How to Help Your Child Think More Positively This School Year

School is full of exciting learning opportunities as well as numerous challenges. It absorbs a significant amount of a child’s life, and it can become a source of great stress if it is not well-handled. For example, while it is understandable and totally normal for children to make mistakes throughout the educational process, a child can be fairly tough on himself when he recognizes he has made a mistake, especially if he feels he lacks the support he needs in order to overcome the challenges he faces. Fortunately, this can be protected against if the child has a positive attitude.

 

How to Teach Positive Thinking

 

Your child’s attitude in school can have an enormous impact on how well they do in school, so it is very worthwhile to help them cultivate a positive attitude. A child with a positive attitude will not only be better able to face the challenges he encounters in school, he will be better prepared to successfully overcome them. And the truth is that developing positive thinking in children is not actually very difficult, because unless they are taught otherwise or they routinely encounter significant problems and difficulties, most children tend to think positively as a matter of course. That said, there are some ways that you can further encourage this:

 

  • Teach them to focus their attention on the positive parts of their day. When asked about their day, some children may tend to focus on a negative part that is bothering them. It’s okay to let them tell you about this, but don’t let the discussion end there on that negative part of their day. Instead, encourage them to talk about the positive parts of their day that they enjoyed, which may include a fun story they read (or heard), a friend they enjoyed playing with, a fun project they participated in or some other thing.

 

  • Be interested in what they have to say, and acknowledge their positive activities. You can boost a child’s self-confidence enormously by showing them that they are important. How do you show them that they are important? By listening to them and acknowledging their positive activities. When they tell you about their hopes, dreams and accomplishments, really listen to what they have to say and make a point of acknowledging those positive things that you have noticed they are saying or doing.

 

  • Encourage them to solve their own problems, rather than solving their problems for them. It can be an enormous blow to a child’s self-confidence if they feel that they are not only encountering problems, but they are encountering problems that are beyond their ability to solve. Instead, talk with the child and gently guide the conversation as necessary so that they figure out solutions to their own problems.

 

  • Consider how you are speaking to your child, and make sure you are presenting them with a wonderful example to follow. Children learn largely through mimicry, so when you speak slowly, calmly and positively to your child you are actually teaching them to be calm and positive. This can be especially helpful when your child feels frustrated or angry, as you are essentially demonstrating that there is a way to approach the situation. This type of attitude can help your child to recognize that you are their friend, which can help them feel more comfortable about coming to you for help when they need it.

 

  • Show your child that you think positively. While the challenges you encounter in life are definitely markedly different from the challenges your child encounters, you can nonetheless show them that the best way to handle these challenges is through thinking positively. Children are generally extremely observant, and seeing you think positively can help them to understand that this is a wonderful way to work through difficulties.

 

With a positive attitude, your child can approach school as an exciting adventure, and have an amazing school year.

 

5 Tips for Getting Kids Excited About Going Back to School

While most children look forward to the summer with great anticipation–with dreams of sleeping in, lazy days and plenty of time outdoors with friends–they often reach a point where they become bored and eager to get back into some sort of routine. That said, they may not necessarily be excited about everything that going back to school entails, such as earlier mornings, harder work and homework-filled evenings. Fortunately, parents who help their children generate excitement about going back to school often find that the transition is easier, and their children are better able to enjoy their return to school.

Back to School for Kids

Back to school tips for parents often have a lot to do with being well-prepared for school to start back up, which includes ensuring children have the proper wardrobe and school supplies. However, another very valuable back to school tip for parents is to help their children become excited about a return to school, as this will greatly reduce the chance of emotional struggles just before or during the first weeks of school.

Consider these five tips for getting kids excited about going back to school:

  1. Arrange get-togethers with other kids in your child’s class. Sometimes a long summer away from peers can make kids feel a bit disconnected when they go back to school in the fall. In addition to the strict new schedule and hard work, they are confronted with strangers–or kids they haven’t seen in so long that they feel like strangers–which can make them feel isolated. Holding a few get-togethers with other kids in your child’s class can allow them to spend time together, socializing and getting to know one another so that they are better prepared to be together in school.
  2. Allow them to decorate their back to school gear. You may not have a lot of leeway when it comes to selecting your child’s basic school supplies, but they may really enjoy using stickers, markers and other decorative elements to add some style to their backpack, notebooks and folders.
  3. Get their help in lunch planning and shopping. Some kids love to be more involved in planning and shopping for lunch supplies, especially since this means that they will have more say in what they end up eating. This can be made into a very fun activity, and you can take it one step further by adding little surprises of your own–like using fun-shaped cookie cutters to cut out their sandwiches.
  4. Create a fun homework nook. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of going back to school is coming home from a long, tiring day and having to face any amount of homework. By creating a snug, cozy and inviting homework nook you can take the sting out of having to do homework, and make it more of an opportunity to spend some fun time together after school.
  5. Make the first day of school memorable and fun. This can include decorating the breakfast table, serving your child’s favorite breakfast, and maybe even having an ice-cream party after school. This can help to ensure that school is seen as pleasant and exciting, despite the fact that it does include hard work and concentration.

The fact is that many kids are actually excited about going back to school in the fall because it means a predictable schedule, new things to learn, new challenges to face and lots of interaction with friends. That said, they may be a little bit nervous about some parts of the experience, such as meeting loads of new kids and adults and needing to complete more difficult schoolwork. By helping to drive up their excitement you can help them to push away their worries so they can have a wonderful transition back to school.

Back to School: 5 Ways Parents Can Prepare

back to school

Back to school time can yield a wide range of emotions in kids, from nervous excitement to anxiety or dread and literally everything in between. But whether kids are excited or nervous about their return to school, it is definitely true that this transition will be much smoother if it is well prepared for. Kids tend to mimic how their parents feel, and if they watch their parents calmly and confidently plan ahead for a great start of term, they will usually approach school with the same calm confidence.

A Smooth Back to School For Kids

There are many wonderful ways that parents can prepare themselves and their children for a smooth transition back to school. Following are five of the easiest and most important ways:

1. Find out well in advance what the school requires children to have–both as regards dress code and school supplies. Some schools have uniforms, while others have dress codes. It is helpful to know in advance what the dress code is so that you don’t make any clothing purchases that will need to be returned. Supply lists can also help to eliminate any confusion about what may or may not be needed, and will prevent you from having to make stressful, last-minute shopping trips.

2. If possible, visit the school prior to the first day of class. It can be helpful to walk around the campus, becoming familiar with where everything is. A great portion of back-to-school anxiety that children can feel has to do with not knowing where things are or feeling out of touch with a school they haven’t been at for anywhere between one to three months. Walking around a quiet, calm campus can help to alleviate this anxiety. It can be even better to go with friends who are also in the same school or same class.

3. Start putting your child to bed earlier at least one week prior to the first day of school. Children normally do best if they receive at least ten hours of sleep each night, especially when they are involved in mentally stimulating activities. By getting them established on a stable evening bedtime routine that allows for plenty of sleep, you will help them to cope with the challenges they experience as they move through the first few weeks of school.

4. Help your child learn and apply basic safety points. You should definitely take the time to make sure that your child understands traffic safety and physical safety, especially if they will be walking or taking a bus to school. It is also important to cover basics such as how to spell their name, how to recite their parents’ phone numbers, and who they should go to at school if they feel they need help with anything.

5. Talk to your child about their return to school. Having an open and honest conversation with your child about their return to school can help them to better understand what to expect. It can also be a wonderful opportunity to allow your child a safe place to share what they may be nervous or anxious about so that you can address and resolve these concerns.

Many schools have a sort of parents back to school checklist or resource guide to help parents plan ahead and prepare themselves and their children for a smooth transition. The most important thing is to convey to children the wonderful excitement of returning to school and help them to dispense with any fears or anxiety they may be feeling. This can largely be accomplished with good preparation and plenty of opportunities to discuss what experiences they should expect to have.

Best End of Summer Activities for Students and Families

end of summer activities

While educators generally agree that it can be detrimental to a child’s mental development and educational progress for them to take a complete break from all learning for an extended period of time–such as an entire summer–the truth is that it is also very important for children to experience a wide variety of extracurricular activities. These activities can be instrumental in helping children to see the real-world application of things they are learning in school, and also provide them with entertaining ways to break up the seemingly endless period of learning they will have to work through in their young lives. For these and other reasons, it is important to invest in some fun end of summer activities for kids, giving them more time to relax their minds in preparation for the fall term.

Things to Do Before Summer Ends

There are great benefits in spending time focusing on some end of summer learning experiences, but there can also be great benefits in just spending some time enjoying the final days of summer. To that end, here are some of the best end of summer activities to consider:

⦁ Set up a family photo shoot. Whether you choose to hire a professional photographer or recruit a good friend to help you out, a family photo shoot can be a wonderful way to close the summer and take advantage of the wonderful lights and colors provided by summer. Mix things up with traditional, posed shots as well as some candid shots of playing games, reading books, or whatever else effectively communicates some of your family’s favorite pastimes and activities.

⦁ Give your driveway a complete chalk makeover. Whether you use plain old sidewalk chalk, ice chalk, exploding chalk, paint chalk or some other version, giving your driving a complete chalk makeover can be a wonderful family activity. Bring out some freshly squeezed lemonade and watermelon slices to further enhance the experience.

⦁ Set up an exciting scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts can actually be incredibly educational, even as they are wonderfully fun because they encourage observation and persistence.

⦁ Hold a family game night. There are many, many wonderful family games that encourage children to use various math, reasoning, and observation skills, and this can be a great way to enjoy evenings together before homework comes back into the picture.

⦁ Eat dessert for dinner. It can be incredibly satisfying to step out of the norm and enjoy ice cream for dinner before the summer comes to an end. Head out to your favorite small ice cream shop, grab a scoop or two, and enjoy a walk together in the warm summer air.

⦁ Have an adventure! This may mean a quick trip to the beach, a hike on a beautiful trail or a visit to an interactive museum.

⦁ Have a picnic. You may even find it enjoyable to have a picnic in your own backyard–but taking advantage of the last few days of wonderful summer weather will never be regretted.

⦁ Enjoy a water fight. You don’t have to get completely soaked to enjoy a light-hearted water fight at the end of summer, but it will get everyone outside and running around.

⦁ Work on a puzzle together. This is a wonderful activity you can turn to time and again, even if only for a few minutes each time, and it can be very satisfying when you finally finish the puzzle.

⦁ Help a local non-profit organization. Some families enjoy spending time volunteering together at a local animal shelter or food bank, helping others.

⦁ Make s’mores. S’mores are a summertime favorite, so it is always nice to enjoy them one final time before summer comes to an end.

⦁ Enjoy an outdoor concert. This may require some advance planning to find out which concerts are coming up and where, but it can be well worth it to enjoy live music outdoors at the end of summer.

However you spend the last few days of summer together, you are sure to make memories you will enjoy forever and help ensure your children are truly refreshed and ready for the fall term.

Summer Tutoring: Why It’s Beneficial for Students of All Learning Abilities

summer tutoring

One of the many pleasant memories we may still cherish from our childhood is our summer vacations. It was a time to relax, sleep in, enjoy the outdoors, hang out with friends, and take a long break from school. There is certainly nothing wrong with taking a well-deserved vacation, and some may even believe that it is important for children to take a mental break from school and all its challenges. However, the truth is that all children benefit enormously from mental stimulation, no matter where they stand academically, and will, therefore, benefit from summer tutoring.

Summer Tutoring For Kids

Whether a child is struggling in school or moving along steadily and well, they will benefit from receiving at least some continued academic work over the summer. Tutoring during the summer doesn’t have to be a chore that takes up all the child’s free time, and it can be made fun and interesting. More importantly, it can highly benefit the child by:

Helping them to practice and retain the information they have already learned. You have probably experienced for yourself the fact that information which is not practiced is not usually retained. And while this may not be a big deal for a chef who has forgotten their high school advanced calculus lessons, it is definitely inconvenient for a child who is not practicing important basics like reading, writing, spelling, and math. A child who knows their multiplication tables perfectly at the end of the school year but then does not practice them during the summer may very well spend a good portion of the new school year re-learning and practicing these tables, rather than smoothly advancing in math.

Allowing them an opportunity to build abilities that are weak. Where a child struggles with any academic learning, it’s obvious that a long hiatus over the summer will only compound this problem. However, if a child who is weak in a particular subject takes the time to practice this subject over the summer–even if only for thirty minutes to an hour each day–they will likely be able to build up their weak academic abilities so they will no longer struggle with them.

Preparing them for the next academic grade level. Starting a new school year can be incredibly daunting for any child, especially when it means a change of teachers, classrooms, and academic demands. If they have had a complete break from all mentally stimulating activities over the summer, they are unlikely to be prepared for these changes, and can spend one, two or even three months of the new school year trying to “settle in.” Summer tutoring can help prepare the child at least for the increased academic demands they will be facing.

Providing them with a routine. Children may say they love the freedom of no schedules, but the truth is that they feel most comfortable when they can smoothly follow a predictable schedule each and every day. Falling away from the basic structure and routine that is provided during the school year, and then trying to come back to it all at once at the end of the summer, can be quite distressing and difficult. Summer tutoring, even if it only occurs for a brief amount of time each day, provides children with a routine and predictable schedule that, casual though it may be, can ensure they are better prepared for the transition back into a normal school schedule in the fall.

Summer is absolutely a wonderful time to enjoy fun outdoor activities, friends, and exciting adventures. Adding summer tutoring to a child’s summer vacation can further enhance the experience by keeping them mentally stimulated and all the more ready for the school year to come.

Tips for Preventing Learning Loss Over Summer Break

learning loss prevention

Summer break is a time that many children look forward to with great anticipation. It is a time that is filled with the promise of freedom, fun, and friends, and it can be a wonderful way to unwind after the pressures of the school year. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of learning loss, simply because children don’t practice the academic skills they’ve been learning in school. In fact, it is not unusual for children to digress anywhere between one to three months during long summer breaks. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent summer learning loss through a variety of easy, fun summer learning activities.

Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Preventing summer learning loss is as simple as keeping a child’s mind stimulated on a daily basis–something that even they will greatly enjoy. Here are some super easy tips to follow:

⦁ Set aside some time every day for reading. Even fifteen to twenty minutes of reading every day can greatly reduce the chances of summer learning loss and can provide the child with the opportunity to read purely for pleasure. Have your child read to you, read to your child, or even read your own books side-by-side. It is also highly advisable to check with your local library to find out what summer reading programs they have in place–many set very simple goals (like twenty minutes of reading each day for ten days in a row) and then provide children with fun rewards for meeting them.

⦁ Find ways to drill and improve spelling skills. Spelling and reading often go hand-in-hand, where the more a child drills and improves their spelling skills, the more their reading skills also improve. There are numerous, fun games you can play with your child, even in the car, that will help them drill and improve their spelling skills.

⦁ Write fun summer stories. When it comes to reading and spelling, the final piece of the puzzle is writing. Together, these three points work together to make a confident, literate child who not only has excellent comprehension skills but can also communicate well in writing. You and your child can take the time, even just once every few days, to write fun summer stories about adventures you have had or dream of having.

⦁ Keep math skills sharp. Giving your child a daily math challenge problem to solve that requires them to use their newly developed math skills can help them to keep these skills sharp in a fun, entertaining way. You can even look at purchasing a fun math workbook at your child’s math level in a local learning store or bookstore. Of course, the more you reward your child for participating in these activities, the more interesting they will be.

⦁ Take time to address areas that are weak. It’s not unusual for children to have some academic areas that they are stronger in than others and some academic areas that are weaker than others. You can help to ensure that their transition into the fall school term will be much smoother if you take the time to address those academic areas that are weak. There are endless resources available to you, through your child’s school system, bookstores, learning stores, online and more, that can help you take even the most “boring” subject and make it into something fun and engaging. More importantly, when you take an interest in your child’s education and help them to work through something that they have trouble with, they are often more willing and able to push through their difficulties.

There is no reason why summer break shouldn’t be the fun, free time that children look forward to with great anticipation. By ensuring that they participate in learning activities during this time, however, you can help to prevent the learning loss that often contributes to a more difficult transition back into the fall school term. And you can do it in a way that is light, fun and challenging. For more ideas about how to prevent summer learning loss, contact Delphi Florida today!