Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kids and Learning: 5 Simple Old School Tactics from a Mompreneur

Kids and Learning: 5 Simple Old School Tactics from a Mompreneur

Kids and Learning: 5 Simple Old School Tactics from a Mompreneur

I am first and foremost a mother. I am a mother of 4 beautiful girls, one of whom is now married with a child. My other girls are still school age. One commonality with all of my girls is that they were and still are good learners.

There is no secret to kids and learning. For me, I relied on old school beliefs and I tried to instill such beliefs in my girls. My eldest daughter finished high school at 16, undergraduate college at 20 and is now All But the Dissertation (ABD) at Brown University in Rhode Island. My second daughter is a high school senior who will graduate with college credit as a result of  dual enrollment. My third and fourth daughters have been in the gifted and academically talented program from elementary school until now. They are just normal kids who were able to do well in school because of the support they received at home. If they can do it, anyone can. Here are 5 tactics that I employed while my kids were in elementary school that have manifested in their ability to have academic success.
  1. The mindset that a child's first classroom is the home: With this mindset, I taught my kids to read before they went to school. Since I am old school, I utilized the old phonics method and it worked. All of my girls were reading on a 2nd grade level by age 3.
  2. Bedtime reading to my girls was a tradition in our home. This meant that I read to them every night from infancy until about the 6th grade. The material read was varied, sometimes fiction, sometimes not. At times we were reading history and science text books. We always read a Bible story. They loved biographies and so did I. My husband did stories in a round. For us this meant someone begins a story and the next person continues the story, each taking turns. This allowed them to use their imagination.
  3. No television during the week and only an hour on the weekends. In this day and age, this may seem draconian but it worked. This rule was relaxed a bit after the girls entered middle school. However it laid an excellent foundation for them to explore their own creative spirits. When they got home from school and finished their homework, they played a lot and used their imaginations.
  4. We played classical music in the car and listened to lots of self help tapes. The car is an ideal place to supplement what kids are learning. For instance, if the teacher is teaching the multiplication tables, then I would buy multiplication CDs to play in the car. Or we will sing the tables. At times, I would quiz them in the car. The same goes for any subject. In order to do this, however, the car should be a technology free zone, so that you can have the opportunity to chat with them without the interference of texting etc.
  5. Positive expectations with regard to their academic success: As parents we should expect our kids to do well and we should keep abreast of what they are doing in school. Ask questions about tests. Set appointments to speak with teachers. Find out what they are struggling with and see how best you can assist them in overcoming the hurdle. Let them know that the only failure is when one does not try for even a bad grade is still a win (if you actually tried) because at least now you know what you did not know. If they know you expect the best from them, they will try their best for you initially and eventually for themselves.
What tactics do you employ that have resulted in academic success for your kids? Please share your thoughts below. I am no expert and even my kids have room for improvement but if we collaborate and talk about what we are doing, we all can benefit. 

Life is Good!

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