Harnessing the Spirit of Independent Learning –

STUDY TIPS & RESOURCES

Harnessing the Spirit of Independent Learning

In the United States, the Fourth of July celebrates our country’s independence. Interestingly, Kumon celebrates independence every day. At Kumon Math and Reading Centers, instructors foster independent work and study habits among students with individualized paths toward knowledge. Core ideals of the Kumon Method are self-study and independent learning. Each child works at his or her own pace without peer-to-peer comparisons. With summer in full effect and the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, parents can incorporate the spirit of independence into family activities and fun.This summer, foster the spirit of the Fourth of July and allow children to immerse themselves in a variety of independent learning and play activities to develop self-reliance.

Today, the Fourth of July holiday is associated with barbecues, parades, picnics and fireworks. At gatherings, give children the responsibility to take some of the work off of the grill-master and collect orders. How many hot dogs? How many medium-rare burgers? How many bratwursts? Once they have made the rounds, children can gather up the orders and report back to headquarters for debriefing. When the numbers are in, parents can ask the children word problems such as: “If there are eight people here, and two want hot dogs, three want hamburgers and the rest want bratwurst—how many people want bratwurst?” This activity will help build social skills and provide a chance for children to practice math during the summer while having fun doing it.

If the family happens to catch a fireworks display this July, parents can encourage children to read about what makes those whistling works so spectacular. Spark children’s interest by explaining the history of fireworks and how they originated some 2,000 years ago in China and were made from bamboo. After the display, children can read about the history of these colorful wonders online. When they’re finished, they can share their new knowledge with the family. As a reward for learning something new independently, parents can give the children a chance to create their very own fireworks show—virtually, of course. Yahoo Kids has one of the best interactive virtual fireworks game by far. The game allows children to select blast types and colors and will play the show with a nice musical score.

This July, celebrate independence and learning so that the whole family can take part in it, and make summer days more meaningful to everyone. Bolster your family barbecues, picnics and excursions by incorporating a little learning fun into summer celebrations that become part of your family’s Fourth of July or summer tradition for years to come.