It’s summer. The idea of learning and teaching is such a difficult concept to comprehend right now as we spend our days with our kids lounging by the pool, playing at the parking and just enjoying summer. We hazily make an effort to quiz some mental math facts or maybe work on a worksheet or two, but aren’t really surprised or phased when the work gets pushed aside for a water balloon fight or when the kids take one look and run in the opposite direction.
What we need to remember is that there is a good chance the kids are still learning. What?! I know! Seems crazy, but it’s true!! It’s all about how you approach the summer and it’s events or actions that makes all the difference.
Authentic learning is learning by doing and it involves learning things that pop up in everyday happenings and situations.
Take, for example, grocery shopping with your 10 year old. In grade 5, students are learning how to add and subtract more complex decimal numbers and are reiterating the concepts and importance of estimation. Why not have your child mentally add the items in the cart and compare their total to the cashier’s total? Discuss their findings with them. How close did they come? Do they think this is an accurate way to stay in a budget? The questions are endless.
Another example is baking. Baking is AMAZING when it comes to fractions. Doubling or tripling or reducing a recipe by half means you have to add, multiply or even subtract fractions. I even bake with my three year old. We count, learn about what goes into our food, the importance of filling but not overflowing etc.
We are proud Canadians over here and Canada has just turned 150 years old. There is a ton of trivia and information circulating everywhere about Canadian culture and history. So many authentic history or geography questions can be asked or answered totally dependent on the grade level of your student. From discovering provinces and territories and their histories on family vacations, to experiencing some of the amazing pow wows and aboriginal cultures of Canada’s first settlers, to learning about different plants or insects on a nature walk.
Authentic learning is everywhere. So maybe skip the worksheets today, quiz the multiplication questions later and dive into some awesome family fun. It’s an opportunity for you to share the things you know or for you to learn something new yourself. Whatever it is, you won’t be disappointed 🙂