning.
Using screen time to assist language learning is simply brilliant. That’s how our daughter learned some of the Spanish words (Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!), realized that Kai-Lan can explain some basics of Chinese language which she is currently studying (Ni-Hao Kai-Lan!) and discovered the world of Russian cartoons with Smeshariki.
Here are two posts from Annabelle of Piri-Piri Lexicon sharing her family’s favorite multilingual iPad apps and how they use apps for language awareness with their toddler.
Becky of Kid World Citizen also shares a post on how Elmo can help children learn Chinese.
Check out other blogs that participating in School’s Out: A Top 10 Series!
Sunday ~ This Reading Mama | The Educators’ Spin on It | Kitchen Counter Chronicle | Rainbows within Reach | Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers | Monday ~ Train Up a Child Learn as We Go | Housing a Forest | Royal Baloo | Living Montessori Now | Tuesday ~ Toddler Approved | Play Trains! | 3 Dinosaurs | Wednesday ~ The Outlaw Mom | Teach Beside Me | Hands On as We Grow | iGame Mom | Thursday ~ JDaniel 4’s Mom | All Done Monkey | Fantastic Fun & Learning | KC Edventures | Playing with Words 365 | Friday ~ Teach Mama | The Usual Mayhem | Nature and Play | True Aim Education | Saturday ~ Creative World of Varya | Craftoart | My Buddies and I