The preschool teachers at Divine Savior Academy work with hundreds of families with preschoolage children who are looking to improve the home-school connection to enhance their child’s educational experience.
In response, we have begun a voluntary parent-teacher book club for parents of young children. Parents and preschool lead teachers will meet four evenings throughout the school year and focus on seven necessary life skills that author Ellen Galinsky identifies and describes in her book, Mind in the Making.
By the end of the year, each primary skill will have been discussed in depth, including foundational research and practical, everyday tips to encourage growth:
Focus and self-control are foundation skills that can be promoted in a child’s everyday play. Young children can learn to flexibly adjust their attention and switch their perspectives to allow for greater learning.
Perspective taking is the social/emotional ability of children to understand what teachers, peers, and parents expect of them. Research shows that a child’s adjustment to a kindergarten environment is much more successful if they have this skill.
Communication skills are paramount. Verbal language and reading skills at a young age can be developed through a child’s social interactions with parents and teachers.
Making connections are skills that help young children evaluate and analyze their surroundings so that they can make sense of the world around them. Games and activities capitalize on a child’s inherent curiosity and help them to make comparisons and recognize similarities and differences.
Critical thinking skills are complex, higher thinking skills that allow children to determine problems, set goals, attempt solutions, and evaluate results. Hands-on learning, experimentation, and individual exploration are the keys to developing these skills in young children.
Challenge taking is a skill that can only be developed as a child moves towards independence. Appropriate levels of stress and challenges provide motivation and intrinsic rewards for children as they increase their overall abilities.
Self-directed and engaged learning creates a community of self-motivated learners who participate in and initiate experimental, hands-on, and active learning experiences. The learning is intrinsic and child-centered, with teachers and parents guiding and supporting this basic foundation to enhance the educational experience.
For more information, visit www.DivineSaviorAcademy.com or tel. Shawna Mehlberg, Preschool Director, at (305) 597-4545 ext. 108.
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