So often in life we are running from one thing to the next, constantly hurrying to get it all done. Our present culture has less down time and less family time than any other previous generation. How do we see the effects of this hurriedness with our children and their school habits? What is rushing doing to learning?
Students are rushing to get to the next activity. Rushing to get their work done. Rushing to get the right answer. Learning suffers. When students do not spend time learning and reflecting on a concept, they miss out on an opportunity to self-reflect and develop critical thinking skills. And when parents rush in to solve problems and do homework for children for the sake of time, children loose the opportunity to struggle through a problem and find an answer on their own. They are treating schoolwork like a sprint instead of what it really is – a marathon.
Each school year, in every class, kids can develop skill “muscles” to become better at the job of being a student. Rushing through schoolwork results in sloppy, short-lived results. Instead, helping children to use time wisely when studying will develop the stamina for the long race.
Good School Skills for the Marathon of Learning
• Let your children know that getting it wrong the first time is okay. Perfection is not realistic.
• When your child asks you a question, do not instantly answer. Encourage the child to spend a few minutes trying to figure it out. If the child is still stuck, ask guided questions. Many times kids find the answer themselves.
• If you child says, “I just don’t get it” request specifics in what he does not understand. “What part of the math problem is giving you trouble?”
Have an intentional marathon attitude. Think about what you want your children to be able to do in four to five years or longer, not just here and now. The skills you want them developing may take years. Use opportunities to plant seeds that will help your children in the future to run the long race, rather than just hurried sprints.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick
Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.