With trees beginning to flower and tadpoles morphing into frogs, spring represents a season of growth and new beginnings. And with the first day of spring (March 20) just around the corner, that’s exactly what YouthQuest students will be learning about this month.

“During the spring, we can teach life lessons about plants, insects and weather,” said LaKeitha Givens, Director of YouthQuest. “Considering that these topics all involve life cycles and patterns, the season also presents an opportunity to teach and reinforce the concept of time. This is an important lesson as it helps students to think and talk about events and ideas in a logical order.”

Over the next four weeks, students will participate in a variety of engaging activities relating to time and timelines, butterflies, flowers, music (Vivaldi’s concerto The Four Seasons), Daylight Savings and more. For example:

  • Students in grades K-2 will take note of the weather conditions at the same time each day during March. Afterward, they will review their weather records for patterns, allowing them to draw some conclusions about March weather in Michigan.
  • Youth in grades 3-6 will develop a perspective of how time passes by participating in a variety of fun activities. Those challenged to solve a sheet of simple addition problems in just one minute may find the 60 seconds go by quickly. In contrast, students told to stand on one foot with both hands raised about their head may find that the time drags.

Want to help extend your student’s learning beyond YouthQuest? Families can try some of the following activities to keep youth engaged in the evening, on Fridays and during the weekend:

  • Prompt your student to notice the subtle changes of spring. By paying attention to the longer days and the blooming trees, you can help your child better understand the characteristics of the different seasons.
  • Highlight the concept of time by having a conversation about the past, present and future. Talk about personal experiences and milestones, and then ask your student to put those in order. For example, Kyle had a lemonade stand this summer. He used the money he earned to buy a bike. He will ride that bike when the weather warms up.

FOR OLDER STUDENTS

Rather than use themes, YouthQuest’s middle and high school programs offer short-term and long-term clubs to teach students new skills and encourage interest in new subjects. This month, for instance, all three sites are offering cooking clubs. To build their skills at home, involve your student in your weekly meal-prep process. Provide a set budget and task him or her with writing a grocery list for a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner. After the two of you go shopping for the ingredients, either ask your student to prepare the meal or – if supervision is required – make it together!