At the beginning of this past school year at Horizon Prep, Bob Goff joined us at our opening school assembly. As always, he was funny, engaging, and shared a great encouragement to the students about loving one another. Over the summer, the staff is reading his book, Everybody Always. Sure, it is not about classical educational philosophy, but challenges readers to love others to the point of it being uncomfortable.
In southern Namibia, there rests a ghost town named Kolmanskop. In 1908, a German company was building a railroad through the region when a worker discovered diamonds spread along the ground, which could be seen with even in the moonlight. Prospectors quickly flocked to the area. What's amazing is for the first several years, diamonds were being picked up off the desert floor! By 1912 an entire town had sprung up in the middle of the desert with a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, casino, theater and more. But when the easily picked diamonds were gone, and mining became more difficult, the population moved on to other diamond finds on the African continent.
My family spends many hours in the car during the summer, just like many of you - heading to soccer or basketball tournaments, visiting the grandparents in Palm Desert, or simply a quick trip to the beach. I love these times because the kids are in the car and we have (or can get) their undivided attention, and we take advantage. One of our rules is that each person only gets to be on their phones about half the time, and the phones are put away completely for short trips.
For some, being on time comes rather easy, but adding children into the equation can challenge even the most punctual parent. This seems most apparent in the daily gauntlet of getting out of the door and to school before the bell rings (breakfast not included). Here are some hints to help us minimize the last minute delays that may keep us from the benefits of being on time.
“Mom, that’s not due until next week!”
“I’ll have plenty of time to work on that later.”
“Our teacher said the essay is due at the end of the quarter.”
“Do I have to work on that now? No one else is!”
“I’m so tired! Can I please wait until tomorrow?”
Have you heard anything like this from your children before? If so, then congratulations because your family is completely normal! Procrastination is the default setting for most people’s way of thinking and way of life, however, it’s not typically the best way to accomplish goals or achieve great things. Like most life skills children will mimic what they observe, and so the task of teaching our children about procrastination and its downfalls rests upon our shoulders as parents. Here are a few ways to help teach children to steer clear of procrastination and instead teach the art of accomplishment.
This past summer, one of our amazing teachers, Stephanie Malme, went back to Uganda with some of her students to help, serve and visit their Compassion International connections. Ms. Malme’s story is one that reminds us of the great opportunities we’ve been given here at Horizon Prep.
Sometimes when we begin something, the excitement and newness of it all can carry us quite far, but towards the end, things can get tough. For our kids, the school year can feel much the same. Here are some encouraging tips for us as parents on how we can teach and encourage our children the challenges and the rewards of finishing well.
What’s the one thing that can make the biggest difference in getting your little one ready for school and a life of successful learning? It’s simple, fun, and provides hours of quality time: IT'S READING!
From an educational preparedness point of view, one of the best things you can do for your young children is to sit on the floor with them in your lap and read book after book together. Here are a few tips to creatively create some great reading time at home or on the move.
It’s a common scene we are all too familiar with. You can be in a restaurant, a shopping mall, on the sports field, in line at the grocery store, or even in your own home and you notice everyone’s head tilted down, their attention affixed to their smartphone. Let's admit it, we’ve probably all been a part of a similar scene ourselves and heard the speech about the need to stop looking at our screens so much and start looking at each other.
More often than not, what has captured our attention (and the attention of our children) is a text or an email, a news story or a headline, or a funny video or photo of a puppy someone has posted on social media. There is a very fine line between the convenience our smartphones provide for us and the distraction that they can so easily become.
When it comes to choosing what to do in their free time, studying is probably not at the top of most children’s list. It’s most likely not even on their list. Most children and teenagers spend around seven hours a day in school, and so their first instinct when they come home is not to crack open their math book and start plugging away at algebraic equations. Yet studying is an essential part of maintaining good grades, being prepared for tests, and retaining all of that information that students need as they advance in their studies. Whether your child is five or seventeen, here are a few helpful tips in teaching them to practice having good study habits.