5 Simple Ways to Make Every Child More Successful
Read to and with your child every day
Children of all ages love to hear stories. Younger children can be exposed to all of the wonders that literature can bring. Vivid imagery and beautiful language should not be reserved for independent readers. Likewise, older children also benefit from stories, peaking their imaginations and improving their creative skills. Children who are exposed to reading from a young age often continue to love reading and learning throughout their lives, and reading together also helps to bring you and your children closer as a family.
Give your child real world experiences
Many adults have learned to manipulate their busy schedules around children's lives and activities. Instead of planning where to keep your child busy while you have errands to run, shopping to do, or appointments to keep, consider bringing your child along with you. While these may not be the most exciting days, having your child see how adults work through their daily lives can help them understand the complex interactions that they will face in the future. By involving your child in your daily routines they will watch you model problem solving, social skills, personal responsibility, money management, and other vital skills. Your children will learn from watching you, and therefore, will become more mature independent thinkers.
Demonstrate an appreciation for education
All too often parents feel that because they were not the best students when they were in school, that they cannot be positive role models for their children. However, parents need not be Harvard graduates to instill and demonstrate a love of learning to their children. Parents can be active in their children's schools and school activities to show support. Parents who participate in classes simply for enjoyment or personal growth also show that they value learning, regardless of the subject matter being studied. Even having a number of books at home on different topics and with different points of view are influential to young minds. From watching all of these behaviors children will learn that you believe that education, in all of its forms, is important for building and maintaining a positive life.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Getting enough physical exercise is tops on many parents' lists for providing their children with a healthy lifestyle. While this is definitely a vital piece of the puzzle, a healthy lifestyle means much more for children. It is essential for young minds and bodies to receive enough sleep every night for them to perform their best. By sitting down with your child and actually calculating the amount of sleep they should get and the amount of sleep they actually do get, you can usually come to a compromise that is better for everyone. Children also require a healthy breakfast to start their day off right. If you provide a healthy breakfast, you give your child's body and brain the energy it needs to function properly from the time they enter the school house doors. When these two powerhouse practices are combined with exercise and good personal habits, your child is off to the best start possible each day.
Jennifer Cummings, has a B.A.in psychology, and a M.Ed. in special education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts. She has been an elementary teacher in Massachusetts for almost 10 years, serving both regular education and special education students. She has taught grades 1,4, and 5.
"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings. Contact her at A Note from the Teacher .
Teach personal responsibility
Responsibility is one of the most important skills to learn and one of the most difficult skills to master in life. Children require a great deal of practice in order to become personally responsible for themselves, and there will inevitably be failures involved. However, when this skill is encouraged and practiced over time, students become more self reliant in both in school situations and in peer settings. By beginning at a young age, you can teach your child that they do have the power to be responsible for their own successes in life. They can learn that the power to achieve their goals is truly within themselves, whether on the ball field or in the classroom.
All in all…
Some of the most valuable tools we have to prepare children from the future are not found in a classroom. They are not expensive, and they do not require any specialized equipment. When you give your children the opportunity to learn by your good example, they will learn the skills they need to be more successful in all areas of their lives. There's no greater way to prepare your children for their education, whether in school or in life.
If you have a school-related question, send an e-mail to the link below and we'll try to answer it in a future column!
If you have any school-related questions, please e-mail us and we may answer your question in a future column!
Beyond the Basics- Multiplication and Division
Once children are comfortable with the concepts of addition and subtraction, they can be introduced to multiplication and division. These concepts can be more difficult to teach concretely, as many of the numbers are large. However, by beginning the study of these facts with manipulatives from around the house, your child can learn the foundations of each operation and then proceed to more complex learning. Here are some possible activities to try out:
- Use household items to concretely demonstrate math facts. You can use dried beans, toothpicks, cereal pieces, buttons, beads, erasers, and other small items to represent each math fact. To play, give your child a math fact and challenge them to represent the answer with the manipulatives. Keep a timer on hand to see how quickly they can show each fact. Make it into a fun race by letting them challenge you!
- Use your home as a model for mathematics! Do you have rows of bricks in a fireplace? Do you have tile floors or counters? Use them to teach multiplication! Have your child count the number of tiles in one row. Then, have them use multiplication to find and estimate of the number of tiles in the room or counter space. This activity can also lead to discussions of area for older children.
Shopping at warehouse stores is a great opportunity to use division! When you purchase larger quantities of an item, have your child use division to find out how many "supermarket sized" items you would have to buy to get the same amount. You can also use division when shopping for items that are priced in multiples (5 items for $1.00, for example), so that your child can learn to compare prices and be a smart shopper, too!
- Have your child make a list of the point values in some of their favorite video games. Then, have them multiply to find out how many items they need to get to reach higher scores. Then, after they play for a set time, have them divide their score to see how many individual items they actually got.
A Final Word
Your child will be learning math facts in a number of different ways all through their school career. By helping them use their facts in daily life, you not only support their math skills practice, but you show that you care about their education. You give them a more thorough understanding of math than they can receive from a worksheet or computer program. When you give your child the chance to use math in a real world setting, you help them understand that their classroom lessons are not just important today- but for life! Keep up the good work!
A Note from the Teacher