Especially when you school from home, and the weather is cold and dreary, the effects of cabin fever can be a bit overwhelming. Does your student seem to be itching to get outside or simply escape the confines of their own four walls? Why not take learning into the community! Regardless of what they are working on for school, you can find an activity outside, or just outside of the home, that can reinforce learning with a fun, outside activity.
If your student is into math and science there are a lot of community activities that can help enhance what they are learning in school. For example, service learning projects can be designed around the interests of your student. If you have a student with a love of animals, why not ask to help out at a local farm or pet shelter? They can learn weights, measures, charting, fractions and more in the real world. Many times students can have a hard time understanding how they will use what they are learning in real life- this is a great way to show them that they will, indeed, be using their math and science skills as adults too.
If your child is into social studies and history, you can pick a local hero, folk-hero or local legend to investigate in the community. Travel around and see where that person was born, where they made their accomplishments and get a greater knowledge of the community and the person being studied. For example, if your student is interested in Native American history, there are plenty of opportunities to visit culturally significant sites right in your area. There are 11 federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin and quite a few have museums or historic sites that can be visited to enhance learning. Simply pick some local history that piques your student’s interest and dive in!
Budding artist or musician? Try a local concert or theater production. Writer? How about a poetry night at a coffee shop or an author’s book reading? Nature lover? There are lots of guided or free hikes with park rangers. Whatever your child is learning, look for opportunities to enhance the school learning with learning in the community. This tactic will not only help to combat cabin fever but will help your student internalize knowledge, enhance their curriculum and even spark a greater interest in a subject that seemed dull or tedious. Give it a try this winter!