We asked readers whether their childhood bedtime routine included an educational activity like “Bedtime Math.” We also wanted to know whether parents out there have implemented something similar for their kids.
Readers shared stories about parents who carved out teachable moments —whether before bed, in the car on the way to school, or at the breakfast table.
Lacy Nicole, commenting on Facebook, says her mom had a great way of packing in vocabulary lessons:
“…my mom would put a note in my lunch bag each day. In the note, she would include a new vocabulary word and write the definition at the bottom. Upon arriving home after school, she would quiz me on the new term. I always found this to be a fun exercise and evidence that my mom valued my learning; not to mention, it helped build my lexicon! Guess what? I am a language arts teacher today.”
“Sharon Oshe” got a dose of arithmetic from dad, but in the car. She recalls a game called Bizz-Buzz, where players count out loud from one — substituting the word “bizz” for multiples of or numbers including three, and “buzz” for multiples of or numbers including seven.
She gets a kick out of what might be the game’s more mature origins:
“Ha, I just looked it up on Wiki to check the rules — turns out it’s a drinking game. Guess Dad was bringing his frat skills to parenting, way back in the 60’s and 70’s. That makes me laugh. I’ll have to bust him on it. :-)”
Commenting on Facebook, Cristina Raskopf Norcross tells us about a family activity called “writing club” that she does with her 8- and 6-year-old sons at the end of the day.
“I give them a writing prompt and we all write for 15 minutes and then share what we’ve done,” Norcross says, “If my 6 year old just wants to draw a picture and write a sentence, that’s great too!”
She’s a frequent guest on an open mic radio show, and went on the air with her 8-year-old to share a poem they wrote together.