Month: November 2013

Praise the Effort

This article is specifically about girls but applies to boys, adults, co-workers, family, and probably pets too:) Multiple studies prove that as parents and teachers, if we focus on the process, the effort, and the perseverance, rather than the outcome, children will develop better self-esteem and be more motivated to experiment, take risks, and ultimately succeed more often…

Words and phrases to insert into the repertoire:

I love that you’re trying so hard

I love that you didn’t give up

Nice effort!

as opposed to:

You’re so smart!

You finished it so fast!

Great article about the benefits of preschool

A recent article in the NY Times about language-gaps and the benefits of preschool speaks perfectly to not just the need for preschool, but for effective preschool teaching and more consistent interaction between parents and children. Oral language skills, vocabulary, and reading, reading, and more reading have been proven to increase literacy skills later in life. But often, children enter kindergarten with no preparation whatsoever to begin reading. By this I don’t mean that they should be reading Charlotte’s Web at the age of 5, but rather that they are speaking in sentences, not afraid to take on new or difficult words, and comfortable with the concept of text and writing. All of these objectives can be achieved through reading constantly, talking with your kids, and engaging in fun activities like having them help write the grocery list. In an excerpt from the article, Mr. Dickinson said he feared that some preschool teachers or parents might extract the message about the importance of vocabulary and pervert it. “The worst thing that could come out of all this interest in vocabulary,” he said, “is flash cards with pictures making kids memorize a thousand words.” Instead, literacy experts emphasize the importance of natural conversations with children, asking questions while reading books, and helping children identify words during playtime.