Learners and Parents

Overcoming the Challenges of Learning at Home

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and everyone’s weaknesses can be improved upon. Parents and teachers can provide numerous enjoyable opportunities for all children to strengthen a wide variety of cognitive skills.

Tangram is a shape puzzle that originated in China thousands of years ago. It uses seven different shapes, called tans, which can be assembled in an infinite number of ways. 

Fun Games and Activities for Enhancing Cognitive Skills in Children

Tangoes is a commercially available game for different developmental levels and provides a fun way to improve visual spatial skills. Assembling age-appropriate LEGO® kits can improve visual spatial skills and executive functioning. Many other games that build visual spatial skills include Tetris, Collapse and What’s the Difference and are available online.

Games that build attention and memory skills include Simon, Concentration and Bop-It. Flexibility in thinking can be strengthened with TriBond and TriBond Jr games. Mind Trap board game and games available in apps such as Logic Puzzles and Grid Detective can strengthen verbal and logical reasoning. 

The possibilities are endless (and certainly not limited to what we’ve included here). Activities selected should be based upon the girl’s interests and unique personality to be most effective (and enjoyable). 

Resource for Child Development

Numerous resources are available online. The following link provides helpful information about executive function:

What Is Executive Function? And How Does It Relate to Child Development?

Social skills can be improved and, depending upon the child’s age, books such as How to Handle Bullies, Teasers and Other Meanies by Kate Cohen-Posey (and other similar titles) may be beneficial. For parents, The Unwritten Rules of Friendship by Natalie Madorsky Elman and Eileen Kennedy Moore provides simple strategies to help children make friends.

Homework Performance can be Improved by Following Several Simple Strategies Including:

  • Planning study time with a schedule
  • Prioritizing with a to-do list that includes homework that needs to be done, activities, chores, and plans that have been made
  • Organizing each day and making sure everything has been packed for school. Binders could be used to organize work for each subject
  • Setting up a workspace that has good lighting, plenty of space, no clutter, and little or no noise. Establishing “rules” such as avoidance of loud music, TV, social media and text messaging while doing homework.
  • Encouraging the student to ask for help from the teacher whenever needed
  • Arranging for a study buddy or homework partner who can be supportive of the child’s needs and who can be helpful in organizing assignments, task division, and time management.

Don’t forget the academic strengths that the child brings to every task! Nurture vocabulary and verbal skills with trips to the local library, playing word games (such as Whirly Word, Words with Friends, Thread Words – the list is endless!). Consider debate clubs and public speaking classes if those are of interest to the child.

Learners and Parents

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