This past week we had an extra day off in honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I had the luxury of taking my own children to the DuSable Museum on Saturday, and this got me thinking on all the ways diversity informs our lives and should be celebrated. February is coming up fast, and February is also Black History Month.
There are many ways we can celebrate diversity with our children, especially as they grow older and are able to think more deeply about their diverse world. Here are some suggestions:
What brightens your world or adds sunshine to your life? Maybe it is a co-worker who can turn any day into a smile. Maybe it is a walk in the woods on a cool fall day. Maybe it is hugging your children to bed each night. Our children can be, despite challenging, some of our best moments. Through the hugs, smiles, cute comments, and Kisses, nothing brightens your day like a child.
When you study and learn what brings your child sunshine, take the opportunity to pay back! Find out what makes their sunshine at different times of the day. Their morning sunshine may be different than their weekend sunshine. Watch them, study them, and learn how you can make them happy. In 2016, childhood can be complex. Finding time to be your child's sunshine will bring them resilience and strengthen your bond.
An additional effect of being your child's sunshine is learning. When parents encourage and engage in their children's interest, the children do better in school. Their language blossoms. Their listening comprehension soars. Their math and reading skills bloom. Children who are continually engaged with a close, secure adult relationship are happier and better able to cope with the demands of school.
The link below provides more ideas for how to study your child.
Students who use academic language do better in school. Students who use academic language get better grade. They are taken more seriously. They are more likely to be successful adults. Most children are good at using social language, the language they use to speak to their friends. But they need academic language as they grow to interact better at more formal places, such as the store, church, library, or other community areas.
So what is academic language? Academic language is the words, phrases, and sentence patterns your child needs to use to be more successful in school, college, and at a job. It includes subject specific words, such as those from science, history, and literature. It also includes formal language, typically having more syllables, having many meanings, and the language which illustrates your child is bright.
So how can you help your child use more academic language?
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.