Naturally, school becomes a place that puts emphasis on our academic achievements. Assignments, projects, tests, checking in, report cards, the list goes on and on. As parents we want to know how our child is doing academically, how they compare to other students their age, and what we can do to help them along. Students are taught hard to try their best and work hard. What does trying your best mean and how can you support your child at home?
As a teacher and a mom of four young children, including twins, I truly see how every child learns differently. Even my twins learn differently, it is so amazing to watch! Of course, I have always known this in my own classroom, but as a parent it can be hard not to compare my own children at times. Let me tell you, they are all so very different. Even as a teacher, my own children have really been the best reminder to me that children learn and grow differently, they all have something special about them, and sometimes it isn’t about the achievement. As my children grow and talk about learning at home, these key points often come up:
- We all learn differently, and that is ok. What might be easy for one person to learn could be really difficult for someone else. What you find difficult might be easy for someone else. Everyone has something that they are good at!
- Just try your best and don’t give up. Some things are difficult. Some things take time. You’ll get there, you can do hard things, even if it takes some extra time!
- Be patient and kind to everyone. Help others when you can. Take time to connect with the people in your life.
I find these conversations with my young children to be great reminders for myself at school too!
Speaking of everyone being good at something, we also know that EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is an important part of learning. In fact, EQ can be used to predict academic achievement, and children with a greater EQ appear to perform better academically.
Empathy is one of the most important aspects of EQ. Empathy has been described as an affective response to another person’s situation or as an awareness of the feelings of others. Children learn empathy at home, during sports, in the classroom, and anywhere social interaction occurs. It makes me wonder though, is it built in? Even my babies have shown empathy! Now twin toddlers, it’s adorable watching them notice each other's feelings and show empathy towards each other. We need to keep modeling it for them though! As a parent and a teacher, I love seeing empathy in kids!
Developing empathy in children can promote perspective taking, tolerance and compassion, but it can also make students better readers, writers, and communicators. Generally, the literature suggests that increasing empathy can provide students with the skills to improve communication and socialization and increase their academic success.
At Wes Hosford, we focus on doing the right thing even when no one is looking. We’re teaching our students to feel good about themselves, to think about others, and to feel the intrinsic rewards that come along with the virtues we’ve been practicing.
Our students are ready for successful learning. At home and school, we are a great team to keep building this together.
Please reach out if you have any questions or need to chat!