Summertime offers parents an opportunity to increase childrenâ€™s competence by focusing on skill development. Â Skill development requires concentration, which instantly improves mental health and reduces complaints of being â€śboredâ€ť. Here is Moxie Mental Healthâ€™s list of Summertime Learning Opportunities for Children.Â Adults who love to learn may themselves be captivated by these sites.
Www.artistshelpingchildren.org/howtodraw.html . Artists Helping Children contains learn-to draw lessons and how to make crafts from paper and recyclables.
Www.drawinghowtodraw.com/drawing-lessons/improve-drawing/drawing-for-beginners.htmlÂ How to Draw contains links several learn-to-draw sites which are appropriate for children as well as adults.Â One of them is entitled â€śHow to See and Draw the Shape of Things and Figuresâ€ť.
Www.kidsfront.com/how-to-draw-pictures.htmÂ Kids Front How to Draw Pictures contains step by step drawing of cartoon figures and other images.
Marshallbrain.com/kids-programming.htmÂ Marshall Brain provides parents with ideas and sources to engage their children in computer instruction through games that teach problem solving to the web sites that teach coding and programming languages.
Â Www.squidoo.com/teach-computer-programmingÂ Â Teach-Computer-Programming gives parents a graded sequence of programming languages children can learn and apply from ages 7 on. It also includes where to find the instruction for the languages. Â Languages include logo (for youngest kids) up through Java and Python (for older kids).
Child and Me has instructions on (would you believe it?) how to teach math to babies.Â It is an article from Science Daily describing games researchers have found work at teaching children math.
Www.aplusmath.com Â Â Aplus math teaches math to children from primary through middle school. The site uses a multimedia approach including games, flashcards, worksheets, and tutorials. The site also gives parents tips on teaching children math.
Www.enchantedlearning.comÂ A comprehensive site with activities for children that teach math, science, English, Spanish.Â The resource-intense site has an annual fee of $20.00 annually.
Www.khanacademy.comÂ site that helps parents diagnose and remediate math Â and skills.Â Includes over 3,000 videos on math (and many other subjects), as well as instructional materials . A google interface enables children to do the work, and parents to get reports based on their childâ€™s work.
Clicknkids.com.Â This is a great site for parents who want to teach their children how to read. Price is a one time $58.95. Additional children can be added on to the program for $19.95 each.
Www.sciencenewsforkids.org/mysnk/for-kids Â Science news for kids includes pictures and information for kids on chemistry, geology, biology, and health.
Www.sciencekids.co.nz/geology.html colorful page from New Zealand has links for geology games, facts, and projects for kids
Www.kids.gov/6_8/6_8_science_geology.shtml This site from the U.S. government has links to sites that teach geology to children from kindergarten to grade 8.
Www.rockhoundkids.com Rock hound kids has links to many websites with information about how to find rocks and build a collection.
Library.thinkquest.org/J001539Â Think Quest has instruction on basic chemistry for kids for kids. The site includes glossary.
Faculty.washington.edu/chudler/introb.htmlÂ This is a large site with links about neuroscience for kids.Â This site has great illustrations about how the bodyâ€™s nervous systems work.
Sciencespot.net/Pages/kdzbio.htmlÂ This is the biology section of sciencespot.net, and is designed for children and teachers of middle-school aged.
Writing Instruction and Contests
Www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/doc/resources/help_write.cspÂ The National Writing Project site has ideas for parents to encourage good writing .
Owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/680/1/Â The Owl site contains a plethora of guides for parents who want to encourage good writing in their children.
Www.time4writing.com/Â Time4writing offers eight weeks of online writing instruction for k-12 students with an instructor.Â Price: $99.00 for eight weeks.
Www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/basic/yngwrite.htmlÂ Noodle Tools has about 30 writing Â contests for young writers, third graders through high school.
How to Teach Children Self-Efficacy:Â Nurture a Growth Mindset
If you could use science to help your child earn better grades, would you?
What if, at the same time, you could help your child discover that learning is a blast!
The good news isâ€”a strategy has been developed at Stanford University that makes this magic work. It has been has tested on hundreds of students to validate the results.Â This strategy appears to turn kids on to the joy of learning and make better grades at school. The strategy is so simple; it can be done at home.
But hereâ€™s the catch: You may have to change how you think about things. You have to be willing to believe these two things.
- Failure is part of the learning process. Itâ€™s okay to make mistakesâ€”they donâ€™t define us.
- Skill comes from trying new things that will help you learn more.
Mindset Makes All the Difference
The power to ignite the love of learning in children comes from understanding how to influence their â€śmindsetâ€ť. A â€śmindsetâ€ť is a personal theoryâ€”in this case, the personâ€™s theory about how success in life is achieved. Dr. Dweck identified two contrasting â€śmindsetsâ€ť from which people approach success.
- A â€śfixed mindsetâ€ť is the belief that success is a â€śgiftâ€ť or a natural endowment of talent.Â Children who have a fixed mindset about success are afraid of failure, as it may indicate that they (the child) just donâ€™t have what it takes to succeed.
- A â€śgrowth mindsetâ€ť is the belief that people can develop success through practice and hard work.Â Children with a growth mindset accept failure as feedback to try harder next time.
Praise Childrenâ€™s â€śEffortâ€ť Rather than â€śBeing Smartâ€ť
To test her ideas about mindset, Dr. Dweck and her colleagues divided hundreds of junior high students into two groups and followed their progress for two years.Â Initially, they gave both groups of students a fairly difficult set of ten questions from a nonverbal IQ test. The experimenters then created the two mindsets by the feedback they gave the students.
- The â€śfixed mindsetâ€ť was created by praising one of the groups for â€śbeing smart.â€ť
- The â€śgrowth mindsetâ€ť was created by praising the other group for â€śworking really hard.â€ť
Though before the praise, the groups were the same; the differences began appearing immediately after the praise. The students were then given their choice of tasks, both easy and challenging.
- The group praised for â€śbeing smartâ€ť started rejecting choosing new tasks that they could learn from. They didnâ€™t want to do anything that would call into question their talent.
- Ninety percent of the group that were praised for â€śworking hardâ€ť choose a more challenging task that they could learn from.
Then Dweckâ€™s researchers gave both groups of children some harder questions that they didnâ€™t do so well on.
- The group praised for being smart thought that the reason they did not do well on the new questions was because they were not so smart after all. They didnâ€™t think the problems were so fun.
- The group praised for making good effort thought the difficulty meant that they should â€śapply more effort.â€ť Many of them thought the harder problems were more fun the easier problems.
Dweckâ€™s researchers then gave both groups some more easy questions.
- The group originally praised for being smart plummeted in their performance on the easy questions.
- The group originally praised for working hard showed improved performance.
During the two years the groups were studied, the â€śgrowth mindsetâ€ť group that was consistently praised for working hard was eager learners and their grades improved. As success built upon success, they did not need prompting to do their homework.The â€śfixed mindsetâ€ť group who were praised for being smart became more self-conscious, more shy, lacked the enthusiastic learning style of the other group, and had lower grades.
How can you encourage your children to have â€śgrowth mindsets?â€ťÂ Read the next post on Moxie Mental Health.
Katrina Holgate Miller, PhD writes about the strengths and skills people use to face their mental health issues with empowerment (moxie) rather than victimization. She has turned her 30+ years of clinical experience with thousands of clients into stories and tips about how her clients were able to recover from mental illness and addiction and return to the roles they enjoyed during times of wellness.Â She is author of the website www.moxiementalhealth.com.Â Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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