Successful reading leads to successes in academics and gives kids a solid start in life. In fact, recent research shows that kids who read at least 15 minutes a day have accelerated reading gains. No matter how diligent you are at supporting reading, sometimes your kids resist. Books have to compete with those oh-so-scintillating devices, video games, and TV streaming apps.
Homework and headaches go together like macaroni and cheese, especially now that there seems to be so much to do early on. Cathy McFarland knows the frustration all too well. “When Maddie, my eight-year- old, didn’t understand her math homework, she’d cry and get so upset she’d hyperventilate,” says McFarland. Nightly math meltdowns became the norm. “I finally decided that math wasn’t worth ruining our relationship over. I can be the enforcer with piano practice, nightly reading, baths and bedtime, but I don’t need to be the math czar anymore.” McFarland hired a tutor.
The arts. Schools are redefining what it means to be ‘smart’ through unconventional means: the arts. Research shows studying the arts may not only help students get good grades, but is linked to social and emotional development, problem-solving, cognitive ability, critical thinking, creativity, empathy, innovation, collaboration, leadership, and a wide range of higher-order thinking skills. Reinforcing the benefits of creativity in his ground-breaking book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink argues that creative individuals are the ones poised to become successful and rule the world.
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