School helps prepare students for the real world through academics and social skills training. Now more than ever there is an increasing need for specialized skills. How many times has a child asked “Why do I have to learn this?” or made a statement such as “I’m never going to use this in real life.” Incorporating learning outside of the classroom is an easy way for kids to develop these other specialized skills by providing real-world applications of academic and life skills. Learning outside of the classroom makes what is being taught more relevant to kids, thus encouraging motivation, understanding, and the child’s overall outlook on learning. Also, motivation increases attendance which is correlated with better grades.
Learning outside of school involves experiences for teaching lessons not in a classroom setting, that can be applied to all areas of life. It involves challenging one to use critical thinking and problem solving skills. Aside from hard skills such math, writing and oral language skills, children can learn soft skills such as teamwork and organization. Classroom learning is often taught through oral lessons, videos and tests whereas learning outside the classroom often involves a more hands-on approach. Also, post-secondary education studies typically involve fieldwork experience because it is just as important to apply what you have learned as it is to learn it!
Aside from the general learning of soft and specialized skills, children can learn personal skills such as self-esteem, leadership, and self-advocacy. These skills will be beneficial inside the classroom and are life-long skills. Learning outside of the classroom encourages student engagement by giving them a variety of tools and sceneries to accompany learning. This variety will foster creativity and imagination. Engagement also supports a higher percentage of retention in students.
Learning outside of the classroom provides new opportunities to children. It does not necessarily mean taking your lesson outside and sitting somewhere. It means transforming the lesson into something bigger than books and tests. It means giving children the space to explore their environment and surroundings with purpose. Outside resources are endless and almost anything can be used as a learning tool, you just have to be creative.
Learn@Home gives students self-confidence by allowing them to work on their own terms. They can learn some of those soft skills such as organization and time management while completing their academics. Lessons can be supplemented by an adult with opportunities for learning outside of the program.
All times, but especially times like these where outside interactions are limited, giving children the opportunity to learn and practice skills outside of the classroom is imperative for continued development.