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With so many children being home, it is more important than ever to help our children become independent learners. While this will help you, since you won’t have to stand over them while they do their work, it is also a great skill that will benefit your children for their entire lives.
5 Independent Educational Activities for Kids
If we want our children to learn to be responsible adults, it is up to us to teach them while young. By giving our children independent activities, we can encourage them to complete them and learn responsibility simultaneously.
Our children have to read to earn other privileges. If they want free-time in the day, they know that they need to “read for fun” first. This means that school-books do not count. They are to read a book, for pleasure, that they’ve picked out (and I’ve approved).
While they have to read at least 30 minutes in the day, they often read much longer. Then, in the evenings, they usually read before bed. They have the option of going right to sleep, or they can choose to read. Either way, they go to bed at the same time, so whether they read in the evening, as well, or not is up to them.
2. LISTENING TO AUDIOBOOKS
On the same note as reading a book is listening to an audiobook. There are SO many services and apps that offer audiobooks for free, including most public libraries.
Our children love to listen to audiobooks, as do I, so we’ll often listen to them in the car. We also listen to them after dinner. Right now, we are listening to the audio version of a history book for children. It will take about 12 hours of listening, but we will have learned so much (myself included) by the time we’ve finished it.
3. EDUCATIONAL GAMES
As I mentioned earlier, if learning is fun, children are going to want to do it. Finding the right programs is key.
They avoid frustration, engage your child, move them along based on how well they are doing, and encourage them to want to progress by offering incentives.
Here are a few favorite online educational games from our partner, Reading Eggs. These programs are all available on both computers and tablets.
This program, designed by experts, delivers results quickly. It has fun games, songs, and animations to engage the child. It offers self‑paced, one‑on‑one lessons that match their ability.
Over 91% of parents report a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading ability within weeks of using Reading Eggs.
Reading Eggs Junior is perfect for younger children. It is filled with toddler games, funny animation, activities for your preschooler, audiobooks, alphabet games, songs, and more!
Our children are currently using Reading Eggspress, as it is perfect for kids ages 7-13. It makes reading real books, improving spelling skills, and building reading comprehension highly engaging.
Reading Eggspress works well, engaging the kids through hundreds of interactive reading activities, online children’s books, and literacy games. You’ll see a considerable change in your child. (Be sure to check out the SPELLING portion of Reading Eggspress – it’s one of my favorite features!)
This new program is perfect for children ages 5–10 who are just learning to read and older children who are struggling at school. The highly engaging phonics games combined with motivating rewards keep kids on track and eager to improve their skills.
When using Fast Phonics, children practice essential phonics skills, including letter‑sound recognition, blending through the word, spelling skills, nonwords, syllables, reading captions, and extended text.
Math is so important, so let’s make it fun for our children. The more that they are engaged, the more they will want to learn. MathSeeds will be an excellent way for your children to supplement their math or fill in their current curriculum gaps. It offers everything from math facts to new concepts.
Mathseeds teaches kids aged 3-9 the core math and problem-solving skills needed to succeed at school with fun, highly interactive, and rewarding lessons. 🙂
Writing is so important! This is such a great independent activity as well as an activity that you can do together. I give our children a handwriting practice sheet every day. I also provide them with a writing prompt.
Each of our children has a writing journal. Their job is to write whatever they want about that prompt, as long as they’ve written enough to give me the details that I’m looking for in their story.
When our kids are done writing, they bring it back to me to check. I offer suggestions, offer feedback, and point out areas where they can take it a step further. They make their corrections and bring it back for a final check.
This activity is easy, but it is one of the most important things that they will do throughout the day because writing well is essential to doing well throughout their school careers and beyond.
5. VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS
In the evenings, after dinner and our audio history lesson, we try to find one virtual field trip on YouTube. We started this over the summer, and it has become one of my favorite things!
We let one child pick a state and a country they want to learn about weekly. With four children, each child ends up picking one state & one country a month. We watch a new video each night on the state or country where we learn about the foods they eat, the weather, their customs, etc. It is so much fun!
This can also be an independent activity. You could even extend the field trip by asking your child to take notes and turn those notes into a paper that they have written or into a short oral report that they present to you.
Our kids also LOVE to follow the “learn to draw” or “learn to paint” videos on YouTube! They can learn just about anything by following the tutorials that you can find online. This is a great activity to allow them to learn a new skill or brush up on an older one.
I usually prepare the area before I give them the time to work. Just set up the area with whatever they will need (crayons, pencils, paper, paint, etc…) and search on your computer or tablet for in “Kid Tutorial for ____” and put the video on for your child.