Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Surprising Secrets to School Success: Part 2

According to an article from greatschools.org, 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, greatschools.org gathered eight extraordinary, somewhat counterintuitive findings about fostering children’s success. Try them and report back to us, greatschools.org, They'd love to know how they worked for you! Below are 5-8 secrets.

5. Soothe the soul with nature
According to research, communing with nature isn’t just a nice recreational activity. Natural settings increase a sense of self-worth and decrease stress — two important factors in priming the mind to learn. One study has even shown that natural settings can help relieve symptoms of AD/HD. When children with AD/HD participated in the same activities both inside and outside, those in the outdoor settings experienced fewer symptoms.

6. Behind every smart child is a collection of good books
While reading to children is crucial, don’t underestimate the importance of simply giving your kid access to a lot of books. Studies have found that a child raised in a book-friendly environment — with at least 50 children’s books in the home — scores five percentile points higher in math and reading than kids with less access to good reads.

7. Attend to the body and wake up the mind
The body-brain connection is far from fully understood, but research suggests that children’s learning abilities are inextricably tied to physical vitality. When 33 schools in Ontario, Canada, participated in a program called Living School aimed at increasing student’s physical activity by about 20 minutes a day and improving nutrition, some schools bellyached about lost class time. But in the end, participating school showed enormous improvement. Overall scores climbed 18% in just two years. Third-grade reading scores alone shot up by 50%. Ontario’s education experiment suggests that sometimes basketball practice facilitates learning as much if not more than another after-school tutoring session.

8. Child labor with a higher purpose
According to new research, children of all ages who perform household chores gain valuable skills, which they can apply to school learning. In one study, children as young as two years old who performed household chores like matching socks or wiping up kitchen spills ended up having more-successful educational experiences and careers.


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