The Lessons We Should Teach All Kids Before They Enter a Classroom

Merriam-Webster defines knowledge as “the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association or the acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique.” In other words, knowledge is the collection of skills, facts, and information. It also seems to be the primary reason to send children to school. We want them to learn and to know things, to become knowledgeable, if you will, about the world they live in. We want them to succeed from an educational standpoint, and the environment inside classrooms reinforces this principle.

This mentality starts at a very young age. Elementary-schoolers are exposed to test-taking by the ripe, young age of six with first-grade level spelling tests. Essentially, this test-taking mindset never stops throughout a child’s entire education, and arguably through their entire life.  Children learn very early on that the grade received on a test represents how well the child does or does not master the material. There is a certain degree of validity to test-taking and the assessment of knowledge because we have to be sure that our children are learning, understanding and mastering material before moving on.

But, what happens when kids start comparing grades? What happens when children start realizing they’re actually not as smart as they believed themselves to be? That seemingly insignificant number circled in red pen on their assignment starts to mean a lot more. Their small, little world comes shattering down and crushes their desire to learn along with it.

If test-taking ensures the learning, understanding and mastering of certain skills and information, where is the assessment to make sure this information is actually being processed correctly? Where is the emphasis on the actual enterprises of the mind and not merely just the ability to collect and remember facts and information?

That being said, there are some lessons we should teach all kids before they enter a classroom.

 

Unfortunately, there may never be an accurate and completely foolproof way to fairly measure the actual processes of learning that take place inside children’s minds. But, there is a way to increase the chances of it. This is why we have to, we absolutely must, teach kids the difference between knowledge and intelligence before they enter the classroom. Before they take their first test. Before they get the wrong idea about the purpose of education.

Children must be aware that if knowledge is the collection of information learned in school, intelligence is the application of it. Intelligence is the truer indicator of a person’s cognition, but it’s just harder to measure. The rhetoric and narrative that surrounds children and their need to succeed are founded far too much in the emphasis on knowledge.

So before your kids enter a classroom for the first time, emphasize the fact that the number at the top of any test they ever take doesn’t accurately represent just how smart they truly are. What really matters is the ability to apply information learned in school to other situations. Inform them that their level of intelligence is much more valuable than their ability to collect information. If you do this, you’ll see much more successful results perhaps in school, but especially in life.

Glen and Joya BakerThe Lessons We Should Teach All Kids Before They Enter a Classroom
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3 Amazing Gifts You Give Your Child That Cost Nothing

Throughout the year, there are countless opportunities to show our children that we love them through material gifts. There’s Christmas with its bountiful presents, Easter with its eggs and baskets, birthdays with their cakes and balloons, and countless other occasions where physical goods win out in the war for affection. But, the most impactful of gifts are the ones that last a lifetime. They’re the ones that can’t be bought at the store; they are earned through positive parenting.

There are at least three amazing gifts that you can give your child that cost absolutely nothing.

The Gift of Self-Esteem

First of all, one of the most amazing gifts that you can impart to your child is the gift of self-esteem. Though it’s not something that can be wrapped up and cinched with a bow, it’s truly one of the best presents you can give to your kids.

So, how do you give the gift of self-esteem? It starts and ends with letting your kids do things for themselves. It may be easier to cut their meat for them when they’re little, and it may be even easier (and less terrifying) to drive them everywhere when they’re teens. But, in the end, doing all of those things for your kids hurts them more than it helps either of you. When you let them try (and often fail) on their own, you inadvertently—and purposely—give them the gift of self-esteem.

The Gift of Quality Time

Time is money. Time is priceless. Time can be spent. Time can be wasted. But, when you spend quality time with your children, it’s never wasted. You never want for the money you could have earned when you were reading bedtime stories to your kids.

It only stands to reason, then, that one of the greatest gifts you could give your children is the gift of quality time. Though you could technically put a price tag on the time you spend with them, the experiences you’ll both have together are ultimately worth so much more than any wage could measure up to.

Quality time with your kids is worth the world.

The Gift of Imparted Wisdom

Last, but certainly not least, the gift of imparted wisdom is the ultimate gift that we all give our kids—whether we realize it or not. The wisdom that we place along are not always intentionally imparted, but all the same, just the way our parents taught us about the basic truths of life, so we teach our kids how to be better people.

In the end, we grace our kids with the best (free) gift of all: how to live a value-centered, meaningful life. We hope that they continue that tradition and leave their children with even greater wisdom than we could impart, and in that, we aim to make the world a better and better place with each generation.

The most amazing gift is the gift of a remarkable legacy.

Glen and Joya Baker3 Amazing Gifts You Give Your Child That Cost Nothing
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How to Do Less and Lead More

In most modern businesses, there are essentially two types of leaders. Of course, to be fair, there are thousands upon thousands of ways to classify and slice and dice and categorize leaders, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on two major trends in business leadership. First of all, there are leaders who lead by example; they’re hands-off, and they’d prefer to work themselves to the bone in the hopes that their followers will emulate them. Secondly, in the opposite camp, there are leaders who take the time to lead intentionally. They don’t seem to be doing quite as much as their overactive counterparts, but what you don’t see is the commitment to excellence they embody through their subtle methods.

All of this is not to say either way is necessarily the “right” way to lead, but there are some notable benefits to the method of hands-on, subtle leadership. It’s all in the art of doing less and leading more.

So, how do you do less and lead more? It’s certainly not a simple feat. It takes finesse. It takes communication. More than anything, it takes dedication.

If you’re going to commit to doing less for yourself, if you’re going to put a stop to simply leading by example, then you need to go all in. You need to be there 100 percent in every respect for your followers, for your mentees, for the people you help and coach.

How do you go all in? There’s really no set way to go all in, but at the core of the principle is the idea that this is a calling. To be a leader is a unique vocation, and it’s one that very few truly receive and even fewer answer.

When you feel compelled to lead others, and you answer that call, you have to be willing to make it a priority.

At the end of the day, you will ultimately be doing so much more as a leader, even if you’re nominally doing less. You may not get the glory for your own work, but you’ll have something even better: the satisfaction of knowing you truly led.

Glen and Joya BakerHow to Do Less and Lead More
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