Lets start by not talking about homework. What sets achievers apart?
- their willingness to put in extra effort, when everyone else relaxes, down tools, get distracted, the achiever will relentlessly pursue their goals.
- sheer grit to achieve a result
- the edge you have over other people will be the amount of effort you put into something. If you read more, practice more, reflect more, seek more advice, open yourself to more feedback, open yourself to criticism, learn, adapt, dodge, sprint, selflessly help others - you will slowly tip odds in your favor of achieving your goals.
I'm pretty sure people will argue some of the above points, but if you read enough biographies you will find that successful people do tend to display those qualities.
So how does homework help with this?
- Essential skill to build resilience, determination
- Essential in the formation of a habit that breeds success
- Success is mostly sheer determination, doggedness, willpower, grit.
Homework helps students by complementing and reinforcing classroom learning,
fostering good lifelong learning and study habits, and providing an opportunity for
students to be responsible for their own learning.
Students benefit from completing homework regularly. Homework helps them develop
organizational and time-management skills, self discipline, skills in using out-of-school
resources, and personal responsibility for learning
Note that learning should never stop, and definitely should be on-going all the way through adulthood. The ability to learn new skills, improve current skills, even taking the time to understand a subject in greater depth are core development priorities that adults should practice.
By starting kids with homework and making it a simple habit it will set them on this path.
What types of homework are there?
3 types of homework
How to do homework?
There is literally a metric bucket-load of resources on the net on effective study techniques. Choose some, review them and put together what works for you and your child.
SO what hacks can we start applying?
- Do YOUR homework at the same time as your child. Show a commitment to learning.
- Take a course on how to learn. COURSERA have an awesome free online course.
- Encourage your child to ask the teachers what will be covered next. Read ahead in textbooks, pre-read materials being studied. Pre-read material from multiple sources.
Globalization threatens to eat up many jobs in the future. Jobs that will go to lower paid but highly skilled workers. When you think about the skills that will be needed to secure your child's future, I just cant help but think that Leadership is right up there at the front and center.
Every business needs leaders. Every charity, non profit, sporting team, army unit, club, reading group etc etc. The quality of leadership is required everywhere.
What are leadership qualities?
- Wide eyed (Listen to all sides, encourages all opinions, considers all options)
- Not prejudiced
- Tactical when required
These are just off the top of my head what I would say make a great leader.
I believe good Leaders encourage, cajole, plead, assist, communicate, negotiate, plan, execute, and generally manage up and down in a way that is as helpful to everyone involved as possible. Also in my opinion is that Bad leaders threaten, demand, abuse, stonewall, avoid responsibility, reject feedback, avoid action, ass-kiss, obscure, mislead. You know the type.
How do we instill leadership qualities in our children? Practice: lots and lots of practice.
- Responsible for organizing a formal dinner
- Organizing a family weekend away somewhere
- Organize a gathering of neighbors for a BBQ
- Responsible for keeping the house clean for a week (practice delegation, motivation, organization, quality control)
- Responsible for all the family's meals for a week.
- Organizing a play, recital, performance, debate, dance display.
- Organize a sporting event
- Organizing a park cleanup
- Organize a recital for an elderly group
After each of these, take the time to reflect on how these went. See what went well, what didn't go so well, where improvements could have been made. Celebrate the success and the mishaps. They are awesome learning experiences. Use the checklist at the top of this piece as a starting point to talk about how your child demonstrated leadership qualities.
There will eBook or an eCourse forthcoming covering all these leadership qualities, and how we can begin to instill them in our kids.
This is such a large topic, it just needs to be fleshed out.
There is an awesome new talk on TED delivered by Judson Brewer about Habits, highlighting a simple and powerful means of breaking the Habit Cycle. It is titled "A simple way to break a bad habit".
Essentially the hack is to be mindful of the bad habit in all three stages of Trigger - Action - Result.
So .. for example if you compulsively get up off the couch in an ad break and head to the refrigerator to look for a snack; Judson's clinical findings are that if you are mindful at each step you have a good chance to help break that habit..
Just this act of thinking about each step of the habit cycle apparently has enormous benefit if you are trying to break a bad habit. initially, don't even try and stop yourself from doing whatever it is you want to stop - the power in this technique is to monitor your thoughts and feelings as you go through the motions of the habit.
I suspect this technique engages the conscious part of your brain and sends signals to the sub-conscious part that you are technically not happy about what it is making you do. By doing this repeatedly it may help to re-wire or short-circuit the auto response from the sub-conscious mind. I will investigate further on this for sure!
There is actually a great playlist of talks all about habits on TED. Check some of them out .. its fascinating stuff.
I will be putting together a complete article on Habits - what they are, how they affect our thinking and actions, how to break habits, how to form good habits.
Of course, there will be some simple but powerful hacks that we can apply to teach our kids.
In the meantime - how about we try this out.
Pick a bad habit and next time you catch yourself (hopefully at the trigger stage) you can think about how you feel as you are going through the process and acting out your habit. Do it every time you are in the grip of the habit and after a week or two see if you are closer to tricking your brain out of the habit.
Always on the lookout for the ultimate Kid Hacks