Beyond Homework

By Jaime Thomas 2019-06-27 18:04:34

Supporting Your Child’s Academic Learning Through Fun at Home


 Jaime Thomas, student support coordinator at Concordia International School Shanghai


At Concordia International School Shanghai, the Learning Support (LS) program strives to provide individual students with the support needed to find personal and academic success to reach their potential in the daily learning environment. We know that one important way to do this is through a partnership with parents in order to foster learning growth and development both in and outside of school.

We encourage parents to get involved with their child’s education in ways that are often seen as outside of the traditional academic support. Things like ensuring your child is getting the proper amount of sleep, monitoring their TV and video game usage, and maintaining a consistent and reasonable schedule, all help to support your child in succeeding academically. But above all of those things, we believe that one of the greatest ways that parents can support their children at home is by providing opportunities to spend time together. Playing games together is an easy way to spend an unhurried and enjoyable time together. And, as an added bonus, board and card games are also rich in learning opportunities! 

Games don't need to be overtly academic in order to support learning. Just by virtue of playing them, board and card games can teach important social skills, and provide opportunities to practice and strengthen executive functioning and self-regulation skills for students of all ages. Children of young ages learn important skills like communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying interaction with others.

As children grow, board and card games foster the ability to focus, can lengthen a child’s attention span, exercise working memory, and promote mental flexibility, planning, and decision making. In addition, research has found that playing board games also provides important health benefits like reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, and having fun and feeling good. And, children who are provided regular, meaningful, unhurried, and enjoyable time with their family are children who report higher levels of self-esteem. All of these factors help to make children more successful students academically.   

In such a fast-paced and busy world, quality time spent together is a precious gift.  At Concordia, we see that not just as a gift for your family, but also for the overall academic and social development of your child.  So if you are looking for ways to support your child at home, think beyond homework and tutors. Grab a board game or a deck of cards and have fun playing together!