Learning happens everywhere, says Kiri Hagenus, managing director of Children's University Australasia.
"Whether you are in school or at home, incidental learning is a very important part of a child's skill and knowledge development," she said.
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.
"That's where CUA (Children's University Australasia) can help, with its home-based activities that are designed to stimulate creativity, critical thinking, self-reflection, and of course, be fun family experiences!" Ms Hagenus said.
CUA and ACM, the publisher of this website, are joining together to suggest weekly "challenges" that can be fun as well as educational, as part of our Living in Lockdown series. Look for a different activity sheet online every Wednesday. Here's the first activity sheet:
"We hope you use them as stepping stones to new discoveries in relaxed, family-friendly learning spaces," Ms Hagenus said.
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 at the moment.
"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.
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
Isolated doesn't have to mean disconnected, of course, and the CUA encourages children to share their creations and achievements. You can visit www.cuaustralasia.com - where you'll find more activities - and follow CUA on Facebook.
You can become a member of CUA, but the activities in our series are for all children, members or not.
"We want everyone to engage in fun, educational experiences that are easily accessible," Ms Hagenus said.
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.
The activities are aimed at children aged 5 to 14. Older teenagers are offered opportunities to participate as volunteers and leaders.
Children's University was launched in Australia in 2013 by the University of Adelaide and since then the program has worked with more than 20,000 families across Australia.
The initiative is delivered through university partners in South Australia, NSW, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and New Zealand.
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