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If You Want Your Kids To Be Successful In The Future, Talk To Them In This Way

If You Want Your Kids To Be Successful In The Future, Talk To Them In This Way

When we have children, some of us get as much information we can from books, advice from friends or the plethora of knowledge found on the internet. Others go with their inner instincts and do what they feel is right. In the end, everyone wants to raise their children as successfully as possible.

There are many ways we can support, teach and encourage our children but when it comes to the way we speak, are we cultivating a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

Most of the time, the difference between instilling a growth mindset or a fixed mindset in a child is very subtle. Both can involve praise but one places value on the process of learning while the other one is fixed on the outcome of learning.

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A growth mindset creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval which a fixed mindset is more likely to achieve. It’s especially important in children where cultivating a growth mindset will form a notion of non-failure. In other words, a fixed mindset will cause a child to perceive failure if they haven’t achieved a task, whereas a child with a growth mindset is unlikely to see themselves as failing despite not having achieved what they set out to achieve.

Examples of Common Fixed and Growth Mindset Phrases

Growth mindset is all about emphasis on a child’s capability rather than on how smart and intelligent they are. Here are some common conversations that show the difference between each mindset.

Fixed Mindset: “You got the answer correct, well done. You’re so smart!”

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Growth Mindset: “You got the answer correct, well done. You worked so hard to understand that and you did it!”

Fixed Mindset: “You finished that puzzle so quickly! You’re really good at those – well done!”

Growth Mindset: “Well done! How about you try a more challenging puzzle? I think you can do it!”

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Why The Growth Mindset Is So Important

Dr. Carol Dweck is a leading pioneer in mindset research at Stanford University and believes that the growth mindset is essential in encouragement, confidence and, ultimately, success. When a child tries to do something for the first time, their thoughts aren’t tied to how well they perform the task or how smart they are; it’s more important that they understand that it’s not all or nothing – there’s unlimited opportunity to try and try again.

It’s all about cultivating a level of self-worth within a child and allowing them to be more fearless of failure and more confident when undertaking tasks.

Dweck and colleagues conducted a study involving seventh-grade children who started their school year with almost identical test scores. All the children were evaluated for signs of a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. Over the course of two years, there was a consistent difference in grades between the two groups.

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It turned out the children with fixed mindsets had distinctly different goals: they were more prone to avoiding tasks that might show a deficiency in themselves, while the children with a growth mindset had a belief that intelligence could be developed and therefore learned new things at all costs.

When Should You Start Instilling A Growth Mindset?

Studies show that it’s never too early or too late to encourage a growth mindset in a child. Most children naturally have a growth mindset but the feedback we give them has a huge influence on whether this turns into a fixed mindset. As parents, we are very eager to praise our children but are sometimes unaware of how our child interprets the feedback.

Obviously, the optimal time to encourage growth mindset is from the moment a child develops the understanding of language, but this doesn’t mean that there is no hope for older children – it can be easily introduced and practised later on as well.

Most older children have a combination of growth and fixed mindsets about a number of different things depending on experience, but as a parent, you can help to encourage the growth mindset to blossom with careful wording, support and optimism.

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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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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