Teach children how to be responsible for their own learning to gain agency

Teach children how to be responsible for their own learning to gain agency

One cannot fail to notice that concerns about mental health and wellbeing are increasingly figuring in all news media, especially in relation to young people. This raises questions as to whether this is primarily a product of our rapidly changing, volatile and unpredictable times, or a lack of parenting and schooling practices that fail to develop strong volition, perseverance and the capability to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Challenges, albeit in different forms, have always been part of human history. For example, bullying was ever-present in yesteryear, but we hear more about it nowadays, especially in relation to the online environment. Similarly, poverty and discrimination of various kinds are not new existential phenomena, they have always been part of human interactions – or the lack of them. Certainly, statistics paint a disturbing picture, with one in eight children and adolescents in the UK experiencing a mental illness (NHS, 2018). The... Read more

Should You Make Your Child Play Sports? There's No Easy Answer

Should You Make Your Child Play Sports? There’s No Easy Answer

Organized athletics have benefits beyond just staying active. Parents, a commissioner and a psychologist weigh in on forcing kids to participate. On any fall weeknight, city parks and recreation fields across Central Ohio transform into a colorful and sprawling sea of youth sports matches. Sign-up flyers come home in your child’s backpack. Yard signs pepper busy intersections. Even local churches and other houses of worship play host to junior basketball leagues. Here in the athletics-minded Midwest, youth sports can begin to feel like a bit of an imperative. As fall sports kick into high gear, the same question arises for many families: Should parents make their children try a sport? We asked a local mom, a coach/youth league board member and a pediatric psychologist with a sports concentration for their opinions. The answer, not surprisingly, isn’t as simple as “yes” or “no.” Youth teams—while not without their critics for everything... Read more

Social Emotional Learning Skills by Grade Level, Part I

Social Emotional Learning Skills by Grade Level, Part I

Social and emotional (SEL) skills involve more than just the concepts surrounding educational buzzwords like growth mindset, grit, and self-advocacy. SEL skills are being emphasized at an even greater extent now that students are limited in their opportunities to socialize, collaborate, and communicate with peers in person. Distance learning and virtual schooling created various obstacles for students when it comes to developing and growing their SEL skills. For this reason, SEL has become an even greater focus for school districts, parents, and educators. Besides providing resources for building SEL skills at home, it is equally important for families to be able to determine if children are reaching specific grade-level SEL standards. In the following series, we’ll discuss each of the SEL skills students should have by grade level to provide a helpful resource for parents and educators alike. Early Elementary Grades (K-3) As expected, the SEL skills required for student... Read more

How to make parenting decisions like a boss

How to make parenting decisions like a boss

(CNN)Caring for younger kids is often intensely physical, but with older kids, it can be intensely emotional. Why? Because there are just so many decisions to make, and in a world with a shrinking middle class, rising home prices, and a fiery social, political and natural climate, everything feels high stakes. For those of us who are disorganized, inconsistent, suffering from extreme exhaustion, short on time, money and patience -- or who just have school-age kids -- Emily Oster's new book, "The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years," aims to help in navigating the overwhelming pressures attached to parenting in the 21st century. Do you start your kid in kindergarten on time, or wait a year so they'll be the oldest in the class? (Starting a kid earlier means they might have slightly higher test scores someday...but predicts worse performance in school.)... Read more

The Importance Of Perseverance

The Importance Of Perseverance

There are a lot of qualities needed and required in starting and running your own business: intelligence, creativity, ambition, are all required in some measure if you hope to overcome the barriers to entry into entrepreneurship. While the virtue of our system is that ostensibly anyone can start their own business, there is a test of those innate characteristics in the undertaking that ultimately determines those who pursue that path from those who don’t. It’s an obvious oversimplification, certainly; there are barriers to entrepreneurship that have little to do with ability that prevents many from even trying, yet even in a just world with any such barriers removed and equal access granted to all there would still be those who would fall just short by the very nature of the enterprise. Even the best among us get it wrong sometimes. Focused young african american businesswoman or student looking at laptop... Read more

High Schoolers Who Took Remote Classes During Pandemic Experienced a “Thriving Gap,” According to Duckworth-Led Study

The academic damage inflicted by the pandemic is still being measured, but early indicators are ominous. Exam scores collected periodically by states , cities , and nationwide testing organizations show that a large number of K-12 students have either stagnated or lost ground in their studies during the COVID era. School closures and prolonged doses of virtual instruction are usually identified as the culprit. But since classes first went online last spring, parents and educators have been equally anxious about the pandemic’s impact on children’s inner lives. And while those worries have often focused on the developmental opportunities denied to kindergarteners and elementary schoolers, older students have also suffered while isolated from friends and teachers. Research published today by the American Educational Research Association provides concrete evidence of the setbacks experienced by adolescents in remote learning. In a two-part survey conducted both before the emergence of COVID-19 and during its... Read more

Kids are feeling anxiety about a ‘return to normal’

Recently, I scheduled a playdate for my 6-year-old with a good friend she hadn’t seen in months because of the pandemic. She was so excited — until, suddenly, she wasn’t. As the day approached, my daughter grew more and more irritable. The day before, she demanded that we bake cookies and make signs for her friend. When I told her we couldn’t, she exploded in an angry meltdown. After she calmed down, I sat down with her to try to figure out what was going on. She tearfully admitted that she was terrified: She worried that her friend wouldn’t like her anymore, which is why she was trying engineer the perfect playdate — to ensure that she could win her friend back after months of being out of touch. If you, as a parent, have been experiencing anxiety about the “return to normal,” your kids are likely to be harboring... Read more

The importance of real confidence in leadership

It’s easy to be confident when things are going well. When business is booming, when profits are up, when the accolades are piling up and the endorsements are streaming in – when everything is happening exactly the way it should? Well, in times like these, being a confident leader is a piece of cake. It’s when times get tough that a true leader is made. This is when you have to really live and breathe your commitment to living as your most authentic, most confident self. Because if you’re not truly confident when you’re at the top, you can’t possibly inspire confidence in those who look up to you. I heard a story recently about a leader who confessed he had trouble sharing bad news with his team. They had poured so much time and energy into launching a new division in the company, and 12 months on, it wasn’t... Read more

Kids are feeling anxiety about a ‘return to normal’

Recently, I scheduled a playdate for my 6-year-old with a good friend she hadn’t seen in months because of the pandemic. She was so excited — until, suddenly, she wasn’t. As the day approached, my daughter grew more and more irritable. The day before, she demanded that we bake cookies and make signs for her friend. When I told her we couldn’t, she exploded in an angry meltdown.After she calmed down, I sat down with her to try to figure out what was going on. She tearfully admitted that she was terrified: She worried that her friend wouldn’t like her anymore, which is why she was trying engineer the perfect playdate — to ensure that she could win her friend back after months of being out of touch.If you, as a parent, have been experiencing anxiety about the “return to normal,” your kids are likely to be harboring similar feelings,... Read more

Grit matters when a child is learning to read, even in poor South African schools

Grit matters when a child is learning to read, even in poor South African schools

Focusing on socio-emotional skills such as grit may help more children succeed in school. School quality is important in determining children’s success at school. But individual characteristics of the child also play a role. In particular, researchers and teachers are starting to pay more attention to the part that social and emotional skills play in academic success. These are also known as character skills or soft skills. This interest in the “softer” side of learning stems from a movement in economics. It looks for statistical evidence of the importance of soft skills in a number of domains, including the labour market and even marriage. One question this research hasn’t answered yet is whether social and emotional skills also matter in contexts where resources are severely lacking. It’s known from high-income countries that these skills are important for student achievement. But are they important in schools that don’t have basic instructional... Read more

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