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Want Your Kids To Become More Mindful? You Should Reward Them In This Way.

Want Your Kids To Become More Mindful? You Should Reward Them In This Way.

So your kid did a good job at school? That’s wonderful news! How would you reward him or her? Chances are, you currently do so by buying the latest gadget, a new toy, or basically anything materialistic that requires money but not time. And this is where most of us err…

By using money to buy them something as a reward inculcates the wrong idea about money in their little minds – in effect, we are teaching them that spending money and buying materialistic things is a reward – and so they will end up self-rewarding the same way even when they are grown up.[1]

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We all want out kids to be satisfied adults who are grateful for what they have, not ones that have a hoarder mentality. We want them to be mindful of their spending habits. In order for them to be this way, we have to make a few changes, starting now.

Reward them with time, not money

You can buy your child a toy or a gadget as a gift, but do not use it as a reward. To reward your children, invest your time, not money – a trip to the zoo, museum, or the movie theater is a much better idea than simply getting them the latest game or gadget. You can make this a special one-on-one trip with your child and give him or her the benefit of your attention.[2] Experiential trips make for great rewards and teach children that money is not everything, spending some mindful time together is.

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Make a core family value chart

Sit down with your spouse and kids. Jot down the five family values that you think are most important and ask your kids to do the same. They might just be five words, but the way ahead is to teach your kids how to put them to good use in real life and practical situations.[3] Say generosity is one of your family values – being generous then means helping out others in need and putting aside some money to be given to charity. Show kids how donating their toys can hep put a smile on a poverty-stricken child’s face or how spending some of that pocket-change to do good for others is a great thing to do.

Inculcate gratitude as an everyday routine

Make a routine before the kids go to bed where you ask them to write or talk about one thing that they have seen or experienced that day that they are thankful for. It could be anything – a friend, an emotion, and a flower that bloomed, or rain that went away. This teaches them to count their blessings and slowly molds them into happier people. Gratitude teaches them the value of emotions and kindness over materialism.[4]

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Cheap is fun too

To have fun, we ourselves tend to spend money on a trip, a dinner, or some retail therapy. And so, our kids too end up learning the same thing. Teach them that to have fun, one doesn’t have to spend money – sing songs with them, play hide and seek, try a board game or watch a fun, scary movie together.[5] If you don’t associate fun with money, your kids will be mindful spenders for the rest of their lives.

Think before you comment

We inadvertently let the cat out of the bag when we comment rather enviously about people striking a fortune, making it big, taking exotic vacations, or buying that dream car. And, being impressionable, kids decide that money truly makes the world go round. Be mindful of what you say when your kids are in earshot. In any case, remember that envy is one of the seven sins![6]

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Walk the kindness walk

Charity, generosity, kindness, benevolence, call it anything, but by showing children your helpful side, you teach them the value of being and doing good and to not be self-centered all the time. If they see you donate something, help someone or even give money to charity, they learn that by making other people happy, you can become a happier person in a wholesome way. Perhaps this is truly the way to achieving mindful joy![7]

These are six rather simple changes we can make today that may help our children turn into mindful and wholesome adults in the future.

Featured photo credit: Sott via sott.net

Reference

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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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