Fun Educational Activities To Help Students Stay Focused & Keep Learning
There are many ways your children can occupy themselves after a long day of study... but not all are useful. While having time to relax and recharge is essential, many modern entertainment options (such as scrolling social media or playing repetitive video games) encourage poor mental habits in teenagers. These things are uniquely distracting, and in the absence of better alternatives, are easy to default to. When taken to excess, they can actively hinder your child’s development.
Younger children who enjoy activities such as outdoor play are limited by natural barriers like the weather. But teenagers who prefer using social media (and the Internet as a whole) have no such natural restrictions, making it more difficult to manage. Because of that, it's a good idea to keep a list of productive down time activities on hand that you can do with your children to help them stay focused and keep learning.
Watch documentaries together as a family.
Although the idea of coming together as a family to watch a documentary might seem a little outdated, it's a great way to keep your children (and yourself!) in the "learning mindset" they need for school. Quality documentaries have never been easier to find, thanks to internet streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime... not to mention the famously reliable History and National Geographic channel documentaries, many of which can be found for free on Youtube.
The benefit of watching documentaries is that when it comes to keeping your kids' focus on their education, any new knowledge is better than none. The documentaries you choose don't need to be inspired by their curriculum. But if you can find documentaries about topics your children are studying in school (perhaps specific historical periods or aspects of world religion), they might just help them to reach a new level of understanding in the subject.
Get your children to give a Powerpoint presentation on a topic they're interested in.
If you have a child who loves the spotlight, this is a great way for them to share their interests and develop their IT skills in the process. Most students will be taught how to use either Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides in school, so they probably already have a basic understanding of how these software packages work. If they don't, there are countless free tutorials online they can avail of (a useful activity in itself).
As with the documentary recommendation above, it doesn't need to be a presentation on their curriculum - not if they don't want it to be. Just getting your child to talk about their favourite band, game, or TV show will improve their public speaking skills and encourage them to engage more thoughtfully with the material they enjoy. This isn't too different to what's asked of students in most second-level English courses, after all, so it's good practice for their exams. It's also vital that your children be allowed time to explore their own interests outside of what's handed to them at school.
Play educational games like Kahoot! together as a family.
Perhaps the biggest revelation in classrooms over the last few years, Kahoot is an extremely popular group quiz game used by teachers all over the world for quick subject revision. To play Kahoot, all a player needs is an Internet-ready device of their own (a phone, tablet or computer all work fine).
Kahoot's system is based on user-submitted quizzes, so some of them are less helpful than others. That said, many have been created by teachers for the purpose of subject revision, making them perfect for a quick burst of study over the midterm or Christmas holidays. You can find Kahoot quizzes on just about any subject can think of, from movie trivia to mathematical formulae... and because the game aims to encourage quick thinking via timed answers, games usually don't last longer than five minutes. This makes them easily repeatable, and means they take a long time to get boring.
The three activities discussed above are ideal for shorter periods of down time. If you’re searching for activities your children can engage in during longer rest periods (such as holidays), then you could consider enrolling your child in a fixed-term revision course with one of our highly qualified online tutors.