Hillary, Sara & I all attended the American Montessori Society Annual Conference this past weekend and learned many amazing things! In most of the classes we attended we learned new thing to incorporate in to the classroom, such as brain development, mindfulness exercises, art, music, movement & nature studies. But we did take a few classes that we received information that may be valuable to you and your family.
One class that I took was called Eat, Play, Read: Helping Parents Create Strategies for Success. It covered current research that shows basic things that parents can do to help children succeed socially, emotionally and academically.
- The first one was to eat dinner with the whole family at least 4 nights a week…no TV, phone or other distractions. This teaches children grace & courtesies but also how to read non verbal cues, which studies show is one of the top ranking abilities for successful people. It also shows the child they are valued.
- Play, children need at least 120 minutes of unstructured outdoor play a day for brain development. Studies showed that this unstructured time allows for children to become bored and then creative. The creativity and problem solving skills they gain are also some of the top qualities people need to be successful in any profession.
- The last thing that parents can do to help their children is to read to them every night!
Another big thing I learned from one of our keynote speakers is how much an emotional connection matters…more than the academics, or extracurricular activities or anything else we place value on, having a emotional connection with your child matters most. He said the best advise teachers can give parents is to just love them!!!