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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Four important school skills

Ready for her first day of school!
Two kids might have the same high IQ and similar home environments but one might excel and another struggle.  Why the difference?  You'd think that being smart was enough to guarantee success but there's more to success than pure intelligence.

The children who have mastered (or are in the process of mastering) the following skills and behaviors are more likely to have a positive experience at school and later as adults.

1. The ability to follow directions and its companion (2.) the ability to listen.  You've been teaching this since your child was a baby.  Just a couple of examples - Giving her chores commensurate with her age helps her learn how to follow directions.  Asking her to repeat what you said if she seems distracted, helps her learn to focus on what you say.  Keep working with her on this skill...she definitely needs it for school!

3. Reasonable self-control.  Ah yes, being able to control himself!  This includes refraining from tantrums, hitting and other physical no-no's; yelling, swearing and other verbal no-no's;  keeping hands and other body parts to himself; not taking things that don't belong to him.  Even some adults haven't mastered self-control yet but it's something your children will greatly benefit from learning, and the sooner the better.

4. Basic organizational skills.  Some kids are naturally neat and tidy and others need LOTS of help!  To succeed at school, your child needs to be able to keep track of assignments and other papers, school supplies and things like jackets and lunch boxes.  Losing these can cause stress and lost time for you, your child and her teacher. 

These are skills that can be taught, starting while your children are young and then expanded upon as they grow.  As you interact with your children every day, you are teaching and reinforcing these important life skills. 


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