Community: “Educate” a Child
Moving. As a child, moving to a new home is one of the scariest ideas. We learn to love the place we grew up in, the friends we make and of course the memories we create. As a parent, it can be even more terrifying, especially when the happiness of your child is one of the most important things we take into account every day. When we move into that perfect home or if we now have the money for that great lifestyle, what else are we thinking about? Like any good parent, we think about the schools our children will go to, the families we live by and if our children will be surrounded by good friends and influences.
We are all familiar with the ancient African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well to be frank, it is true. And, more importantly, it takes a village to educate a child. The people your children are around in their everyday lives will effect who your children will grow up to be. Neighbors, teachers, coaches and church leaders will have an effect on who your child will be in the future.
Being a part of a “village” gives you as a parent the opportunity to help create and structure a network for your children. Nothing feels better than being proud of your child for their accomplishments in life, whether they learn those skills from you or from those people in your child’s life. It may be a teacher that helped your child win the science fair, or a coach that taught them how to make that winning kick. No matter how big or how small, you want to be involved in every moment of your child’s life, the ups and the downs.
Before children even enter school they have so many “teachers” in their lives. As parent’s we pave the way for our children’s success. School isn’t just for education anymore; over the years education has become a home-school team effort. Families are just as important educators as teachers. A teacher can give you the basic fundamentals of writing, but parents can help that child become a better writer by encouraging them and giving them ideas to fuel their writing. Being involved in your child’s education not only at home, but also at school can make a huge difference. A great way to become involved is to be a volunteer for the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). It allows you to know what is going on at school and gives you the opportunity to be involved in activities your child participates in and enjoys. Being involved in the activities at school shows that you care not only about your child, but what they are doing in school.
As children grow up, their attitude can change about school. There are days when they don’t want to go, they try to fake being sick, or they simply ask if they can skip school that day. All parents want their children to enjoy going to school and learn all they can. Both parents and teachers want children who are smart, good listeners and motivated to learn.
We don’t always know if what our children are learning today is what they will necessarily need tomorrow, but we want our kids to be prepared and know those skills so when the time comes to solve problems, they have the ability to do so with confidence.
We all want our children to succeed and have a bright and promising future as they grow and develop. It is up to us to help our child grow to their full potential! And, there are so many ways we can help them grow mentally, socially, and personally.
So how do we create a community that focuses on educating our children?
Kids Book Club
Moms have book clubs all of the time, so why can’t kids? In most elementary schools, kids are required to read a certain amount of minutes each day to help them become better readers. Why not start book clubs where a group of neighborhood kids can get together and read the same book together? The benefits of a book club can help your child in the following ways:
- Reading together and talking about what was read allows kids to better comprehend what is being read, and if they are struggling with sounding out a word. The other kids can help them out if they don’t know the word.
- It can count as their reading minutes for that day! Kids tend to want to read a book with someone else, so they can share in the excitement of what is being read. By having a book club, kids can read together and share in their enthusiasm together.
- Reading together allows kids to connect in a way that sometimes play cannot. By reading a book they all enjoy, kids can talk about the story or even turn around and reenact what they just read.
Remember, it’s important to make this a positive experience so children who may struggle don’t feel inadequate or gain a complex because they are at a different level of reading than their peers. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen your child’s reading experience when done in a way the makes them feel confident.
- Have a neighborhood sports game, whether it is soccer, basketball, or bad mitten. Sports give kids a sense of community as they work together as a team to achieve a goal. It also refines their motor skills as they learn the best way to kick a ball or throw it.
- Get the kids together to make a craft. When kids work on crafts together they tend to build off of one other’s creative ideas. They also tune their fine motor skills as they glue, cut, and color their craft the way they want it.
Have you ever talked to someone who loves a certain book or movie and he or she lights up and becomes so excited to talk about what it is they love about that certain thing? Kids tend to do the same thing on just about any subject. By having a learning swap in your neighborhood, you allow kids to learn something with their friends that they might not learn at school. Here are some ideas to help:
- Make it fun. Have a little puppet show or dress up for whatever it is that the kids will learn about. Kids love to be entertained.
- Have them watch a movie or show together that speaks to their development level, but also includes the learning aspect. PBS Kids has a lot of educational shows that keeps kids engaged and wanting to learn more.
- Let them make a craft that has to do with what they are learning about. If you are teaching them about the Navajo Indians, have them make Indian headbands.
Everyone loves being rewarded for what they accomplish in life; kids love it even more. They love the attention. Reward a child in your neighborhood, whether it is every week or every month, for an accomplishment they have made. You can reward children for some of the following reasons:
- An improved grade. Children like to know they are doing well in school. If they get higher letter grade, reward them so they know that they are doing the right thing. As a bonus, rewarding children in a community setting with all their peers not only motivates them to keep up the good work, but also motivates the other children to work harder in school so they can also be rewarded in your community groups.
- Winning sport tournament or game. This teaches children the value of working together as a team and creates unity among their friends and family.
To further highlight a child for their successes, get together with other parents in your neighborhood to start a blog or a weekly email newsletter that spotlights a child’s accomplishments.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
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