Ready for Kindergarten Day Sixteen: Do Your Best
Today’s kindergarten skill can be tough for many children to grasp. It seems like so much of today’s culture is centered around “winning.” From a young age, kids begin to consider those things which are the fastest as the best. Everyday tasks turn into competitions and contests, as kids race to brush their teeth before their siblings or see who can shovel down their carrots first. Undoing some of a child’s innate drive to compete can be a daunting task.
School is NOT a Race
When I was in elementary school, I would race through every test and every assignment – hoping to slam my pencil down first, or be the first person to reach the turn-in basket. In my mind, being first or the fastest meant I was the best. I was more concerned with speed than accuracy.
We need to instill in our children that there is no prize for finishing “first.” Being FAST, is not the same as doing your BEST. Encourage your child to take their time, slow down, and always check for understanding. Make sure they know that it is more important to thoroughly understand an assignment and work through every step to the best of their ability, than it is to do their work fast.
School is NOT a Competition
Today’s children (and adults!) don’t always understand that we are each blessed with different talents, understandings, and abilities. The accomplishments and abilities of others weigh too heavily on us. Our children may see what others in their class are doing, and feel that inner competitive drive kick in, and try to “beat” them. What we need to teach our children is that school is not about “winning”….it’s about LEARNING. Kids don’t need more pressure heaped on top of them. Don’t tell your five year old he has to be his high school’s valedictorian or show disappointment when she isn’t in the top reading group. If your child is putting forth his/her best effort, accept that as enough.
Principles To Teach Your Child
1. Always make sure you understand the directions.
2. Ask questions if you’re not sure what to do.
3. Take your time. Think about your answers or the words on the page as you work.
4. Stop and think about what you just worked on or read. If you have any questions or are unsure about what you did, ask!
5. Once you think you are finished, check your work. Make sure you followed all of the directions and did your best.
6. Don’t pay attention to what your classmates are doing. Someone else’s best is not YOUR best. Do what YOU can do.
And the most important principle of all….
7. Your teacher and parents are proud when you do all that YOU can do. You are special, unique, and have ideas and talents like no one else. If you are doing your best work, it’s enough.
This post is part of the Ready for Kindergarten series on Chasing Supermom. Click HERE to find all of the other great kindergarten related posts!