Well, folks, the time is here. Early morning wake up calls, disagreements about what to pack for lunch, and forgotten projects that are due tomorrow. Yup, the kids are headed back to school. Even with some of the challenges, and after a really incredible summer, I’m looking forward to the start of a new school year!
Ayva is in the second grade this year, and we already know that there’s a lot of new concepts she’s going to be learning. The math homework she’s brought home already is more advanced than I remember from my college days! Not only that, but because she’s in Catholic school, she’ll have the opportunity to learn how to write cursive. How cool is that? There are a lot of ways we can support her learning, but her teacher has it under control for the most part.
The thing we’re most concerned about, the aspect of school readiness that we know there’s a lot less time to devote to in the classroom, is critical thinking skills. Making the right decisions and learning how to be a good person are just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Fortunately, we have a ton of wonderful support resources from Lakeshore Learning to help us help our second grader. We’re Lakeshore Learning Blog Ambassadors, and I’m happy to share some of these resources with you!
Critical Thinking Made Fun
One of the biggest discoveries I made about children during my work as a Teaching Artist many years ago, and as a mother, is that subtlety doesn’t always work with them. If I want Ayva to know something, or if it’s important for her to behave a certain way, I have to tell her. Critical thinking skills and common sense have to be nurtured.
The easiest way to nurture these skills is through having lots of conversations. I talk Ayva through different situations and scenarios as they happen. We break things down and give her the tools she needs to be able to get through challenges whether we’re there or not. Since children have this amazing ability to sometimes forget everything we say (in one ear and out the other!), it helps to have reinforcements to help bring the point home.
The Pick-A-Problem Math Warm-Ups game from Lakeshore Learning gives children the opportunity to learn to think quickly on their feet. The problems can be solved within a few minutes, and most of them without paper and pencil.
Writing Prompts Journal
If you have a child like mine who loves to wake up super early, the Writing Prompts Journal will come in handy. The prompts are age-appropriate and gives young writers a place to practice expressing themselves clearly. Since we’re doing this at home, it also opens up fantastic conversations between the two of us, and helps me to get to know Ayva even better.
What Should You Do? A Game of Consequences
This game is my absolute favorite. Not only is What Should You Do? A Game of Consequences fun to play, but it’s interesting to get a sense of Ayva’s ethics and morals. The board game puts players in different situations, and they move forward by demonstrating that they know the appropriate way to respond. This game should be in every home, classroom, and after school program. Our children only know what we teach them, and this game lets us teach them how to be better people!
There are a lot more fun games, toys, and activities at Lakeshore Learning that will encourage good common sense and critical thinking skills.Here’s a 20% off coupon for you to try some of those games out!
We love being blog ambassadors for Lakeshore Learning! Keep following us here on the blog, and on Facebook and Periscope as we continue to share videos and pictures of different products and activities in action. Head over to Lakeshore Learning on Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest, or their website for ideas on ways to engage your children in education and make learning fun!
I am a blog ambassador for Lakeshore and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.