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10 Parenting Hacks To Raise Happy Kids

10 Parenting Hacks To Raise Happy Kids

All parents strive to raise healthy, successful, smart kids. Yet, all of these factors are very dependent on one other important one – that the child is happy. It’s not without reason that emphasis on emotional health and intelligence has gained a lot of ground in recent years. Here are 10 ways to raise happy kids:

1. Take good care of yourself.

To be able to assume the responsibility of another human being all round the clock is hard. The only way we can make it easier is to take care of ourselves. Identify physical and emotional triggers that can make you lose it. A healthy mind is in a healthy body is the key phrase here.

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2. Be consistent with discipline.

Kids may seem like that are rebelling against rules. However, experts agree that they are actually grateful for a structure and rules in their lives. Being consistent with house rules and consequences gives them the much-needed sense of stability and helps them make better decisions.

3. Focus on the effort.

Lose the limelight on the result and focus on the effort they put in. The objective of a good education is not a good score on a test. It is about honing the ability to create a goal and sticking to it through several factors- even demotivators. This, in other words, is called developing the “growth mindset.”

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4. Keep the communication on top of your priority list.

Several teenagers report that the real reason for depression is the “communication gap” between generations. More and more teenagers are reporting depression and suicidal tendencies because nobody “gets them”. However, teenagers cannot be expected to connect with their parents when they are in the throes of hormones and intense emotions. The channel has to be established from very early on.

5. Be optimistic…

When children see parents consistently project a positive attitude, it becomes the natural thing for them. Plus, communication becomes so much easier in a positive environment. Avoid complaining about your boring jobs or your high rentals too much in the presence of the kids. Take an effort to reinforce optimism.

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6. But keep it real.

The myth of the happy family is also real. Avoiding all negative emotions and feelings from your kids is just as bad as exposing them to it too much. Kids who do not see negative emotions in the family are less equipped to process feelings like sadness, anger and disappointment- which are inevitable parts of growing up.

7. Give them fewer toys.

Having fewer toys helps kids explore on their own a lot. Children have the unique ability to create new games and make a plaything out of anything at all – so loud, blaring ‘educational’ toys could have the opposite effect. Plus, it solves the problem called “entitlement’ to a great extent.

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8. Leave them on their own.

Parents who are overly anxious about the abilities of their children have earned a new title for themselves -helicopter parents . The truth is – kids adapt faster than we can even imagine and it will only get better if they don’t find us hovering around them all the time, barring when they are in danger. Children are known to show better instincts, social skills and presence of mind in environments where they are on their own.

9. Give them responsibilities.

Children who are handed regular chores have shown improved mental, social and emotional cognition. It is also how we reinforce that importance of forming and keeping social relationships and keeping it all balanced. It is important to have their chores address the “empathy” factor and include family chores– like dusting the furniture or vacuuming the house and not limited to cleaning their own rooms.

10. Teach them gratitude.

Children raised with an attitude of gratitude are known to show more resilience and a reduced tendency to be depressed. Just like everything else, a grateful attitude gets better with practice. Reinforcing simple rituals like writing 2 things they are grateful for everyday, or 3 things they liked about their day are great ways to get started on this very important life-skill.

Featured photo credit: www.pexels.com via static.pexels.com

More by this author

Devishobha Chandramouli

Writer & Founder @ www.kidskintha.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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