Sometimes your child might be struggling enough in a school that hiring a subject-specific tutor is just the help they need. However, if you’re interested in making sure your child is getting enrichment without formal tutoring, your nanny or sitter could already be doing that! While nannies are no substitute for an official tutor, here are a few ways that they could be covertly educating your child in each school subject.
From counting to adding and subtracting, nannies regularly encounter mathematical situations with kids when they play. Counting flowers, coins, or trucks. Even using measurements to make a cake or cut slices of the cake teaches adding, subtracting, fractions, and decimals. Wherever your child is academically, your nanny can casually bring math into a fun activity that shows its importance and purpose.
Working with food is a great opportunity for a child care provider to bring up some conversations around science. They can explore their food to find seeds and talk about how each fruit or vegetable grew or where something comes from. With older kids they can discuss the chemistry in mixing certain ingredients together and how heat or cold affects things differently. Your nanny can even explore planting the seeds they find and teaching your child what makes them grow and how. They can learn about plants, animals, insects, the sun and even the earth—all while having fun.
Reading and having daily conversations with your child can help them improve their language and communication skills. A child can follow along when your nanny reads to them with their finger, learning letter shapes and sounds, proper diction, rhyming words, synonyms and antonyms, spelling, and more! Child care providers initiating conversations about what was in a book that was read also prepares them for reading comprehension and recalling useful written information later.
Physical activity is a staple in every child care provider’s day. Playing different sports, taking nature hikes, riding bikes, running, and jumping are all activities that are important to your child’s gross motor skills. Your nanny can explore different physical activities with your child to help them discover what they are good at, and practice what they may not do as well naturally.
History and important societal events can often come up in the time a nanny spends with a child. Whether it’s in a book they’re reading, a play they’re acting out together, songs they sing, or questions a child may ask. Nannies are also great collaborators with teachers. If they know what the child is working on at school, they can incorporate elements into their time together to improve your child’s learning experience with that information.
Through background music or dance parties, your child care provider can introduce your child to different types of music—which can teach them how to recognize different rhythms, instruments, and what makes each song unique. Dancing and singing with your child can really foster a love and understanding of music, even before their first music class!
With so many ways to create artistically, nannies can easily provide opportunities to be artistic with your child. Coloring in a coloring book, drawing, collecting flowers and gluing them to construction paper or painting can help your child learn about the color wheel and what colors blend together to make something new. They can practice lines and symmetry, shading and blending, and thinking outside of the box before making those thoughts into reality.
Nannies have the freedom, creativity, and dedicated time to tailor the day’s activities to match what each child is learning in school, so be sure to inform them of what is going on at your kid’s school regularly. Working together with your nanny on one end, your child’s teacher on the other and you connecting everyone together can give your child the best possible chance at success!