At New Vision Charter School in Loveland, we pride ourselves on providing an exceptional education for every child. From academics to social-emotional growth, from discovering new passions and curiosities to learning who they are as people, our students experience the best school experience with our charter school.
With that being said, a vast part of your child’s growing up experience happens outside of school. From talking with some educators, here are some of the top things that teachers would love for you to teach and practice at home to help your child become the most well-rounded and happy kid possible.
Reading at Home
One of the single most important factors for childhood development and academic success boils down to reading to them. Reading to your child at home isn’t just a bedtime routine — it helps develop early literacy and language skills, which are crucial for their overall growth.
Even as your child no longer requests bedtime stories, it’s still necessary to encourage their reading independently at home. Take frequent trips to your local library, make bookstore trips a treat, engage in conversations, read the same book that your child is reading and talk about it — do what you can to make reading a foundational part of your family.
Perfectionism starts young, and it’s usually something that’s directly modeled from parents. While it might not seem like the worst thing to be a perfectionist, it’s an attribute that can have some pretty negative consequences. Kids can feel like their worth is wrapped up in their achievements (or lack thereof), and this places immense pressure to be the impossible: to be perfect. They’ll often become so stifled in their fear to fail that they won’t want to own up to mistakes or try new things.
Accepting that we are imperfect doesn’t mean we all get a pass on trying to grow. Our charter school doesn’t suddenly want kids thinking “It’s OK that I hit someone — it’s because I’m not perfect.” Accepting imperfection means that it’s OK to make mistakes, because it gives us an opportunity to grow.
As we started to mention, perfectionism is nearly always directly modeled from parents, though most parents have no idea they’re doing it. Own up to when you make mistakes as a parent, talk about how you’re only human, and if you struggle with perfectionism, you can be open about your struggles with it, too. Brené Brown has some wonderful literature, such as “The Gifts of Imperfection,” that every person can find both meaningful and relatable.
Our charter school intentionally put “taking responsibility” beneath “accepting imperfection” because the former can’t happen without the latter.
Owning up to our mistakes, apologizing when necessary, and taking responsibility are some of the greatest virtues a person can have. It takes courage to admit when we’re wrong! But when we see people take responsibility instead of try and get out of a situation, we admire them. Conflict resolution, human connections and relationships, and even growth as a whole cannot happen unless we’re willing to own when we’ve done something wrong.
As always, teaching this skill is a combination of appropriate modeling and open dialogue with your child. Encourage them and give positive feedback when they’re honest. Remind them that there will still be consequences for their actions, but there are positive consequences when they’re truthful.
To explain a bit further, encouraging your child and praising them for their honesty doesn’t give them a free pass from their choices. If they broke their sister’s Lego set and own up to it, you can still praise them while holding them accountable.
Parents often worry about their child being smart enough. They rarely remember that intelligence is nothing without curiosity. Teaching and encouraging curiosity is a lifelong skill that will help your child’s relationship with school and the world as a whole.
Imagine how boring life would be if we thought we knew everything, and if there was nothing to challenge us. Imagine not wondering “why” and “how” when we see something fascinating, or not finding things fascinating in general. Curiosity is so intrinsically linked to joy. It’s essential that we teach our children the values and virtues of being curious.
To do so, model your own curiosity. Answer every question your child has, and if you don’t, say “let’s find out!” Make learning opportunities the fun moments that they are. Take your child into the world and view everything from the lens of intrigue in which it should be viewed. Try new art projects, science experiments, sports, activities — try it all!
Kindness and Empathy
These are two that should go without saying, but are good reminders for all of us to practice! Empathy is a tricky thing to teach, partially because a child’s brain isn’t developed to think empathetically until they’re about nine or 10 years old. But getting in proper practice is what helps us solidify those connections by the time our brains are ready to catch up.
Some important things to note about teaching kindness and empathy: It’s easy to be kind to people who are our friends, but true kindness is ready to show itself to anyone, regardless of our connection with them. Empathy requires us not to look down at a person or look up at a person, but to put ourselves in their shoes and think about things from their point of view. As always, modeling, practicing, coaching, and encouraging are your number one tools as a parent or guardian.
Provide The Best in Education With New Vision Charter School
You can trust in New Vision Charter School to reiterate these essential lessons in the classroom. After all, we are a charter school that was founded by parents, much like yourself, who want to give their children the best possible education. Learn more about the enrollment process for your elementary or middle schooler, and get in touch with us to get started! We’re excited to hear from you.