A Fall Walk – Look up from the book

A Fall Walk - Look up from the bookAre you having a challenging time getting your children to focus on their studies? Sometimes a small break can help. Author Meg Selig from Psychology Today recommends taking a “good break” to boost productivity and creativity. A few of Selig’s suggestions are to walk or exercise, to connect to nature or a streetscape, and to change your environment. Here is how to combine them for a Fall Walk.

Follow these steps:

 1. Plan a safe, yet interesting walk.

If you live in a city or town where the seasons change, take advantage of the natural fall décor outdoors. The beautiful orange, yellow, red, and brown trees are a sight to see. If the seasons don’t change much near you, a walk can still be useful. A change of environment, such as connecting to nature, can be helpful. In this instance, walk in your neighborhood and check out the Halloween, Thanksgiving, or autumn home decorations. The purpose is to look up from the book for a moment to refocus your child.

2. Review the lesson for the day.

For instance, let use the A Grade Ahead 6th Grade English Word list from Week: 1.

The words are…

absently                hearth

dull                          linger

engage                  pace  

fetch

Start by going over the definitions that the student has been working on. Then, help give the lesson more meaning by adding in the next step.

3. Show the usefulness of the lesson.

As you are walking, point out trees or plants that are dull in color. Then, ask the child to find some other dull object as well. This practice helps to reinforce the meaning. If the child is walking too slowly you can ask him or her to pick up the pace because you don’t want to linger.

The same process can be used with math homework. Using the A Grade Ahead Math Grade 4 Week: 17 lesson.

1 foot (ft.) =12 inches (in.)

1 yard (yd.) = 3 feet (ft.)

Use the following approximate comparison to get a general idea of each size of unit:

Inch:    the diameter of a quarter

Foot:    the length of a piece of paper

Yard:   the width of a doorway (less than a meter)

There are sure to be many pumpkins to choose from on your walk in the neighborhood. Ask the child to estimate how tall a pumpkin is. Is the pumpkin a foot tall or only a few inches?

Take the ruler along or use an approximate size for comparison. Just for fun, ask the child to imagine how big a yard sized pumpkin would be!

4. Return to the lesson.

After 15 minutes or so, ask your child to return indoors to the lesson. Engage the child by asking him or her to remember English and Math words you used during your fall walk.

5. Reward the student for staying focused.

After the walk, a small snack will be refreshing. Give the child a healthy treat. Chris Bailey, a writer from A Life of Productivity, lists 9 foods to improve your focus and concentrations. These are blueberries, green tea, avocados, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, water, dark chocolates, flax seeds, and nuts. Of course, you might not want to give the child tea. The caffeine could be harmful. Maybe save the tea as a treat for yourself!

For more inspiring ideas for parents and children, visit the A Grade Ahead blog.

Author: Traci King, Marketing Assistant at A Grade Ahead

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