Do you have a boy? Do you have a boy in school? Do you have a boy who doesn’t seem to care much about school? Do you wonder why there seems to be so many boys that don’t care as much about school as girls do? Boys who don’t seem to care about school usually fit into one of these categories: the Struggling Boy, the Learning Disabled Boy, the Cruising or “Good-Enough” Boy Student, the “Otherwise Engaged” Boy, and the “Allergic to School” Boy. Find out if your boy fits into any of these categories from an expert, Michael Thompson, at http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2011/01/why-so-many-boys-dont-care-abo.html . Does your boy fit into any of these categories?
Praise and encouragement can be highly effective in building confidence, motivation and drive in children academically and in life. The small rudder, or tongue as we know it, has the power to construct or destruct, motivate or de-motivate. It can literally direct the course of a “ship” or a child’s life. Praise and encouragement can be over used and abused, however, with the right blend and balance it can do wonders in motivating a child to succeed.
According to the research at the Kumon Math and Reading Center for Lacy, praise is critically important in the motivation of a child. Some simple points on how to praise a child appropriately are found in the article http://www.thurstontalk.com/2012/03/15/the-power-of-praise-how-praise-builds-confident-students/ . Your thoughts?
Although everyone is different, in general, there are three types of learning styles that most individuals fit into: auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. It’s important to figure out which category your child fits into in order to maximize his/her learning potential and success in school. Auditory learners learn best by hearing, kinesthetic learners learn best by doing, and visual learners learn best by seeing. Refer to a more detailed description of each, in our blog from March 16th, 2012, to pinpoint which describes your child. Once that is discovered, the suggestions listed below will assist in supporting your child’s learning style.
Auditory Learners are engaged in learning when he/she can integrate more listening into schoolwork. Encourage him/her to discuss ideas verbally. Allow him/her to make more presentations. Provide opportunities for group discussions and small group study. Use rhymes/musical jingles, storytelling or verbal analogies to help memorization. Have audio books available to listen to. Provide a recording devise such as a tape recorder to be used during lectures to augment note taking. Allow him/her to talk to him/herself when reading or working through a problem. This style is the most like the traditional approach to teaching in the classroom since the teacher lectures on a regular basis.
Kinesthetic Learners thrive when they can actually do what they are learning. Allow him/her to stand more and to be a part of the action rather than watching. Use more hands-on props such as objects to reinforce addition, subtraction, etc. Try to combine study with physical activity by allowing breaks to stretch or take a short walk. Provide the physical space needed when he/she is learning or studying, as most of these individuals pace the floor while learning. Have him/her act out a part of the story. Promote hands-on projects such as science experiments. These learners want to be participants in the game rather than spectators.
Visual Learners are more inclined to learn best when they can see what is being taught. Have charts and use different colors to high light different points. Encourage him/her to use illustrations with writing. Use flashcards to memorize facts. Reinforce text through pictures, graphs, and diagrams. Make eye connection with him/her while lecturing, teaching or talking. Create word pictures of connecting lessons through visual representations he/she can relate to.
Here are some suggestions on how to motivate these different types of learners. Do you have any other suggestions that have worked for you and your child?
Just as each child is unique, each one has a particular learning style. As a parent it’s important to discover which style is most natural for your child and to incorporate that into school as well as everyday learning experiences. The three basic learning styles are auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. Listed below are some traits that can assist in pinpointing a child’s learning style.
Enjoy listening to music, likes telling stories and jokes, isn’t afraid to speak up in front of others, likes to read aloud, likes giving and receiving oral reports, likes to act and be on stage, reads slowly, explains things clearly, follows spoken directions well, notices sound effects in movies, learns grammar and foreign languages easily, likes to be in study groups, talks to him/herself often when working on projects, hums quite a bit, is very social, has a hard time following written directions, asks a lot of questions, is louder than most children, likes to narrate his/her own actions, remembers names of others, has a hard time keeping quiet for long segments of time, finds writing challenging, and has difficulty following written directions.
Move frequently, like to touch people to express emotion, fidgets with objects, hands and feet, enjoys physical activities, expresses difficulty when reading for long periods of time, challenged with spelling, works through problems physically, coordinated with sports, dresses for comfort rather than style, is hyperactive, enjoys touching objects, excels in the performing arts, would rather stand than sit, would rather be in the game than watch, struggles with traditional academics, doesn’t really like school and has a negative feelings about him/herself as a learner, strong motor memory, likes to learn when full body is engaged.
Likes color and fashion, understands charts, is good at spelling, not good at remembering names, needs a quiet focused study time, dreams in color, has to think awhile before understanding lectures, is good with sign language, likes to see the person that he/she is speaking with, is observant with details, excels with puzzles, riddles or mazes, is quiet and rarely speaks up, loves to put posters/pictures up in his/her room, takes time to look good with appearance and fashion, has a vivid memory, tends to hold feelings in when upset, is drawn to objects, likes colorful and stimulating objects, learns by watching a DVD or presentation, likes watching television, doesn’t like clutter, and changes in the routine.
Discovering a child’s learning style may be one of the most important factors in improving grades and the overall school and life experience. In the next article, learning how to teach to each type will be addressed. What kind of learner is your child?
Patti is a freshman at the University of Colorado. She and her family have been a part of The Family Learning Center for over twenty years. Patti began her first steps of her educational journey as a preschool student at The Family Learning Center.
She continued her course at the FLC as a part of the kindergarten program and progressed through the high school program. After graduating, Patti still comes to the FLC as a resource to do research and to type her college papers. In addition, she volunteers in our elementary program, helping other students like herself, master the skills they will need to graduate from high school.
Patti is planning on receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from CU in 2015.
The Family Learning Center will serve over 300 students this summer, just like Patti. We hope you will underwrite the cost of one child’s summer academic, recreational and cultural enrichment camp experience. You can sponsor a child one week for $100, three weeks for $300, or six weeks for $600.00. All include full-day programming. Continue the journey for many other children. It will be an investment that will last a lifetime.
Looking forward into 2012 we are excited and filled with gratitude for the support we received in 2011. Your support serves as an inspiration in our continuance in mobilizing support for children and families who are at-risk of academic and workforce failure. We are looking for 100 new donors this quarter to increase our level of supporting the kids. If you are already a supporter of the FLC, we thank you. If you aren’t, we would strongly ask that you consider being a part of the great movement that is mobilizing our youth to end the high school dropout epidemic, build them up for success and the 21st century workforce, and to regain America’s competitive stance in the global marketplace.
In addition, we urge you to spread the word and to be a voice for the FLC! If you know anyone who is interested in children and the future of this community and America tell them about us. A voice is a powerful thing. One word can set people free. One voice can start a movement that rocks the whole world. Speak up and see what a social agent you can be! Changing the course of one life can affect one family, one community, and, ultimately the world. If everyone tells just one, the Power of One becomes the Power of Many! Using your voice doesn’t cost a thing, yet it can change everything. Here’s how you can spread the word.
Connect with us online at http://www.flcboulder.org and through Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Family-Learning-Center/122507324433479 and Twitter .http://twitter.com/flcboulder . Tell your friends to check out our Facebook page and to spread the word to their friends. Invite your friends to be a part of the change and become a donor and sign up for our email distribution. We need you and we need you to tell your friends!
Together we can mobilize a powerful force that empowers our kids, and will change the destiny of this great nation. Our work truly changes lives, and for this I’m more excited than I have ever been before. We can change the future of America one life at a time. Thank you.
A parent has a huge influence upon the life of a child and can make or break a child’s spirit, motivation and pursuits. Here are some simple but profound ways that a parent can help a child succeed in school and in life:
Be Positive. Attitude is everything. A parent sets the atmosphere in the home. If you are excited about life and learning, then your child will probably follow suit. Life is exciting and learning should be a lifelong quest. Set a positive tone in the home. Instead of asking your child what kind of homework he or she has, which can be negative, flip the tone and ask your child what their favorite part of the day was? Even if the only good thing that’s said is “recess”, accentuate the positive and find the good in that activity.
Be Interested. Expressing interest in your child is powerful. Show interest in what he or she is interested in whether it’s science, sports, music or animals. For instance, if your child is passionate about cars then express interest in cars too. Try to be creative and think of ways to incorporate the passion into learning at school and outside of school. Also, express interest in their school experience, even if there is a struggle. Validate his or her feelings, verbalize your concern, and come up with a plan on how to take little bites on making progress and turning the tide from surviving to thriving.
Be Involved. Make effort in getting to know your child’s friends, teacher, coach and whoever has some type of influence upon him or her. Physically meet them so that a face can be associated with a name. Be proactive and set aside a time to go over expectations, goals and concerns. My high school student had been struggling in a science class. I accompanied him to go talk with his teacher. After that initial meeting, the three of us became a team mentality and developed a plan to help him succeed. It made a huge difference in his attitude and efforts.
Be Supportive. Make adjustments in the day and create space in the home for your child to learn. If he or she needs it quiet to study then carve out that area. If extra help is needed then be that help or get help. Show up at their concerts, games, and spelling bees. Your physical presence, mental involvement, and emotional company are highly influential. Do what it takes to show your child you care about him or her in all facets of life.
In general, a child won’t care what you know until they know you care. Setting your child up for success is critical for his or her success. Do what it takes. You only have a small window of time to make it count.
What are some ways that you have implemented with your child that has helped them succeed? We would llike to hear from you.