American children are facing an uphill battle to develop the smarts they need to succeed in life as our country emerges from the COVID 19 pandemic. A study from Brown University discovered that babies born during the pandemic have lower cognitive abilities than babies born before it began.
These lower abilities are related to reduced stimulation and social interactions with others. If you’re ready to set your child up to win, read these parenting tips on how to raise smart children.
How to Raise Smart Children
Raising smart children isn’t only about them getting good report cards at school. It’s a journey that starts when they’re babies. This is how you can start.
Talk to Your Baby
Look into your baby’s eyes and talk to them often, in loving tones. Speaking often to your child increases their non-verbal abilities like understanding numbers and reasoning. You’re also exposing them to new words that will eventually increase their vocabulary.
Read To Them – A Lot!
Reading to your toddlers every night before bed will also help develop their vocabulary. You can also engage them by talking about the books you read together. Ask them to point out shapes, animals, or people on every page.
As they get older, ask them what they thought of a story or how it made them feel inside. This teaches them how to explore their ideas and charge their mental growth.
Teach Social Skills
Research shows a positive relationship between a child’s social skills and their academic success later in life. Teach your child skills like sharing their toys or resolving problems with their friends. These skills will lay the building blocks for collaborating with teachers and instructors well into the future.
Studies show that self-discipline is a key habit for children to achieve academic success. Self-discipline has a bigger effect on a child’s academic achievements than their IQ level will.
Students with high levels of discipline are more likely to have fewer absences and receive higher grades. These students know that academic success won’t come their way unless they focus and avoid any outside distractions.
Minimize Screen Time
Excessive screen time has been linked to childhood behavioral problems, obesity, and irregular sleep patterns. All of these outcomes reduce your child’s ability to concentrate on learning. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that screen time for your child should be no more than two hours a day.
Encourage Artistic Abilities
Artistic abilities can include not only painting and drawing but musical abilities as well. Creating physical art encourages creativity and spatial awareness.
Playing music encourages your child’s sense of expression and confidence. Listening to music will also promote your child’s intelligence and brain development.
Playing musical instruments, like doing art, can also encourage your child’s sense of expression and creativity. There’s also research that suggests simply listening to music encourages brain development and intelligence.
Provide Unstructured Play Time
Unstructured playtime will allow your children to develop their own imaginations. Try to avoid overloading their days with scheduled events. Give them at least one hour a day to play by themselves.
Understand Different Learning Styles
There are different types of learning styles associated with different types of intelligence. For example, your child could be a “verbal learner” by talking about what they do or hear. Other children are “spatial” learners who learn best when they can directly touch things.
Be aware of these different learning styles. Then you’ll find the right learning strategies and activities that will help them achieve their potential.
Choosing a School Format for Your Child
Parents may not realize it yet, but there are many different types of schools that they can choose from when it’s time to enroll their kids. These schools have learning environments that address unique learning styles. Here’s a few of them listed below.
Public schools are available to all children living within the school’s district. Public schools receive funding from local, state, and federal governments.
Public schools will admit any student who lives within their district’s boundaries. A public school’s curriculum is developed by either the state or the local school district.
Montessori schools provide a curriculum that emphasizes child-centered learning, collaborative play, and hands-on learning. Children work at a self-directed pace on activities. Studies show that students in a montessori school perform at higher academic levels than students at public schools.
A charter school is an independently, operated public school that’s launched by teachers, parents, and community organizations. Some charter schools specialize in a particular area, such as the arts or technology.
Charter schools enjoy more freedoms than public schools. This format allows teachers and parents to innovate and provide their students with more educational choices.
Magnet schools are another example of a public school. Unlike a traditional public school, they tend to be highly selective and very competitive.
These schools will concentrate on specific subjects like science, the arts, or technology. Magnet schools tend to encourage enrollment from diverse ethnic, economic, and economic backgrounds.
Special Education School
A special education school focuses on children with special needs. These special needs range from ADHD to autism spectrum disorder.
Special education schools have teachers and programs that know how to meet these special learning needs. These needs range from physical accommodations to specialized attention.
There are over 2 million students in the US who receive their formal education in their own homes. Parents can use a curriculum created by educational companies that specialize in homeschool materials.
Sometimes parents will develop their own curriculum. They also have the choice to leverage a virtual school program if they think that’s the best format for their child.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Start raising smart children, even in their early years. Hold your baby close and talk to them regularly. If you can’t think of what to say, you can do something as easy as reciting the alphabet or counting to ten.
Learn to recognize your child’s learning style early. Plug them into those activities that resonate with that style.
For more parenting advice on how to raise smart children, check our website. We’re here to help you with the most important job you’ll ever have.