Parents Lead the Way in Strong Success Transitions: How You Can Develop Initiative, Accountability and Follow-through with your Child
Students need strong transitions as they move from elementary school to middle school, middle school to high school, and beyond. They also experience change from year to year or from a holiday break to academic schedule. Each new year brings new people, more rigor, higher expectations, and less space between the student and graduation day. Parents can provide the framework for those successful transitions through high impact after school reading and summer reading enrichment programs.
This is why successful transitions are crucial for successful students. What makes a transition successful? Preparedness, curiosity, familiarity, and support are just some factors in helping a student navigate the unknown. Parent involvement is critical in early childhood development.
In the article “Critical Thinking: A Necessary Skill in the Age of Spin,” former teacher Randy Kasten illustrates why maturing kids are especially in need of critical thinking skills to navigate their changing world.
“….Young people — without significant life experience and anxious to fit in — are especially vulnerable to surface appeal,” says Kasten.
Critical thinking is one skill that can keep kids’ social and emotional pulls to surface appeal in check and help them make well-informed decisions.
Consider the decisions students make from an early age that have the power to impact future outcomes. Kasten lists targeted advertising that creates their buying and eating habits, friends that help them make good or bad decisions, and romantic relationships that do or don’t end well. Strong critical thinking skills help students make healthy choices for their academic, personal, and professional lives. It also gives them the courage to say “no”, manage impulsivity, resist peer pressure and manage conflict diplomatically.
Developing critical thinking skills must be a priority for educators, students, and parents before students leave their K-12 education.
When and where do you see students exercise their critical and creative thinking skills? What is the cost when students aren’t exercising their critical and creative thinking skills?
We know from experience in anything we do, whether setting out on a hike or assembling a bookcase, that we get some advantage over a new situation if we have been properly introduced to it and are given the tools to succeed. But between teaching and testing, many teachers don’t have the time to both teach to academics and prepare students socially and emotionally for the transition.
A successful transition and seamless entry into the next phase of education is in everybody’s best interest. Parents can have summer reading groups using books that asks students to solve today’s biggest problems, by developing an inquisitive mind, strong investigation skills, the ability to ask powerful questions, and the skills to imagine, dream and create. We are working to equalize summer learning opportunities for students by assisting communities, organizations, school districts, and individuals in creating a summer of learning solution that first their students’ needs. Join us and equip your child with the emotional, social, practical and professional skills they need to successfully navigate and thrive in a complex world.
LifeBound is a social impact company dedicated to supporting students personally, academically and professionally through print/digital resources and coaching training for educators. LifeBound’s Student Success and Transition Resources help students cultivate a vision of what’s possible for their future and harness their talents to thrive in the driver’s seat of life-long learning. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Source: “Critical Thinking: A Necessary Skill in the Age of Spin,” by G. Randy Kasten. 2 March 2012. Edutopia. Accessed on 5 March 2012. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/critical-thinking-necessary-skill-g-randy-kasten