Dr. Connie Hebert helps kids, parents, and teachers by helping them become experts at catching "the teachable minute" anytime, anywhere! My Teachable Minute Blog offers quick tips on how to engage with younger and older kids. Comments, questions, and reflections are always welcome . . . let's catch a million teachable minutes together!

Archive for November, 2012

Saturday Morning…Perfect

Why are Saturday mornings perfect for catching ‘the teachable minute?’

Because kids’ brains are most ‘teachable’ in the mornings…most alert, receptive, and uncluttered.

Here are some ways you can use ‘the teachable minute,’ in between cartoons and video games, of course:)

1. Magnetic letters on the fridge are ‘teachers’…use them to show kids how words work. Examples: an/man/sand/stand or my/try/fly/dry or for/fort/form/forming/forms or other/mother/brother. Good teachers!

2. Call out verbal math equations. You say, “3 + 5” and child says, “8.” You say, “- 4” (child has to subtract 4 from 8). Child says, “4.” You say, “x 5. Child says “20.” So…you are simultaneously building thinking and listening skills.
Cool and fun!

3. Take kids to the car wash. Show them the tracks for the tires, the various robotic machines, and the different processes. Build vocabulary while they watch by naming everything you see. Oh, and no cell phones allowed in car washes! Precious teachable minutes thrive in the car wash!

Catch the power of Saturday mornings with kids! Hope these ideas are helpful.

More coming in my new book for new parents: The Teachable Minute: The Secret to Raising Smart and Appreciative Kids. Stay tuned!!

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Teaching Kids to Be Thankful

One of the best things we can teach kids is the practice of thankfulness. Here are 3 great ways to do this:

1. Hang chart paper on the fridge or kitchen wall. Let it be a ‘parking lot’ for writing lots and lots of things to be thankful for. Fill it up. Reread entries aloud, daily. Have little ones dictate things for you to write on the chart for them. Think, write, read with kids!

2. Read informational books to kids that will help them learn about things that money can’t buy. Examples: Animals, Flowers, Birds, Trees, Nature, Rainbows, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Ocean. Why are we thankful for these?

3. Teach kids to write (or email:) thank you messages to everyone who has done or given them something, every single time. Important!

My 3 grown, appreciative kids learned to be thankful…we did all of the above, for years! Teaching them how to practice the art of being thankful is worth the time and effort. Thanks!

Popular Question: How was school today?

What do most kids say when asked, “How was school today?” They flatly say, “Good.” Right? Right! This leads to the question, “How can I get my child to tell me more?! Good question.

The answer lies in HOW we question kids. If we ask a ‘yes/no’ question, we can expect a yes or a no response. If we ask a question that can be answered in one word, we get expect one word answer! 

Here a few alternatives if you are looking for more…

“What did you discover at school today?”
“How was today different than yesterday?”
“What was one ‘high’ and one ‘low’ today?”
“What was the best part of your day?”
“If you could change something about today, what would it be?”
“What are some things your teacher did to help you today?”

What Do Kids Want and Need?

Both younger and older kids want to know that they are heard, valued, and needed. When we set aside our work, computer, or cell phone to listen as kids talk, we let them know the following:

1. What they have to say is very important.
2. Their thoughts, questions, and opinions are valued.
3. Ideas and insights are needed and encouraged.

Eyes on the child, ears on what the child says!

Want quality time with kids?

If you want more quality time with your kids, read them a good book, write them a quick email, text them a quick message, or look in their eyes as you talk with them.

That simple. That important. That’s that!

What’s a good chair got to do with reading?

We read more.

We concentrate better.

We sit and read with kids more regularly.

We connect pleasure, peace, and quiet with the act of reading.

All…because of a “good chair.” Find one that fits!

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