Make it fun, the learning will follow
Children’s University Australasia (CUA) is producing weekly challenges for kids as part of a Living in Lockdown educational series for families working and schooling from home.
The first of the challenges have been published this week through a partnership with Australian Community Media (Rural Press) which produces around 160 publications nationwide.
Kiri Hagenus, Managing Director of Children's University Australasia says whether in school or at home, incidental learning is a very important part of a child's skill and knowledge development.
“With most Australian children no longer attending school and staying with their families in coronavirus-inflicted isolation, many parents are wondering how to find the best balance of education, entertainment and quality family time," Ms Hagenus said.
"That's where Children's University Australasia can help, with our home-based activities that are designed to stimulate creativity, critical thinking, self-reflection, and of course, be fun family experiences!
"We hope families around the country can use them as stepping stones to new discoveries in relaxed, family-friendly learning spaces.
“By publishing our challenges through Australian Community Media we are able to reach those families who need it most and who may not have internet connections at home. This is especially important in regional, remote and disadvantaged communities.”
While CUA would usually encourage families to visit places such as libraries, museums, art galleries, sports clubs and zoos to broaden the experience of learning, that isn't possible due to the current need for everyone to stay at home as much as possible.
"The new normal means everyone has to find new and innovative ways to stay in touch and engage with our communities remotely," Ms Hagenus said.
“Being isolated doesn't have to mean being disconnected, and the CUA encourages children to share their creations and achievements.
“You can become a member of CUA, but the activities in our pages are for all children, members or not. We want everyone to engage in fun, educational experiences that are easily accessible." Kiri Hagenus, Managing Director of Children's University Australasia
“You can become a member of CUA, but the activities in our pages are for all children, members or not. We want everyone to engage in fun, educational experiences that are easily accessible."
“We will continue to do what we can to support our communities and families during the COVID-19 situation.”
Teaching tips for parents:
- Make activities fun, avoid creating stress
- Spend time doing the activities together, each task is achievable
- Be guided by your child, let them lead the activity
- There is no one way of doing a task, be creative, have fun
Originating in the UK, Children's University supports the development of school-based clubs but also promotes activities outside school bounds, encouraging and rewarding participants for taking responsibility for their own learning.
Children's University was launched in Australia in 2013 by the University of Adelaide. Since then the program has worked with more than 20,000 families across Australia. Activities are generally aimed at children aged 5 to 14, but older teenagers are offered opportunities to participate as volunteers and leaders.
The initiative is delivered through university partners in South Australia, NSW, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and New Zealand.
Further activities for children are available at Children’s University Australasia and also through CUA’s Facebook page.
If you would like to be involved in CUA, or are willing to create short videos that the children are interested in, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org