Current affairs and news can be a supplementary aid in teaching your child core subjects like English, Math and Science. Children study these subjects so they can better understand and interact with the world. Therefore, the current affairs of the world can be employed to great effect in enhancing learning.
Benefits of including current affairs into your child’s learning
1) It shows them the relevance of what they are learning
It is hard for students to understand how the content they are learning can apply to the world. When their heads are filled with facts and formulae, children often neglect to consider why these formulae exist. When teachers teach students in this contextual vacuum, it is easy to dismiss the knowledge as unimportant or irrelevant. By showing them the relevant links between their learning and the world will help them stay interested and motivated to learn.
2) It prepares them for their entry into society as a whole
One primary purpose of education is to prepare children for their entry into society, beyond the boundaries of the school walls. As such, teaching them how their knowledge applies to society from an early age helps to ease this transition and to prepare them better to face future challenges.
Methods to include current affairs into your child’s education
We have established that using current issues as an angle for teaching your children is a beneficial proposition with long-term merits. How, then, can we marry the fields of core education and current affairs? Here are a few suggestions.
1) Use the news to test your child’s knowledge
Keep an eye out for pieces of news which may pertain to the content they have learnt, or are currently learning, in school. Use these articles as an impromptu measurement of your child’s understanding.
For example, if your child is studying the science topic of pressure in school, and you spot a piece of news talking about a gas leak, or a bursting pipe, pass that article to your child and ask them to explain why pipes can burst. If they can answer the question, it indicates that they are familiar enough with the concepts to be able to recognise an unconventional application, which in turn shows a moderate degree of content mastery.
By using current affairs news in this manner, you can check your child’s understanding, while also demonstrating to them the relevance and applicability of the ideas they are learning in school.
2) Use current affairs as a stimulus for discussion
When you come across an interesting news report or editorial, show that article to your child and ask for their opinion. For instance, you could discuss about the recent failed coup in Turkey and ask them questions about it. As an example, you could ask how they feel about what the Turkish government is doing they took the right actions.
Inculcating a habit of discussion allows students to learn how to form and express opinions, fostering critical thinking abilities. This is a skill which will be crucial for scoring well in exams, particularly in Secondary-level English.
These are only two suggestions to utilise current affairs to enhance learning, but they are far from the only means by which this method can be applied. The possibilities restricted only by your imagination.