How many times have you helped your child with algebra homework and heard, “But I’m never going to use this in real life!” We as adults know that we have to solve for X or Y all of the time – planning out our schedules, budgeting, or cutting wood for a project. But there’s also a valuable lesson to be learned in sticking to a subject that is tough and solving a problem you don’t necessarily want to solve. Here’s how we can help our kids look at schoolwork as a foundation for life:
Classics of Literature
For children who find reading a challenge – or at least, reading an assigned book written hundreds of years ago – English class is a struggle. Help your student remember that reading works from the past is like peeking through a window in time. Everything from the language, to the technology, to the themes paints a picture of a different era, practically like going through a time machine. Appreciating history, different cultures, and great stories makes us more thoughtful and deep.
We’ve all stared at a blank page or screen in resignation. For some students, writing a three-paragraph paper feels nearly impossible. In those moments, remind your children the value of communication. Consider a time that they didn’t feel heard – during a fight with a sibling, or an unfair exchange with a coach – and help them outline what they would have wanted to say. Or, pick an action hero, movie, or band that you know they dislike and tell them that it’s the best and to change your mind (in a paper).
Even as adults, some of us remember PE class with nostalgia, wishing dodgeball could be a regular part of our everyday lives now. And some of us cringe and sigh with relief that PE is buried in the past. Everyone needs to learn to lose – or win – well, work with a team, and practice new skills. Spinning a basketball on your finger or juggling a few balls in the air won’t necessarily come in handy for most adults, but they are some good party tricks for a backyard barbeque!
Beakers, safety goggles, and dissecting organs might seem reserved for a lab and textbook. But remind your student that every time we cook or bake, we are participating in a science experiment. With (hopefully) delicious results! And understanding the way our bodies work or the world around us operates requires the scientific process of testing theories and coming to conclusions.
The next time homework feels like another task in a long to-do list, remind your kids that schoolwork is the foundation for life. A future that is rich, meaningful, and exciting!
At Self Development Academy, we view schoolwork as a foundation for life. We align our curriculum to standards set by the Arizona Department of Education, and then we go a few steps further. Our rigorous and accelerated curriculum is captivating and challenging. If you are looking for an excellent charter school for your children’s education, contact us. Self Development Academy is recognized as one of the best K-8 charter schools nationwide. We have several campuses in Arizona: Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa and Glendale. Find email and phone numbers here. We can’t wait to hear from you!