At this time of year many parents are discussing next year’s plans for their children’s education. Private schools are advertising advanced discount rates. Home education curriculum publishers are filling e-mail boxes with sales pitches.
Before you let the advertisers decide what is best for your family, sit down and discuss what your goals are for each of your children. Is the current educational placement meeting or supporting those goals? If so, then you may continue down the current path. However, if it is not, then you need to seriously consider what needs to be changed and how that change can be attained.
Some consider private schooling to be the appropriate arrangement. These parents may be concerned about the subject matter being taught or the environment that is affecting their children in their current setting.
Others may consider home education as the proper alternative. They want control over the subject matter being taught. These parents also wish for their children to interact with all age groups, not just their peers.
Any setting for a child’s education must be taken seriously. The pros and cons of each must be weighed carefully. Whatever direction parents decide to take will greatly influence the future attitudes, work ethics, and actions of their children.
Any authority that you place over your children will lead them in a certain direction. Is that the direction you prefer? You must decide.
As a teacher I realized that my students needed more than just an assignment. They needed direction in completing that assignment to my satisfaction. I gave them a handout with the information in Part I Think! (previous post) along with the continuation below.
However, I just didn’t hand them the paper. I discussed each point thoroughly, giving them examples and encouraging them to keep the paper in their folders.
When my students felt they could go no further, we would discuss the items on the handout to get them thinking about what they could do to move forward in their assignments.
There are many types of assignments students will encounter. My goal was to help them discover how to process an assignment of any type and plan a method to complete it properly. Hopefully, these bullet points will be helpful to you and your students.
- Look for the information you need to solve the problem, to help you understand the information, to help you complete a project, etc. Look at problems as a challenge that you can conquer, one step at a time.
- Organize your thoughts.
- Where are you going?
- What do you want to end up with?
- How much time do you have to solve the problem, read the book, write the report, etc.
- Make a plan, schedule, list, etc.
- How will you implement your plan?
- What do you need to implement your plan?
- Redeem the time.
- Do the work, step by step.
- Check your work after each step.
- Do the best you can. If you truly did your best, you can be proud of your accomplishments.
When I taught at a local private school, I would give my students a handout. The purpose of the handout was to help them with their assignment schedules.
It wasn’t that my students couldn’t think for themselves. They were just immature in their thinking abilities.
Let’s face it. Sometimes we all get stuck. When we are headed toward a deadline, we may get confused and panic which reduces our ability to think clearly. That happens with our students also.
So, to help with this, I would like to share some of the ideas I passed on to my students. Maybe they will help you in your schooling activities.
- Make a mental picture of the information. Create a mental picture in your mind. If necessary, draw a picture on paper.
- How does this relate to what I already know? Relate the problem to something you are already familiar with or to something you have already experienced.
- Think out loud. Sometimes it helps to talk out loud to yourself or to someone else. Saying your thoughts out loud helps you to think things through, make wise decisions, plans, etc. Plans will come together. Ask yourself if this answer makes sense. Is this a good idea or not?
- Make a chart or a graph. Make diagrams, lists, etc.
- Brainstorm. On projects, seek out as many possibilities as you can before you make a decision. Then follow through with your decision.
- Ask a lot of questions. Ask yourself questions. Ask others questions. Do you still think your plan will work? Is it a good idea? Can it be implemented? Do you have enough information? Your first idea may not work. Don’t give up. Keep at it.
I’ll continue this on the next post. Hope the thought processes discussed thus far will give you direction when you face that next difficult assignment.
As I was working on my Goodread’s page I began thinking about the books I was reading or attempting to read. It seems I always have several by my bedstead waiting to be picked up again. I guess they get lonely and start calling out my name. I feel compelled to pick one up and read a few pages.
One book (set of two actually) that I have wanted to finish is The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. A writing of over twenty years collected and translated for us (thankfully in English) to read and discover the day to day treatment of those who lived under the Soviet Union’s regime.
It describes in vivid detail the false imprisonments, labor camps, inhumane treatment of citizens, and propaganda that terrorized and help captive those under the icy fingers of Communism.
This book is a must-read for all educated citizens, no college student should leave school without it. You might want to add it to your teenager’s reading list.
Did you hear the latest message? Have you ever been asked that question and suddenly realized you couldn’t recall what the message was about? It happens to all of us. Sometimes life’s difficulties commandeer our focus and derail us from the track where our minds are suppose to be traveling. The bumps shake us up and suddenly our focus returns to the important.
Thoughts, like weeds, pop up in the most unusual places.