Sep 2020

Kids Missing Their School ‘Specials’? No Worries—30 Arts, Music, Reading, and STEAM Activities for Home

Written by Karen Miller

“Making sure that children have access to subjects that go beyond the traditional staples of math and reading is critical for several reasons,” says Michael Horn, innovative education expert and author of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. “It turns out, for example, that reading is made up of more than a set of discreet skills like phonics and decoding, but is heavily dependent on background knowledge across a wide range of subjects. That means that making sure your child has some well roundedness—in the arts, music, computers, athletics, sciences, social studies, and more—is important.”

It can also have an impact beyond school. “Research shows that the skills children learn in extracurricular experiences help them develop pro-social behaviors and significantly contribute to positive life outcomes, in some cases equal to or surpassing the effect of core academic achievement,” says innovative education expert and researcher Heather Clayton Staker, founder of hybrid learning company Ready to Blend and co-author of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. “Furthermore, parents sense that their kids need movement, music, and fresh air to balance out the Zoom instruction.”


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