7 Tech-Free Lessons for Elementary Students
Written by Sasa Afredi
In order to provide opportunities to our students, modern education relies heavily on technology. Starting at an early age, adolescents spend more time now on computers, tablets, and mobile phones than ever before. While technology certainly isn’t a bad thing, there are good reasons to incorporate tech-free lessons in your student’s education. Tech-free lessons give learners the opportunity to pursue creativity versus consumption, problem solve and develop coping skills, interact versus expect instant gratification, and contextualize both school lessons and the world around them. Here are seven ideas for tech-free lessons you can enjoy with your elementary students:
1. Visit a museum
Your child can benefit from getting away from the screen and visiting museums, as they provide context for periods of historical, scientific, and cultural significance. Research the exhibitions around you and consider framing museum visits around a theme or school lesson. Some museums are interactive, or offer opportunities for patrons to take part in tactile exercises, demonstrations, and reenactments. Make sure you are getting the most out of these trips by either framing the visit beforehand, or seeking out some kind of a guided tour.
2. Get active and play
Cultivating team-building skills is an important part of every child’s education. Playing sports is a great way to meet peers, develop stamina and fine motor skills, and help keep your student healthy. Athletics also serve as a great emotional outlet. Help your child find an activity that fits his or her interests.
3. Trek through a state park
In the classroom, science teachers are often limited to explaining the environment in complex language and visual models. Visit a state park or nature trail with your child to give context to classroom lessons, promote an active lifestyle, and encourage interaction and concern with ecology and the environment. A state park offers a chance to experience local flora and fauna in a tactile, visual, aural, and kinesthetic way.
4. Music and dance
Taking up a musical instrument or joining a musical or dance ensemble is not just a healthy hobby, but it could provide future academic opportunities for your child. Many colleges offer scholarships for applicants who wish to develop their talents as part of various fine arts programs. Self-expression is an important facet of healthy adolescent behavior, and art is an excellent method.
Journaling, or keeping a hand-written diary, is an excellent way to unplug and reflect. Journaling promotes autonomy and reflection. Reflective writing is an emotional outlet and an opportunity for synthesizing the new information being processed by a young mind throughout the day. Journaling can help students develop and refine literacy, writing, and grammar skills.
6. Hobby or special skill
Sewing, magical illusions, small business, horticulture…you never know which random interest could end up paving a path to your child’s future. The key is to nurture their interests in a healthy and positive direction; focus on the aspects of these interests which do not rely heavily on technology; and build skills. Foster their individuality and confidence, but take the time to emphasize the importance of education as the foundation of creativity. Find good teachers, programs, and resources for your student to excel in the special skill of their choice.
7. Go camping
Camping is a great way for students to connect with the natural environment and disconnect from the digital world. Families may build traditions and fond memories simply by spending time together outdoors. Camping with student groups may help young people build relationships, practical skills, and grow self-assurance. Many summer camps and student programs exploit tech-free curricula, specifically built to integrate confidence building and education. With the right supplies, students can take the opportunity to unwind and learn in nature.
Sasa Afredi is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.