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Learning Outside of School – What Teachers Wish You Did at Home

I’ll be honest, when I asked a small group of awesome teachers around the country what they wished parents did at home with their kids, I’m not sure what I was expecting the answers to be. I was absolutely blown away by their insightful answers, and how they can easily see the connection between the learning at school and the experience at home.

Here’s what this amazing group of educators had to say about what they wish you did at home:

“I think we are so accustomed to asking our kids, “How was your day?” and accept the classic response of, “Good.” I wish more families had insight into our everyday routines and happenings in our school days. I started posing more specific questions to my family to learn more about their days at school such as, “What was the highlight of your day?” “What was the pit of your day?” “What’s the coolest thing you learned today that you think I may not know?” The more details your kids share with you, the more you can relate to what they’re experiencing.”

“When we get away from yes/no answers we build a better connection – and as a mom to two middle schoolers (two elementary and one toddler) I know making connections is important; especially with my bigs – my high schoolers included – they want to tell me things so bad but don’t want to seem burdensome so instead they often clam up or give me the 1-2 word response until they connection is there and know that they are welcome to share.”

“I wish more families meditated together or solo at home. On long camp days I often include a 2 minute meditation after intense activities like recess or dance class- with the ultimate goal of increasing the length of time students remain quiet, focused & breathing. The practice of meditation significantly improves student’s ability to self soothe.”

“I wish more families would go outside and experience the night sky! Bring a big towel/sheet to the beach at night and look up! I am also a big fan of eating dinner together, such a great way of catching up with one another!”

For the little littles: “Practice tying shoes, zipping coats, opening any packaged food item they might bring to school – if little fingers aren’t strong enough to open chip bags, teach him/her to cut them open with scissors.”

“Let kids be kids and don’t let them on electronics all day. I see too many kids stressed out with pressure because they are in every sport and/or activity AND trying to maintain straight A’s. It’s ok not to get A’s on everything and/or have a bad day at practice or a game. It’s ok to let kids struggle and fail at times. Help guide and support them through it. Let kids take ownership of what didn’t go well and guide them to ways to try it again differently. Use these as moments to grow from. Unplug from technology (hopefully parents know and monitor what their kids are seeing on electronic devices) and allow kids to explore around them. Have them read, create, play. And join in their silly fun, too! They love when their parents are silly with them, too!”

What’s one thing you can add to your at-home time that will help them throughout their day at school? Share your ideas! Special thanks to the fantastic teachers I interviewed for helping me with my September Back-to-School series! Look forward to some spooky seasonal fun starting next week!

Originally posted on on October 4th, 2022

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