Monday, September 12, 2011

Surprising Secrets to School Success: Part 1

According to an article from, after a busy day, dinner, and getting the kids to bed, heaven forbid if sifting through a stack of parenting studies isn’t the first way you choose to unwind!

Still it’s a shame to miss out on what science can tell us about raising happy learners. In the interest of your sanity, gathered eight extraordinary, somewhat counterintuitive findings about fostering children’s success. Try them and report back to us,,  we’d love to know how they worked for you! Below are the first 4 secrets, so come back tomorrow for 5-8 suggestions.

1. Praise the work, not the wit
Not all positive reinforcement is, well, positive. Numerous studies have shown that children who are praised for their work ethic are better at solving critical thinking problems than those praised for ability. Those praised for effort were almost three times as likely to focus on learning rather than “looking smart.”

2. Minimize your unexcused absences
Research has shown that you should make the extra effort to be physically present in your child’s classroom. In fact, attending class meetings and volunteering at school better predicts literacy development than your family’s income.

3. Use the TV to channel critical thinking
Let’s face it — prying our kids away from the TV is no small feat. New research shows that we might be better off using this habit to facilitate learning. Try muting the commercials and asking your child simple questions while she watches TV. What just happened? What do you think about that? These questions teach children to be effective critical thinkers and communicators.

4. Fear not the $5 word
Many parents assume they should use simple words with kids to avoid confusion. But new research suggests we may be wildly underestimating their brainpower. Children whose parents used complex language were found to have significantly higher IQ’s (a formidable 40 points) than children whose parents did not — suggesting that young brains become wired early for complex thought.


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This weblog seeks primarily to be a resource to parents and their children facilitating, "Empowerment & Personal Responsibility through Education."

This weblog is an extension of BestEducationPossible-theCommunity an online community dedicated to Parents and their efforts to empower their children through Education.

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