You may have attended your fall parent conference; you may have found
that your child is still “not getting it.” You may be frustrated and ready to give up
on this parenting thing.
We know that children are our future and we need to prepare them for that. However, they are not going to be able to pick up all the technological things they need if they cannot read, write and spell satisfactorily. (Notice, I did not say successfully or perfectly.) They surely need a basic amount of communication skills to continue to be interested and grow their learning.
The skills they continue to learn are skills you can help them with at home. If they claim they have no homework, still give them “quiet time”—reading, writing, drawing, just thinking, but not playing video games. They can look at pictures in a magazine or book, read graphic novels (comic books, when we were growing), read or write poetry, write in a journal (spelling excepted), draw their dreams or sketch a robot to help clean their room.
You must give them time to explore their interests, to help you to know the kind of gift you might get for them for Christmas that goes along with their developing passion. You might purchase a reasonably priced guitar or music lessons if they show interest in music, a model car they can construct, or a game they can conquer or sports lessons to challenge their competitive spirit. How about a science kit or a microscope for your children whose bent is towards discovery of nature or how things work.
You can use your “quiet time” to show interest and observe your children. For this, you, too must put down your phone or tablet to find what interests your children. Learning skills will strengthen as your children pursue what they like or what interests them. If there is strong interest, they will want to discover more, read more, even write more. They will develop their own way to learn and will do what is necessary for them to acquire more knowledge. Nagging, pushing or doing more worksheets will not help. Time spent with your children and conversation with them is invaluable.
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget HOW you made them feel. Carol Buchner