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If You Want Your Children To Succeed, Do These 6 Things (Backed By Science)

If You Want Your Children To Succeed, Do These 6 Things (Backed By Science)

Seeing your child grow up to be a success is the ultimate goal of a great parent. But raising your child in a way that ensures they achieve that success is certainly not easy. It requires patience, perseverance, dedication, and the confidence that all of your efforts will be incredibly worth it when you finally see your children actualize their potential. If you want your children to succeed, you need to:

1. Teach them social skills

Although humans are naturally social beings, social conventions are not inherent and therefore must be taught. A study conducted by researchers at PSU and Duke University showed that children who showed the ability to cooperate with and help their peers, as well as understand their emotions and work out their own problems, were more likely to experience success as they grew into adults than children who did not exhibit these social skills. Children who were not taught skills such as cooperation and patience were also more likely to end up incarcerated or abusing drugs and alcohol.

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2. Have high expectations

Children will rise to their parents’ level of expectations, so it’s important to set the bar high. A study by a UCLA professor of over 6,000 kindergartners showed that when parents believe their children will end up attending college, the children perform much higher on standardized tests than children whose parents are indifferent to higher education. An overwhelming 96% of children whose parents saw college in their future performed higher than the rest of the cohort.

3. Attain higher levels of education

Not only should parents have high expectations for their children, but they should also have high expectations for themselves. A study conducted at the University of Michigan found that children are most likely to attain the same level of education their parents have over the course of their lifetime. Unfortunately, this means that those who become pregnant as a teenager and do not pursue a college education, or do not complete their high school studies, are likely to raise children who end up dropping out as well. Parents who set the bar high for themselves will in turn have great expectations for their children as well.

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4. Build a solid relationship with them

All of the previous points made throughout this article can only come about if parents foster a caring, nurturing relationship with their children. Doing so lays the foundation on which a successful life can be built. By building a solid relationship with their children, parents can begin teaching them the social and life skills needed to succeed. They can also maximize their children’s potential by setting high expectations early on to ensure their children get a head start in life. Finally, by being there to celebrate their children’s accomplishments, parents can instill in their children the notion that the reward for hard work is the successful feeling that comes over you after having reached a specific goal.

5. Be less stressed out

Parents who are constantly stressed, whether from work, school, or family life, will ultimately pass this stress along to their child. A decent amount of stress can be a healthy motivator, but too much stress can be incredibly detrimental to your health. “Helicopter parents” are those who are so stressed out about their children’s lives that they become much too overprotective; by doing so, they add stress to their children’s lives with every step they take. As a parent, you’ll undoubtedly face many stressful situations in your life. However, you must never allow your child to know just how close you are to your breaking point.

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6. Value effort over innate talent

Pointing out your child’s gifts is natural for parents. Knowing your kid is an incredible musician or athlete should definitely make you proud. However, praising your child for a gift they were born with may actually be doing them a disservice. They may start to develop a fixed mindset, meaning they either believe they’re naturally good at something, or not good at all. On the other hand, praising a child’s effort when completing a specific task will nurture a growth mindset: the idea that they can become good at anything they put their all into. By cultivating a growth mindset in your children, you change their way of thinking from “I can’t do this!” to “I can’t do this…yet!”

Featured photo credit: Happy Family / David Amsler via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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