Tips for Enhancing the Educational Experience of Your Child

Parents play a leading role on when it comes to their children's' educational experience. School is a major part of a child's education, but parents can give children educational opportunities outside of the school environment. Consider these tips as a way to enhance the educational experience of your child.

1. Ask your child to identify three goals for the school year.

2. Sign up for a long-term volunteer opportunity in their area of interest.

3. Make sure your child's learning happens outside of the school walls as well as inside (libraries, museums, clubs, etc.).

4. If they have expressed interest in a particular career or field, provide them with exposure to the career or field as a reminder of the bigger picture and provide a mentor/support individual from the field. Sometimes this also serves as a "reality check" in terms of career requirements and commitment.

5. Take advantage of free academically supportive websites such as Khan Academy and The College Board.

6. Provide opportunities to interact with peers that are not their friends. This strengthens their networking and collaboration abilities.

7. Play games as a family that focus on particular subjects. For example Monopoly© would strengthen mathematics, whereas Battleship© fosters critical and strategic thinking.

8. Have your child sign up for free online classes such as e-learning for kids, which offers courses in math, science, environmental skills, health, language arts and life skills.

9. Explore the world of art with your child for free through KinderArt! and with online videos at Jerry's Artarama.

For more ideas on how to enrich your child's education after-school, find local resources in our enrichment and after-school directory.

Connie Grier, is the author of "The ABC's of Mentoring: A BiWeekly Road Map to Uplift Youth," and leads The RESPECT Alliance, an organization devoted to bringing the "respect" back to interactions between home and school and increasing parental advocacy.