Fun and Engaging Ways to Turn Your Child Into a Certified Bookworm

7 Fun and Engaging Ways to Turn Your Child Into a Certified Bookworm

Thanks to Hollywood, bookworms haven’t always gotten the respect they deserve. They’re often portrayed as “nerds” or outcasts. And while this may or may not contribute to the aversion that many of the younger generation experience towards reading, it’s far from an accurate picture.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to instill in our children a love and appreciation for reading. After all, it’s one of the most crucial skills they will ever learn and will impact the rest of their lives in massive ways. But before they begin piecing together various letters and sounds to form words, they must first develop a passion for the power of those little markings on the page. Children who develop a love for books at an early age will nearly always experience greater ease when learning to read.

What Is the Most Effective Way to Teach a Child to Read?

By now, you’ve probably realized that the techniques for teaching children to read are extremely vast and varied. While one praises the use of sight words, the other warns that such methods will be detrimental to your child’s learning, and they all promise that their way is the best (and only) way.

What’s a parent to do? Maybe you’ve read the studies behind each technique and have been left with more questions than you started with. You’re so confused, you don’t even know where to begin. If that’s you, you’re far from alone. The early elementary teachers at our private school in Atlanta have met with countless such confused parents. What is the most effective way to teach a child to read? The answer might not be as complex as you think:

Exposure.

When all is said and done, most children aren’t going to develop an affinity for something they haven’t been properly exposed to. If you want children to enjoy reading, make reading enjoyable. Do it together and do it often. Make it a reward rather than a chore or another item of homework to check off the to-do list. Let your child see you curled up on the couch enjoying a good book. By fostering a positive attitude about reading, you’re equipping your child with an attitude for success.

7 Ways to Make Reading Fun and Engaging

1. Read Often

You know how the saying goes: “The more, the merrier.” Try to encourage a lifestyle of reading. Younger children who are still at home have endless opportunities for storytime, but no matter how old your children are, try to set aside time each day for reading without distraction.

Be careful not to sacrifice quality for quantity. Rather than seeing how many books you can rush through before bedtime, milk that book for all it’s worth. Channel your inner actor with varied character voices, change the volume and dynamics of your voice to keep children engaged, and stop to ask questions about the book.

2. Read Together

If you want reading to be a priority for your child, it should also be a priority for you. Set aside time to read together as often as possible. If you can, set aside your phone and anything else that might distract from quality reading time with your child. Choose a chapter book to read together as a family each evening before bed or make a daily routine of afternoon snack and story time.

3. Keep Up the Conversation

Reading requires a diverse vocabulary and understanding of context and language. You can help your child develop each of these things by engaging in frequent conversations. Don’t worry about using words that might be outside of their vocabulary. Instead, introduce new words and ask your child what they think the words might mean based on the context of the conversation. Then, explain the definitions and how they might use them in their own conversations.

4. Reader’s Choice

As parents, it can be easy to do most of the choosing when it comes to books. When you’ve read the same book so many times you could recite it in your sleep, it’s no wonder you want to introduce something different. However, the more freedom a child has in their reading material, the more likely they are to develop a love for reading.

Try to let your child pick out the books that they’d like to read as much as possible, even if it means patiently enduring the same book for the 90th time that week. Don’t worry, it’s a phase.

5. Visit the Library

Not everyone has the money or the space to build an extensive and diverse children’s library in their own home. If you want to provide your child with a variety of books without breaking the bank (or the bookshelf), head to your local library and let your child browse. Kids will enjoy the excitement of new reading material and will always look forward to the next library day.

6. Make It a Privilege, Not a Chore

It can be all too easy to view reading as something you “have to do” rather than something you get to do. But just as most children don’t actively look forward to chores like making their bed or cleaning their room, they won’t look forward to reading if it’s treated as a chore. Treat reading as a reward by offering storytime after they’ve completed a task and gifting them a new book every now and then.

7. Play Reading Games

One of the best ways to turn your child into a certified bookworm is to make reading fun. Today, there are more reading-centered games and activity ideas available than ever before. Games that involve skills such as rhyming, or memory can help children enjoy reading without even knowing they’re learning!

Exposure is a major step in helping most kids to read well and love reading. However, if your child is showing signs of reading difficulties in spite of ongoing exposure, ask about our early reading intervention programs. Early remediation is the key to helping kids overcome reading challenges, and we’re well-equipped to help.

Outdoor Science Lessons

Nature’s Classroom: 6 Benefits of Outdoor Science Lessons

Science, to put it simply, is the observation of the world around us. And while textbooks may hold pages, chapters, and volumes of valuable information, nature will always be the most effective teacher.

At our private school in Atlanta, Georgia, we recognize that a purely textbook-based science education can miss the mark when it comes to forging a connection between students and the world around them. While facts on a page may not always inspire curiosity, studies have shown that venturing into nature’s classroom every now and then can positively impact a child’s understanding and retention of natural sciences.

What Does Outdoor Science Exploration Look Like in the School Setting?

Outdoor science lessons will vary from school to school, depending on location. For example, a school in a rural farming community will have different opportunities for learning and exploration than one in the inner city, but that doesn’t mean that children can’t learn valuable lessons simply by stepping out the classroom door.

From the dirt on the soccer field to the variety of plant life on the school grounds, connecting children to the ins and outs of their world can help science truly come to life.

Science-related field trips are also an incredible opportunity for students to explore environments beyond their home. No matter how far their trip outside the classroom takes them, students can understand the world in unforgettable ways through visual and hands-on learning in nature.

How Can I Help Integrate the Outside World with My Child’s Science Education?

Although a well-rounded science curriculum should provide ample opportunity for outside learning and exploration, teachers are somewhat limited by time, location, and the natural resources available to them. As a parent, you have the opportunity to help your child dig deeper. Here are a few ways you can utilize the great outdoors to further your child’s science education:

1. Keep Tabs on What They’re Learning

Try to stay in-the-know when it comes to your student’s science education. If possible, look ahead at what will be taught and when so that you can look for opportunities to expand and explore at home.

2. Go on Family Field Trips

Schools can be somewhat limited when it comes to field trips due to funding and distance. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t embark on your own field trips as a family. If your student is going to be learning about ocean ecosystems, you might consider taking a weekend trip to the coast to explore tidepools. If birds are on the syllabus, you just might discover a bird sanctuary outside the allotted distance for school trips.

3. Put Together a Discovery Kit

Equip your child with the tools they need to take a closer look at the world around them. Depending on age, a Discovery Kit could include items like a magnifying glass, microscope, or field journal.

4. Go For Nature Walks

When we drive down the same streets and pass the same scenery every day, we can forget just how much there is to learn within our own neighborhood. Take your child on a nature walk and stick to a slow pace. Encourage them to observe the spiderweb in the bush that they might normally shy away from or collect rocks, sticks, and leaves to bring back home for further examination.

5. Ask Questions

You can help your child learn to better observe the world around them by asking questions. For older students, this might mean developing a hypothesis and making observations to test their theory. Whenever possible, encourage your child to dig a little deeper and observe their surroundings by asking questions like:

  • How do you think the cricket makes that sound?
  • Why do you think the woodpecker likes pecking holes in the trees?
  • What kind of clouds do you think those are?
  • What do you think caused those mushrooms to grow in this specific area?

6. Plant a Garden

There is no better way to understand plant life and growth than by experiencing it firsthand. Carefully plot and plan your garden before you begin so you know what will grow and when. You should also look at the soil in your yard, decide what nutrients it may need to support healthy vegetation, and make sure you have the right gardening tools and supplies. Then, take a field trip to the local nursery and help your children pick a variety of plants, whether flowers, herbs, or vegetables. If you can, try to start with seeds and walk your child through the stages of plant life.

Introducing your child to nature’s classroom will provide new and dynamic approaches to learning. When students are able to not only ingest but experience natural sciences, they are more likely to develop a lasting understanding and passion for the world around them.

Infographic

A well-rounded science curriculum should offer opportunities for outside learning and exploration. As a parent, you can help your child by using the great outdoors to enhance their science education. Check out this infographic for some ideas.

6 Outdoor Science Lessons Infographic

Improving Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills

Creating Coordination: 13 Tips for Improving Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills

Developing fine motor skills is crucial for young children to be able to succeed in the tasks required of them, both in and out of the classroom. Fine motor skills require the movement and coordination of the body’s smaller muscles, like hands, fingers, and wrists.

Tasks like writing, using scissors, buttoning clothing, eating, and turning pages require the precise movement of these important muscles. Typically, the development of fine motor skills comes after gross motor skills (involving larger muscles and movements) have had a chance to develop.

Even in today’s tech-heavy environments, handwriting is still a crucial skill for children to master. If you’ve noticed that your child is struggling with the movements that writing requires, it might be that they need help developing those fine motor skills.

How Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills Go Hand-in-Hand

Formation of Letters

Fine motor skills help a child properly form letters and numbers from top to bottom and left to right. While children might find it easier and more natural to form letters incorrectly, this will actually make handwriting more difficult and less efficient in the future. Children need developed fine motor skills to be able to move quickly and smoothly across the page.

Pencil Grip

In order for children to form letters and numbers properly and efficiently, they need to be able to hold their pen or pencil the right way. For most children, this doesn’t come naturally. They’ll need to be guided to hold their pencil correctly, which will probably take some time for them to get the hang of. This skill typically develops when a child is in kindergarten, but you can help them practice proper grip at home as soon as they begin coloring. Because of the specialized grip required to properly hold a pencil, developed fine motor skills are a must for mastering this crucial skill.

Writing Stamina

When children practice and develop their fine motor skills, the muscles in their hands grow stronger. The stronger the muscles are, the more stamina your child will have when it comes to writing. Children should practice as often as possible to keep from tiring out when it’s time to write.

13 Tips and Tricks for Improving Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills

If your child needs some assistance developing their fine motor skills to improve handwriting and other critical tasks, here are some ideas from the staff at our private elementary school in Atlanta:

1. Get Ready

  • Get dressed
  • Brush teeth and hair
  • Feed self with silverware
  • Tie/fasten shoes
  • Pick up small toys

2. Play with Blocks and Legos

Playing with small Legos and blocks helps children develop the smaller muscles in their fingers, while also improving their hand-eye coordination.

3. Cut Paper

Grab a pair of child-safe scissors and give your child the opportunity to cut activity pages. These pages should include lines, patterns, and shapes that can be followed with the scissors.

4. Grip the Pencil (Correctly)

As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” However, practicing a task incorrectly can create habits that will be difficult to break down the road. When it comes to holding a pen or pencil correctly, perfect practice makes perfect. Help your child hold their pencil the right way. If you need a little assistance, try purchasing special pens or grips that can be attached to a pencil to allow your child to feel the proper grip.

5. Form Letters, Numbers, and Shapes

Give your child activity pages that allow them to trace and copy letters, numbers, and shapes. When practicing letters and numbers, make sure your child remembers to go from top to bottom and left to right.

6. Color Within the Lines

Most children love coloring, but it can be difficult to grasp the concept of coloring inside the lines. Try coloring with your child so they can see how to color inside the lines, and make sure they’re holding their crayons, pencils, or markers properly.

7. Fasten Zippers, Clasps, Buckles and More

Tasks that require precision, such as fastening zippers, clasps, buckles, and even tying shoelaces, are an excellent way to boost fine motor skills. Allow your child to perform these tasks whenever possible. Think of it as a workout for those little fingers.

8. Use Tongs and Tweezers

Just like the tasks above, using small tongs and tweezers to pick up and separate items can help your child develop their fine motor skills. Plus, it can make for a great game!

9. Thread Beads or Pasta

Another fun way to get those little fingers moving is to have your child thread beads, pasta, or cereal onto pieces of yarn or thread. If you want to take it a step further, grab some lettered beads and encourage your child to make bracelets or necklaces with their name and other sight words.

10. Draw

When children can engage in activities that they enjoy, they are more likely to learn and retain helpful skills and information. Most kids love to draw, and this activity helps to build strength and stamina, as well as solidify healthy habits. Just make sure they’re holding their drawing tools the right way.

11. Do Puzzles

Not only are puzzles a great way to stimulate a child’s mind, they’re also perfect for keeping little hands and fingers active.

12. Do Sensory Play

From a tray of dried beans to a pile of playdough, the options for sensory play are endless. When children use their hands for sensory-based activities, it helps foster the connection between hands and mind.

13. Catch and Throw

Not only is playing catch perfect for getting out some energy, it also helps improve hand-eye coordination, which develops fine motor skills and furthers the connection between a child’s mind and physical body.

Signs that Your Child Might Need Extra Help with Fine Motor Skills Development

  • Difficulty holding pens and pencils; using too much or not enough pressure
  • Difficulty buttoning clothing; doesn’t use both hands
  • Difficulty coloring inside the lines
  • Difficulty using scissors; can’t follow lines
  • Difficulty sitting still; always moving around when seated
  • Avoidance of fine motor-related activities and tasks

Whether your child is writing with ease or has just embarked on the road of handwriting, fine motor skills can always be improved. Activities that engage the body’s smaller muscles, especially the hands and fingers, will help your child develop and grow the strength, stamina, and control needed to write with neatness and precision.

Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension

9 Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension

Reading is far more than piecing letters and sounds together. In order for a child to excel at this critical life skill, reading comprehension is a must. Children who master the art of reading comprehension are able to understand the meaning and context behind the words on a page, as well as make connections and predictions about what might happen next. In addition, children should be able to retell and summarize what they have read to ensure the information is retained.

At our private school in Atlanta, our faculty has chosen to make reading comprehension a top priority within the classroom. However, a successful and effective mastery of reading comprehension skills requires a team effort between teachers and parents. If you’re wondering how you can intentionally foster better reading comprehension in your child, read on for nine proven tips and tricks.

1. Choose Level-Appropriate Reading Materials

It’s important to keep reading materials at an age-appropriate level. Many “learn-to-read” books feature numbered levels to help you choose the right books for your child. An age-appropriate book is one where the child can recognize close to 90% of the words on their own. Anything more difficult will pull a child out of what they’re reading, making it difficult to draw on meaning and context. If you’re unsure what reading level your child should be working on, ask their teacher.

2. Have Your Child Read Aloud

Although it can be tempting for children to speed through a book or read it in their heads, reading out loud helps them slow down. Slowed reading allows for better comprehension, as children are better able to process the material.

3. Read and Reread

While reading aloud to slow down is important, you want to ensure the reading isn’t too slow. In order to achieve fluency, children should read the same material in repetition. Rereading is a critical step to reading with ease and understanding. Children should be able to read 90 words per minute by the time they enter third grade. With repetition, students learn to recognize words faster and more accurately. This helps boost comprehension.

4. Discuss What They’ve Read

Talk with your child about the material they’re reading. “Verbal processing” allows your child to make connections, consider context, and explore meaning and themes. Ask your child questions about the book before, during, and after reading. Questions might include:

  • “Based on the title and cover art, what do you think this book will be about?”
  • “Why do you think the character made that choice?”
  • “What do you think will happen next?”
  • “Can you tell me the story in your own words?”
  • “Does this story remind you of any other stories?”
  • “What do you think is the moral of this story?”

5. Read to Your Child

Take turns reading out loud. When it’s your turn, have your child sit beside you and follow along with your finger as you read. Hearing the words aloud and being able to follow along helps children connect the sounds with meaning.

6. Let Them Tell a Story

Encourage your child to tell their own story, or provide them with a blank book that they can turn into a tale of their own. Have them choose characters, a problem that needs to be solved, a plot, and even a plot twist. Help them choose a moral for their story, then write it with level-appropriate words.

7. Broaden Their Vocabulary

Effective reading comprehension requires an ever-growing vocabulary. Try having a “word of the day,” and see how many times your child can use their new word that day. Use conversations and books to introduce unfamiliar words, and always discuss the meaning and context.

8. Encourage Critical Thinking

Asking thought-provoking questions–both about books and the world around them–is a great way to help children evaluate and analyze what they’ve observed. Help them connect what they’ve read to their own personal experiences and think about things from different perspectives.

9. Speak With Their Teacher

Your child’s teacher knows your child’s strengths and struggles when it comes to reading comprehension. If you’re unsure where to start or what would most benefit your child, schedule a meeting with the teacher. The stronger the partnership between the home and classroom, the higher the success rate.

In addition, ask your teacher about the topics being taught in the classroom each week, and visit your local library for books that correspond. For example, if the class is learning about bats, your library will offer a variety of fun reading materials. Having pre-existing knowledge on the topic will help your child recognize words more easily and encourage deeper comprehension.

Parents who practice intentionality in fostering reading comprehension at home give their children the tools they need for a successful education. Remember, critical skills like reading comprehension don’t come overnight. They’re developed through patience and consistency. But by putting these strategies into practice, you’ll be surprised at how rapidly your child’s love for reading will grow.

Video

9 Proven Ways To Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
Cultivate a Love for Bible Reading in Children

5 Ways to Cultivate a Love for Bible Reading in Children

Christian parents know that the Bible is the most important book your child will ever read. It introduces them to Jesus and the good news of the gospel, it’s full of wisdom and sound advice, it points us in the way we should go, and it offers encouragement and hope.

However, picking up a Bible can seem daunting—even for adults. Where do you begin? How do you unpack its more complex passages? And how do you keep that desire for God’s word alive without it feeling like a chore that must be checked off a list?

In order for your child to truly be transformed by God’s word in their hearts, they must develop a love and appreciation for it. However, this isn’t likely to come from flipping to a random page and reading whichever verse stands out to them. Instead, it requires intentional training and modeling from parents and role models.

Here at The Academy of Scholars, a Christian school in Georgia, our educators understand the critical role and incredible opportunity that parents and teachers have in helping children read the Bible. So, we’ve rounded up five ways that you can begin cultivating a love for scripture in your children today.

1. Read as a Family

As a Christian parent, you want Christ to be at the center of your family. And there’s no better way to accomplish that than by spending regular time together in God’s word and in prayer. Try implementing a family devotion and Bible reading time before bed, and have each family member take turns reading. Follow your reading time with a discussion about the passage, and talk about how the passage applies to your lives.

2. Set an Example

Children learn from the examples set by their parents and other role models. So, if you want your child to desire God’s word, show them just how desirable it is! It can be hard to find the time to read the Bible on a daily basis when there is so much vying for your time and attention. But chances are, if it’s not a priority for you, it won’t be a priority for your child, either. Even if you have to utilize the time before the kids are awake, you can still show them that it’s a part of your routine by talking about what you read.

3. Make it Interactive

Children retain more when given the opportunity to learn in interactive ways. If you’re reading the Bible aloud to your children, try not to settle for passive listening. Instead, ask questions, encourage your kids to ask questions, and talk about how the passage might relate to their life. You can also find interactive resources like kid-friendly study guides, activities, and games to make it fun.

4. Teach Kids How to Study God’s Word

If there’s one thing that children and adults alike can struggle with, it’s knowing how to study the Bible and not merely read it. For that, we recommend the R.E.A.D. method.

R: Read

Seems like it should go without saying, right? But the first step is opening up your Bible and reading what’s inside! Daily reading familiarizes us with the language of the Bible, so it becomes easier to understand. It also nourishes our spiritual health. That nourishment, just like food and water, is needed every day. Rather than packing in an hour-long study over the weekend, aim for 10 or 15 minutes each day.

E: Engage

Give your child a notebook that they can use for their Bible reading time. Encourage them to take notes, jot down any recurring words, phrases that stand out, or questions they might have. Younger children might enjoy drawing a picture of what they’ve read. If drawing isn’t their thing, encourage them to act out or put music to the passage. You can also encourage your child to highlight verses in their Bible that stand out.

A: Apply

James 1:22 instructs us to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (English Standard Version). Help your child consider practical ways that they can live out scripture. Ask questions like, “How can I love my neighbor?” or “How can you ‘hide God’s word in your heart?’” Remind your child that the Holy Spirit’s role is to help them apply biblical truth to their lives and encourage them to pray for His guidance.

D: Discuss

Discussion is a crucial way for children to process what they’ve read. Make sure the home is a safe place for questions and for sharing thoughts and feelings. Whether on the drive to school or while you’re tucking them into bed, designate a time to share with each other what you read that day. If your child has a question that you’re not sure how to answer, that’s okay! Let them know that you’ll look into it so that you can discover the answer together.

5. Show Them Where to Start

Children might feel overwhelmed when greeted with such a lengthy read. You can help by pointing out books and passages that will give them a firm foundation through an understanding of God’s character, the person of Jesus, and the themes of the gospel. Books like John, Luke, Acts, Psalms, Proverbs, and Romans are a great place to start.

As Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Helping your child cultivate a love for God’s word is critical to their spiritual health and development. And the more your child learns to love and appreciate scripture, the more you’ll see their lives transformed.

Do We Really Need More Screen time in the Classroom

Do We Really Need More Screen time in the Classroom?

Technology has forever changed the way we do life. It’s seeped into every corner, nook, and cranny of society, and it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere. If you’re a parent with students in school, you might be wondering if the use of technology in the classroom is really necessary. After all, keeping the kids from constant screen time at home is already a struggle. Is digital usage in the classroom going to fuel an irreparable addiction?

As educators who are committed to providing the best possible education to our students, the faculty at our private school in Atlanta have put a lot of research into using technology to better education in a healthy way. We believe that balance is key and that teaching healthy and responsible tech usage is critical.

With that said, the benefits that technology can bring to a child’s education are unmatched and continue to expand. Here are seven reasons we believe technology is necessary for a successful learning experience:

1. Technology allows for interactive learning.

Classroom technology goes far beyond Chromebooks and documentaries. Tools like virtual simulations, apps, and interactive whiteboards allow students to engage in learning in a variety of ways.

Children struggling with reading or math skills can practice through educational games that can capture their attention better than a plethora of worksheets. While traditional teaching methods were limited in opportunities for engagement, technology in the classroom provides fun, dynamic ways for students to participate.

2. Technology allows for personalized learning.

It’s no secret that a one-size-fits-all education plan simply doesn’t work. Children absorb knowledge in different ways, and educational technology has the ability to provide a more personalized learning path to accommodate each student’s needs. Online resources, learning platforms, and assessments enable teachers to move students at their own pace and address areas that need improvement.

3. Technology prepares students for the modern workplace.

Today’s workplace is far more technologically advanced than that of generations past. Therefore, it is our duty to equip students with the skills and understanding they’ll need to thrive in their future careers. We can accomplish this by familiarizing students with digital tools and practices, such as popular platforms, professional online communication, and coding.

4. Technology allows for better collaboration.

Classroom technology and learning tools provide easy-to-use options for collaboration between students, educators, and parents. These platforms promote team-building and communication skills through group projects, and allow for quick feedback from educators.

5. Technology makes research a breeze.

The online resources available for in-depth, easy-to-access research are vast and diverse. Multimedia presentations, educational websites, digital journals, updated studies and statistics, and online libraries encourage students to dive deeper into learning.

6. Technology connects students with the world outside their classroom.

Back in the day, students only got to embark on a few field trips a year, and these experiences were usually limited to what their location had to offer. Through the use of modern technology, students can virtually tour historic and geological sites from the comfort of the classroom. This mode of virtual exploration provides an unlimited array of educational experiences to enhance and tap into visual learning.

In addition, teachers have the opportunity to utilize guest speakers from around the world through the magic of video conferencing, providing students with diverse, expert perspectives.

7. Technology can help students learn online safety and responsibility.

Educators understand the concerns held by cautious parents. The online world can be a dangerous place, thanks to social media and the ability to access nearly anything within a few seconds. With this in mind, teachers recognize the importance of incorporating lessons on online safety and responsibility into their teaching.

Through intentional training, students will gain a better understanding of the online landscape, their relationship to it, and how to practice proper digital engagement.

How to balance the use of technology at home and avoid overuse:

1. Set clear boundaries and limits.

Set and discuss your family’s digital rules and limits, which should include how and when technology can be used. Establish time limits for tech usage and do your best to enforce those limits consistently.

2. Model healthy tech usage.

Children tend to replicate the behavior modeled by the adults in their lives. But as adults, it can be difficult to intentionally close the laptop or set the phone down, given the demands of the modern workplace. However, we cannot expect children to emulate what we do not demonstrate. Do your best to prioritize tech-free family time and model healthy digital habits while the kids are around.

3. Designate tech-free time.

Set expectations for certain times, tasks, or areas that will be tech-free. This might include family meals, game nights, or even certain rooms. Some parents have found that providing a “tech basket” where each member of the family can store their phones and other devices during these designated times allows them to better enforce household expectations.

4. Encourage tech-free activities.

Tech-heavy activities like gaming and social media can be pretty appealing to kids. However, it’s important to encourage non-digital activities. Children who frequently engage in activities like sports, music, or arts and crafts tend to display fewer tech-based addictive behaviors.

5. Utilize parental controls.

Most devices feature built-in controls that can be set and monitored by parents. This permits parents to regulate and limit their children’s online activities and usage, allow or block specific apps and content, and keep things age-appropriate.

When used correctly, technology can provide an elevated learning experience.

Through careful consideration and intentionality, parents and educators can harness the benefits of technology for an enhanced learning experience while teaching children to understand and respect the pros and cons of digital usage. Technologically-infused classrooms are better equipped to personalize each student’s learning path, foster interactions between peers, and prepare them for a successful future.

Video

Do We Really Need More Screen Time In The Classroom

Infographic

Technology has transformed the way we live and is essential for a successful learning experience. Check out the infographic for seven reasons why it’s necessary in the classroom.

7 School Technology Benefits Infographic

Wish Your Kids Had More Discipline

Wish Your Kids Had More Discipline? Try These 7 Tips

Discipline. It’s the foundation of success in every area of life. From classrooms to careers, family relationships to friendships, discipline is the glue that holds things together. It’s the energy source that keeps things going when times are tough.

Here at The Academy of Scholars private school in Atlanta, we believe that students who learn the value of discipline from a young age will be better equipped to succeed at school, in the workplace, and beyond. Think for a moment about the discipline required to learn how to read. For kids, this is often one of the first big milestones that requires plenty of discipline. That’s why we put such an emphasis on instilling this critical value in the minds of our students.

However, if you want to truly develop discipline in children, you need to make it a priority in the home. Students who are encouraged to grow this skill both in school and at home will greatly benefit from the consistency of standards and expectations.

If you feel like your home could use a little (or a lot) more discipline, you’re not alone. And while it can be one of the most challenging lessons to instill, the benefits make it all worthwhile. Here are seven reasons why discipline is critical for your child’s success, and some practical ways that you can nurture this value in your home.

1. Discipline helps kids learn time management skills.

One of the key functions of discipline is the ability to manage one’s time in a responsible manner. Effective time management allows students to prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and use their time wisely by looking ahead and weighing their choices.

2. Discipline grows a strong work ethic.

When children learn the value of a “work now, play later” mindset, they’ll develop a strong and trustworthy work ethic. There’s something to be said about the reward following hard work, and the more children experience this, the more determined they’ll be to set their mind to completing their tasks.

3. Discipline builds character.

In and of itself, discipline is a valuable character trait. However, the development of this one trait can yield a host of other valuable characteristics. Children who learn discipline are also responsible, have stronger integrity, and find it easier to exercise self-control.

4. Discipline allows for focused learning.

When children begin to harness the power of discipline, they are better able to block out the distractions around them and focus on the task at hand. Doing so allows for better learning retention, which inevitably leads to consistent growth and achievement in their work.

5. Discipline reduces stress.

We’ve all felt the anxiety that comes with procrastination and the panic that accompanies ever-encroaching deadlines. Discipline allows you to exercise good time management, prioritization, and foresight to complete tasks in a timely and measured way. When work is completed with time to spare, stress levels decrease. When children learn to apply this kind of discipline to all of their responsibilities, they typically experience far less stress and anxiety, leading to better overall mental health.

6. Discipline keeps students physically active.

Anyone who’s ever tried to make a habit of regular exercise knows that doing so requires discipline. However, disciplined children can see the value of putting in the work where physical fitness is concerned, and they aren’t afraid to do so. As they develop this trait, students show a stronger commitment to staying physically active.

7. Discipline grows strong leaders.

Look at anyone who leads well and you’ll find that they all have one crucial trait in common: discipline. A disciplined leader sees the value in hard work, problem-solving, modeling exemplary behavior, and leading with integrity.

How to Develop Discipline at Home

1. Set Expectations

Discuss clear, age-appropriate expectations for disciplined behavior in your home. Be careful not to set the bar so high in the beginning that it seems too lofty to reach. Instead, have regular check-ins to discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can continue to move the bar higher. Children should know what is expected of them based on the guidelines and rules that have been put into place.

2. Lead by Example

Children find it difficult to respect double standards. If you expect discipline from your child, it’s crucial that you lead by example. The best teacher is one who shows, not simply tells.

3. Follow a Routine

Consistency is a critical building block to developing discipline. Try to keep up with a regular routine in the home that includes designated times for chores, homework, family meals, and bedtime.

4. Assign Chores

Many students find themselves at a disadvantage when they try to enter the workplace from a lifetime without chores and responsibilities. Try to assign daily, weekly, and monthly chores that are age-appropriate and incorporate them into your expectations and routine. If you feel that a bit of incentive is needed, that’s okay. Give your children something to work for by establishing that chores must be completed in order to earn a privilege, such as screen time.

5. Set Goals

A critical element of discipline is understanding the importance of setting and working toward personal goals. Discuss goals that you’d like to set with your child, whether it’s reaching an academic milestone, learning a new skill, or completing a lengthy project.

6. Encourage Extracurriculars

Discipline doesn’t mean all work and no play. Encourage your child to pick up and stick with some extracurricular activities, such as sports or music lessons. Talk about the importance of practice and honing their skills. Stress the importance of sticking to it, even when they may not feel like it.

7. Have Kids Help with Household Tasks

Outside of regular chores, children can learn discipline through various household tasks, such as cooking, baking, and gardening. These things do a great job helping children understand the relationship between work and reward.

Reyna Dave

What Role Does Parental Involvement Play in Fostering a Love for Reading Among Children?

Parents play a large role in their children’s lives. Children tend to love what their parents love, which gives parents an advantage when trying to instill a love of reading in their children. How can parents foster their children’s love of reading? Some readers shared their perspectives on the matter. Keep reading to find out what they had to say.

Eric Eng

Eric Eng

Founder & CEO of .

Creating a Supportive Environment

It is essential for parents to create a supportive environment for their children to read. This includes providing access to books, both physical and digital, and creating a comfortable space for them to read in.

Parents can also engage in activities such as book clubs or attending literary events with their children to further encourage their love for reading.

Reyna Dave

Reyna Dave

Founder of .

Create a Safe Space

Children need a safe space where reading is modeled and mistakes are allowed to happen. What’s more, parents should help children realize that mistakes are bound to happen, and serve as learning tools, not situations to be avoided.

In said safe space, the parent should set an example by reading themselves, then invite children to read with them. This can look like doing reading homework together, or the very common nighttime ritual of a bedtime story reading.

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson

Founder of .

Model Reading

Children learn by example, and when they see their parents engaged in reading, they understand that reading is a valuable and enjoyable activity. Parents who model reading, whether for leisure, information, or personal growth, send a powerful message about the importance of reading in life. This modeling shows children that reading is not just a skill to be mastered but a habit to be embraced and a hobby that enriches one’s life.

Dani Davidson

Dani Davidson

Founder of .

Incorporate Books into the Daily Routine

Parents can incorporate books into their child’s routine from the day they are born, introducing new sounds, words, and meaning through written text.

In years to come, children who are read to will be equipped to better communicate with vaster vocabularies, they will be able to decipher challenging words as they begin to read due to their increased phonemic awareness, and they will be more successful as readers themselves.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

Iesha Mulla

What is the Importance of Spiritual and Faith Development for Children’s Academic Progress?

Learning isn’t limited to academics. A spiritual education is just as important for developing minds as a secular one. What role does spiritual and faith development play in a child’s education? How important is it? Some fellow followers shared their thoughts on the connection between spirituality and academic progress. Keep reading to find out what they had to say.

Benedict Ang

Benedict Ang

Senior Coach at .

Equips them with a Sense of Purpose

Beyond the confines of traditional education, a robust spiritual foundation equips children with a sense of purpose and moral guidance, fostering emotional resilience. This resilience, in turn, significantly influences their ability to navigate academic challenges with a positive mindset, ultimately contributing to enhanced performance in the classroom.

Furthermore, spiritual development plays an important role in social interactions. Actively engaging in faith communities or spiritual practices cultivates strong interpersonal skills, fostering collaboration and creating a positive classroom atmosphere. These social competencies not only contribute to a child’s holistic development but also lay the groundwork for successful academic interactions.

Tim Connon

Tim Connon

Founder & CEO & Life Insurance Agent of .

Helps them Realize their Value

Spirituality and faith is crucial for children and their academic progress because it helps them realize their value. It shows them they are not just animals running around with no purpose. They are human beings loved by God and therefore have a reason to work hard and live their lives because they know God is watching them.

Teaching faith to children gives them an extra layer of accountability to not only their parents but God Himself. This can drive them to work harder in school and other passions they pursue.

God is the center of their life which means they will want to work hard to please him. Without God, children are taught that they are nothing more than animals with no real purpose. If they believe this, then what is the point of working hard or gaining knowledge?

Iesha Mulla

Iesha Mulla

Co-Founder.

A Robust Ethical Compass

Spiritual and faith development is pivotal to a child’s academic trajectory. By instilling spiritual values, children acquire a robust ethical compass, equipping them to traverse life’s multifaceted landscapes, especially within the sphere of education.

This foundation instills purpose and drive in them and bolsters their resilience in the face of adversity. As facilitated by spiritual disciplines, character building advocates persistence, hard work, and a dedication to scholarship, subtly influencing their commitment to academic excellence.

Hannah Sanderson

Hannah Sanderson

CEO and Founder of .

Contributes to the Holistic Growth of a Child

Spiritual and faith development contributes to the holistic growth of a child, encompassing not only cognitive aspects but also emotional, social, and moral dimensions. These values provide a foundation for character development, fostering qualities such as empathy, compassion, and resilience.

As children navigate the challenges of academic life, a strong spiritual and faith foundation can serve as an anchor, helping them develop a sense of purpose, values, and ethical decision-making skills.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

Ways to Teach Your Child to Love Well

Learning to Love: 9 Ways to Teach Your Child to Love Well

When the bank and local fast food joints hang hundreds of cutout hearts from the ceiling and you can’t watch a football game without being bombarded with jewelry commercials, you know it’s February. Valentine’s Day might seem like one more holiday that takes over store shelves with candy and demands your participation, but it’s also a great opportunity to talk to your kids about the most important value of them all: love.

From this one virtue stems countless others. When love flourishes, traits like patience, kindness, and gratefulness follow. Chances are, the word “love” is probably spoken in your home on a daily basis. But when was the last time you talked about the meaning of this simple word? It’s easy to think children must have an innate understanding of love. After all, you were speaking the words “I love you” to them long before they could say it back. However, it’s important that children understand that love is more than just something we say–it’s a way of life.

Explaining the Concept of “Love” to Children

Sure, most of us could say without hesitation that we know what love is. But how would you put it into words? Your definition of love will probably vary depending on who it’s directed at. For example, you might love your neighbor, Betty, and her delicious chocolate chip cookies, but that love is different from the love you have for your child. Even within the family, the love between parents and children is different from the love between spouses. This concept can be tricky for children to understand.

So, where do you begin?

First, try to help your child understand that “love” is different from “enjoy.” For example, they might say they “love” strawberry ice cream, but hopefully their feelings for strawberry ice cream are quite different from what they feel for their family members. Your child should understand that love as a virtue has nothing to do with personal preferences.

Explain to your child that at its core, loving others means desiring the best for them. You care about their wellbeing and safety. This applies across the board.

At our Christian private school in Atlanta, we use the Bible to help us define love. First Corinthians 13, often called the “love chapter,” paints a detailed picture of love in action: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, English Standard Version).

You can help your child remember what it means to love others by encouraging them to memorize verses like these. When they act in a way that is unloving towards someone else, recite the verses with them and talk about how they could better show love to those around them.

9 Practical Ways to Teach Your Child to Love Well

1. Model love in your home and relationships.

A child’s understanding of love comes from what they perceive and experience within their home. Just as it is important to encourage children to go above and beyond to show love to others, parents should strive for this, as well.

2. Discuss what it means to love others.

While the tips above are a great foundation for helping a child understand the concept of love, it’s so much more than a one-and-done discussion. Ask your child regularly what they think it means to love others. When an offense is made toward someone else, ask your child, “How could you have loved that person better?” When someone has wronged them, ask, “How could that person have treated you in a more loving manner?”

3. Read stories that paint a picture of love and friendship.

Helping kids read stories that feature valuable truths is an excellent way to impress those truths upon their hearts. Look for books that paint a vivid and accurate picture of love and friendship, then discuss the values found in the story when you’ve finished reading.

4. Put together a photo album.

Ask your child for a list of the people they love. Then, have photos of each person printed. Let your child pick out a photo album and fill it with pictures of their loved ones. While you fill the album, have your child explain what they love about each person.

5. Teach your child about love languages and discuss the things that make them feel loved.

You’ve probably heard of the Five Love Languages. People like to express and receive love in different ways. There’s Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Words of Affirmation (Chapman, The 5 Love Languages). While it can sometimes take children a while to develop their “love language,” you can begin to consider and discuss the things that make them feel most loved. You can also tell them about your “love language,” so that they can begin to think about how other people might like to receive love.

6. Come up with little ways to say, “I love you.”

You can never express love too much. As a family, come up with creative ways that you can communicate love to one another apart from simply saying, “I love you.” This might include sweet sayings, like, “I love you to the moon.” When you’re holding hands, three squeezes can be a secret way of saying, “I love you.” And when you’re waving goodbye to your child at school drop-off, try using the American Sign Language sign for “I love you.”

7. Make a card to tell someone they’re loved.

Help your children learn to go out of their way to show love by making and mailing (or giving) “just because” cards to people they care about. Taking the time to do something that will make another person feel loved is a great way to help children begin to shape an others-minded mentality.

8. Play “Loving Charades.”

Give your child various scenarios and situations, and have them act out ways that they could show love in that situation. You might say, “Your friend fell and scraped her knee. How could you show her love at that moment?” Then, let your child act out how they would respond.

9. Love your community.

Finally, find ways to serve your community as a family, and discuss ways that you can love your community well. Oftentimes, love means putting others first. Serving in this way can help children learn to shift their focus from themselves to loving and caring for others.

Video

Learning To Love: 9 Ways To Teach Your Child To Love Well

Infographic

Love fosters patience, kindness, and gratefulness. It’s important for children to understand that love is a way of life. Explore the infographic for nine ways to teach your child to love well.

9 Love Gestures for Kids Infographic