Making everyday tasks a learning opportunity

Feb 2012
Children can put their numeracy skills into action by working out which items are cheaper.

Many children will sometimes complain about having to go to school, but more often than not they enjoy their day.

Schools are obviously a great learning environment for children. But a child's capacity to learn does not have to end when the school bell rings.

Of course, homework is one way that children can continue their learning when they're away from the classroom. But there are plenty of other opportunities for your child to learn, without them even noticing.

We're used to using the skills we picked up at school, such as literacy and numeracy, in our everyday lives. So a great way to help your child build on their school work is to use these everyday tasks as an extra-curricular learning opportunity.

As well as learning, your child will be able to see how the work they do at school will help them in the real world. So what everyday tasks are prefect learning opportunities?

The supermarket shop
The weekly shop can be a pretty boring experience for children, so why not get them involved in the maths and budgeting that are involved?

Your child can put their numeracy skills into action by working out which items are cheaper, or adding up the value of the final list. You can also improve their reading and writing by putting them in charge of looking after the shopping list.

Cooking the evening meal
Do you often get asked how long dinner is going to be as soon as you start making it? Why not try getting your child involved with the cooking process.

They can learn about weights and measures by following the recipe, and improve their literacy by reading out the instructions. And they may even learn a thing or two about cooking!

The school run
Whether you're in the car, on foot, or on the bus, there is always time on the school run for a bit of extra learning.

So whether you're asking them to read signs or do a few sums, if you make a game of it your child will enjoy putting their skills to the test.