Shop and grow to help your children progress and prosper


Shop and grow to help your children progress and prosper

By PAUL WENNINGER

My father liked to remind me that he lived in the most exciting time in the history of the United States. A pretty bold claim. But he had a measurement for his position. He took great glee in telling us how he rode a horse to elementary school in rural Wisconsin and that he also lived to see a man walk on the moon. Transportation was the measurement by which he viewed progress.

My father liked to remind me that he lived in the most exciting time in the history of the United States. A pretty bold claim. But he had a measurement for his position. He took great glee in telling us how he rode a horse to elementary school in rural Wisconsin and that he also lived to see a man walk on the moon. Transportation was the measurement by which he viewed progress.

Progress has picked up the pace a bit in this new century, and technology is the measurement. But progress is not pacing at a consistent rate. Moorees Law, i.e., the theory that every two years the size and the cost of a memory chip will be cut in half, is about to be disproved. Yes, those living on $1.25 a day or less is decreasing somewhat but not at the same pace as the sales of expensive memory chips.

The changing world demands that we be aware of the nature of its change. We must have some grasp of what that change can do for us and for our families.

So, how does this relate to education? Much of the practice of education is the same as it was when my dad rode his horse to school. Yet, unlike my dades day, the educational realm is bursting with options and opportunities — different types of schools, apps, websites, podcasts, assistive technologies, homeschooling as an industry, social media, and more.

Why does this matter — and how do we take hold of these opportunities on behalf of our children?

Many families in this area are fortunate to have great public and private/independent options for schooling. Every strip mall in town includes at least one enrichment opportunity for children — math help, cooking courses, childrenes gyms, art classes, gifted tutoring and more.

The Internet is bursting with options and opportunities for parents and children.

My recommendations are pretty simple. Be intentional, know your childes strengths and needs, and make yourself a student of what is available to your child. This is not about changing schools or adding more to your day or your childes day. This is about being knowledgeable and selective — and about creating an entire educational experience for your child that is individualized and meaningful.

Do you want to enhance or advance your childes knowledge or skills? YouTube and Kahn Academy are great sources for content. Get to know what they offer, for your child. I love TED for character development and creativity studies. Gaming sites can be about logic and behavior. CommonSenseMedia.org is rich with ratings for educational resources and popular media used by kids and adults.

It is up to us as parents to know what is out there and to guide children to these opportunities — and to stick around to experience the learning with them, when possible.

My dades first car was black. Why? Black was the only color they came in. Yet, today, America is awash in choices. How many channels do you get? How many breakfast cereals are there on your grocery storees shelves? Especially in the upper-scale cars, you can get any combination of color, interior texture, gearing and electronics you want.

Shop. Yes, shop! Become aware that there are choices available. I really encourage you to Google efinding the best educational resources on the webe and look through the first page of listings. Again, you do not have to know and make use of them all; just know that they are there and easily accessible.

Much of the traditional school curriculum is still very valid. But the style of delivery and the range of content require a little looking around. The classroom will not go away. It does, however, need to be augmented by a variety of supporting alternatives.

Even better if your school or teacher can serve as a tour guide through this land of new opportunities, with a lens for what your child needs at this time in his or her life.

As parents, your job is not to become an expert in every educational area (some of you may anyway) but to be intentional and aware as you walk into this brave new world alongside your children.

Shop, learn, grow e and prosper.

Paul Wenninger is Head of School at Currey Ingram Academy. eExtra Credite is provided each month by Currey Ingram Academy to help parents at all schools and at all stages of the parenting journey.

Currey Ingram Academy is a private K-12 day school for bright students with learning differences and unique learning styles. For more information, click here.e

Earlier Extra Credit columns:

The little-known ‘character trait’ that can change lives

Parent-teacher conferences can be most important meeting of year

Parenting requires CEO’s skills, savvy every day

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

Related posts

Leave a Reply