Today, many American children are falling further and further behind in their education because of cuts to school funding. With fewer factory jobs in the United States, a good education has become essential to finding well-paying jobs in today's information and tech-driven economy. Tomorrow's economy will be even more competitive and Americans will compete for jobs globally. All parents want their child to realize the American dream. However, schools do not – on their own – determine whether children have what they need to be successful. Parents are in the driver's seat when it comes to how their children's time is spent outside of the classroom. They can make a huge difference in their child's future by avoiding these common mistakes.
Allow too much "screen time"
The average American child spends 28 hours a week watching TV, which works out to 1,456 hours a year and 24,752 hours by age 18 (assuming they start their first birthday, which many do). 24752 hours, that's about 2 years and 9 months of their childhood watching TV. Time in front of the TV is NOT time spent on: reading, exercising, doing puzzles, drawing, playing with other children, doing homework and others activities that help a child learn and grow as a person. During the time most kids are watching TV, they could have learned a second language or earned a black belt in karate!
Not making sure your child reads daily
In New York City, about 75% of public high school students who enroll in community colleges must take remedial math or English classes before they can start working at the university level. At the very least, this means that students, or their parents, have to pay for additional courses on top of the usual tuition fees. According to National Association of Education Today, the only way children can become good readers is through practice. Even small amounts of reading each week add up over the years.
Neglect the arts
Many parents believe art and music are 'frills' and don't realize that the arts can have a major impact on other areas of learning. In a U.C.L.A. Study of Chicago-area schools, elementary students who attended schools where the arts were integrated into the classroom curriculum outperformed their math peers who were not in the curriculum. Over 60% of these students, involved in the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, passed grade level or above on the math section of the Iowa Basic Skills Test, compared with 40% of their peers (who might falling more and more behind each. an). Any artistic activity, from painting, to visiting local art museums, to music lessons, can have lasting benefits for developing the mind.
So how can parents provide better learning opportunities outside of the classroom?
Here are some suggestions that cost little or nothing in time or money:
Limit or eliminate T.V. Most parents won't get rid of TV entirely, but putting clear limits on viewing time – like no TV on school evenings – will force kids to find other activities to keep them busy. have fun (or finish their schoolwork). Some parents worry that as soon as they turn off the television their children will complain that they are bored, but boredom is often needed as a motivator to get the child to get along with it. have fun productively – finding a new hobby, playing a board game. with their siblings or participate in sports.
Go to the library at least once a month. Almost all American homes have access to a nearby public library, and many have an interlibrary loan system to provide access to books that their library does not stock. Many have a children's librarian who can recommend good books and help them find them on the shelves. Parents pay taxes for these services, so why not use them?
Start your child on an art project. It can be as simple as setting pencils and paper on the kitchen table and getting them to draw pictures, asking them to make a homemade birthday card, or decorating cookies with sugar. colorful icing and candy. There are books with kids' projects in the local library and plenty of free online sites to give parents and kids ideas for activities. Just looking at different types of painting exposes a child to different arts and broadens their horizons.