After School Advantage: Preparation
Thank you for joining us again for our second segment in the series. Today we talk about Preparation and why Preparation is a must.
Do you remember when you had your child? That beautiful baby, that no matter where you went, you ensured the baby bag with everything they needed was also there. Well, it still continues …. Our little ones still need us to prepare in advance for them.
This preparation however; is mental, emotional and environmental.
Initially the mental preparation I had in mind had to do with a shift in mindset. This shift would be positively viewing you, the parent, in the educator’s role and the educator in a supplemental/support role.
Since times have changed, we no longer can drop off our beloved children at school to learn so that means you, the parent, have to conduct schooling at home whichever way you’ve chosen. You now have to be more participative in the process of their education. And, with the knowledge gained from the child development segment, we know what to expect from them and what we can do with them.
In doing research about mindset shifts, I discovered a Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, who also spoke about mindsets. In her case, she believed that there were 2 mindsets that influenced how successful a person was, that is, fixed or growth mindsets. She believed that people with more of a fixed mindset believed that intelligence and artistic or creative talent was fixed. That you had to be born with it. People with a growth mindset, however, believe that with studies and hard work, persons can improve their intelligence and develop new talents so that problems are challenges to overcome and opportunities to learn new skills. This is the mindset we wish to build in ourselves and our children.
The most important way that you can encourage a growth mindset is to praise the efforts in the process rather than the actual result. We promote a love for learning rather than how smart the child is.
Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?
We also have to deal with this emotionally, we want to have a positive outlook on this and schedules and routines help. But essentially the goal is to look forward to enjoying the time with them.
Now let’s look at the Environment, first let’s examine their workspace area.
Yes they need to have an area that’s special for them. It could be the dining room table, a desk and chair in their room, any room but at a certain time, it becomes their work space. There are so many different situations, that the important thing is to use what you have, to set up what works best for you. Another important thing is to ensure that the area is free from distractions. No TV, no toys out or other people around.
So how is it set up by you? Do you have your child near to you? Or are they in a separate area? How is that working? Do you need to switch it around and perhaps set boundaries?
Quick Tip: If you are using child size equipment, ensure that the child’s feet are on the ground and their elbows to the table make a 90 degree angle for proper posture.
As for materials, make sure that you’ve placed their craft and school supplies in a box or container that they can easily access.
So now that we’ve examined how prepared you’ve been in terms of mindset and environment, let’s move onto Schedules and routines.
Head over to After School Advantage on Dairy Dairy’s Facebook page for more on Surviving with preschoolers during this time.