Knowing what excites kids is the key to helping them master new skills and be successful in school. Here's how to tap into your child's passions in a fun way:
4th Graders Love: Role-playing
How It Helps Learning: Children this age still love pretend play, but now it becomes a vehicle for more sophisticated storytelling. Through higher-level play-acting, children can interpret what they're learning in school and bring literature to life. And while they're at it, they're mastering character and plot development, as well as an understanding of how to use dialogue successfully.
- Read aloud as a family. Fourth-graders are doing more silent reading, but it's still important for them to read out loud with you. You can make it more fun by involving the whole family when reading and assigning everyone specific roles. Maybe your child will be the narrator or a particular character from the book. Try keying readings into seasonal events. For example, on Halloween why not record a spooky ghost story (complete with eerie sound effects) to play outside the house when trick-or-treaters come?
- Make a movie. Videotape your child and his friends as they perform a scene from a favorite book. As they plan the show, pen the script, and gather the costumes, children are improving writing and organizational skills. Artsy kids can even draw or paint the backdrops. Invite friends and family members to the screening, and be sure to applaud loudly at the end!
- Go to the theater. Watching others perform plays and musicals helps your child develop an appreciation for drama and literature. Check out school plays or local children's theaters for high-caliber entertainment at an affordable price.
- Play a real-life version of store. Set up a lemonade stand, where your child can sell drinks and baked goods to neighbors. Or encourage her to sell old toys at your next yard sale.
One step ahead: Find out what motivates 5th graders.