Do you have a hard time determining what to give your children for Christmas? You are not alone. People tell me it’s getting harder every year. I recall being very impressed with my little toy truck, when I was a youngster. Not so much today. The affluence around us causes our children to expect increasingly greater material gifts. It’s time to go retro.
Try things that involve time, not money. Do things together. It may be hard at first, because we’re not used to it. Play some “old fashioned” games like Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders. What about cards? Who does that anymore? It can be very educational, and the participants actually look at each other. Think of something to build together. Literally, the sky is the limit. The point is that you are spending time rather than money. You may have to think about this and use your creativity, but give it a try. This Christmas, I am planning to give the gift of time.
Don’t get involved in the competition of who can give the most amazing gift. That’s already been done. God has given us the gift of his Son, and we can never top that. Take time to worship and thank him for that gift of eternal life through Jesus.
Have a blessed Christmas,
A recent study by Northeastern University in Boston attempted to determine how schools and parents could close the gap between what is expected by state testing and what’s expected by future employers. So what are the skills expected by employers? In the 2016 study referenced here, 80% of employers responding are looking for leadership skills. The second highest skill, at 79%, is that of communication.
I believe one of the benefits of having students in small classes is that they can experience leadership opportunities in a safe environment. Students have the opportunity to communicate with peers as they present reports and projects. It’s also why we emphasize writing so heavily -- to ensure students have a solid grasp on written communication.
At home you can ask your child why or how they are doing something. Give them the time to explain it completely, allowing them time to revise their sentences as needed. It’s valuable to do this both orally and in written form. Encourage them to write notes of thanks or apology (even to siblings), a diary, or a journal. As older children learn a skill, give them the opportunity to teach that skill to younger children. At school we reinforce these skills by partnering older students with younger students as reading buddies, but you can do the same at home.
We are all leaders in some area of our life and need to be prepared for that. As parents, you are leaders of your children. God has placed you in this position, and hopefully your children will someday be parent/leaders as well.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal