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Must-read book lists for all ages
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Reading is considered food for the soul and the mind. Books take you to different times, faraway places, and imaginary worlds. Through books, you meet more people from diverse backgrounds than you could have ever imagined. You live through new experiences, face new realities, and learn new lessons. Books have so much to offer your child, whether they’re improving their writing skills, working on reading strategies, or learning English as a second language. That’s why we recommend making reading their daily habit. A great way to start is for your child to tackle the books below that are perfect for elementary school and middle school students. Make it a challenge! See how many books from our lists your avid reader can consume. We recommend everything from insightful stories to adventurous tales. Now, let’s crack open a book! Insightful books for second and third graders Start your child early! These books will make your child absolutely love reading. From intriguing mysteries to fascinating biographies, these insightful books will open a portal to the world of reading, and your child may never want to come back! Each recommendation is filled with great lessons, like the power of friendship, that your kid will remember forever. Brilliant books for fourth and fifth graders Have your child learn about people from different backgrounds and what it takes to survive hardships through these brilliant books! Beautifully written and emotionally riveting, these recommendations will stay with your fourth or fifth grader for many years to come. They hold classic lessons like the importance of family and standing up for what you believe. Adventurous books for sixth and seventh graders Middle school is a time of adventure! Add these exciting reads to your sixth or seventh grader’s To Be Read (TBR) list. They’re going to go off on dashing adventures that open up all their channels of creativity and imagination. These recommendations will challenge them to think beyond everyday life while learning everyday lessons that stand the test of time. Thought-provoking books for eighth and ninth graders High school is a time of immense growth and development. To nurture the mind and spirit, introduce your eighth or ninth grader to these thought-provoking reads. Whether they learn about the most basic nature of human beings or the complexities of various societies, your child will, without a doubt, come to the end of this list feeling much wiser with new questions to explore and improved critical thinking skills. — There is nothing more magical than reading when it comes to imagination, creativity, compassion, and understanding. Your child’s mind and soul will grow stronger with each book they read, so start them off with the lists above. See how wise they grow, how fulfilled they feel, and how understanding they become. For further help on their literary adventures and long term results, trust in a program that works better than traditional tutoring! Enroll your child in our Common Core-aligned programs, JEI English and JEI Reading & Writing. We will help them understand the text, symbolism, and writing styles of all the excellent books out there waiting for them. Contact us today at (877) JEI-Math or find a center near you. Learn about the in-person and virtual options available for your child and start them on a journey to becoming a strong, intelligent reader today!
How to get ahead of your child's back-to-school burnout
Lately, research has shown higher levels of burnout in students. According to the National College Health Assessment, over 80% of college students feel burned out from classes. Symptoms include depression, lack of motivation, short tempers, fatigue, and panic attacks. Burnout also results in lowered academic performance, according to 76% of college students in a Health Minds Study survey. However, burnout most likely started before your child even thought about college. Growing academic pressure, with higher demands for extracurriculars and advanced classes, has led to an increase in stress for all students, particularly high-performing ones. Your child might have recovered from some of the academic burnout over the summer, but it may return when the new school year begins—unless you take measures beforehand. Here are a few lifestyle changes for your child to prevent back-to-school burnout: Find the systems that work One way to fight burnout is to use systems that make life easier. Your child should find ones for organization, productivity, and time management that work best for them personally. This will provide a sense of control over workloads, time, and energy. If your child often feels scatter-brained and overwhelmed, then they should organize with planners, calendars, properly-labeled folders, or Post-its. There are productivity systems, like the Pomodoro Technique, Action Method, and Eisenhower Method, for accomplishing tasks without burning out. Our JEI Self-Learning MethodⓇ is also scientifically proven to help each student perfect a healthy learning style for their individual needs. Our method is more effective than tutoring because your child finds what works long-term rather than quick fixes that work short-term. Once your child experiments and adopts the right habits under our guidance, they will spend less time making last-minute decisions, worrying about forgetting things, and forcing themselves to do the work. Learn to Prioritize Help your child take back control of their life through prioritization. For example, a filled-in calendar or planner will give them an overview of all projects and due dates so they can judge which ones they should be working on first. This will also help them learn to prioritize breaks and socializing, as needed. Those are just as important as periods of work, which is why productivity systems like the Pomodoro Technique include breaks. For a healthy mindset, your child should learn to prioritize curiosity, wonder, and the general process rather than results, such as grades and GPAs. By doing this, there will be much less resistance in tackling tasks and projects. They may learn to enjoy and appreciate what they’re learning and doing for school. There are also ways to take care of their minds outside of school. Engage in self-care routines Self-care was chosen as a must-have skill for children because it improves mental health. Burnout is an implosion of various mental and emotional issues that have gone on for too long. Set up a defense with a healthy lifestyle of self-care practices like meditation (or simply moments of silence), exercise, and journaling. If prioritization is about knowing when to take breaks, self-care is about the ability to fully enjoy them. Your child should rest their minds and bodies without guilt. Breaks should also be taken away from social media and digital screens, especially as some classes are resuming online for the new school year. Communicate openly and ask for advice Your child should learn the importance of communication. This way, they do not keep things bottled up. Those emotions and concerns will fester and lead to burnout. Encourage them to speak openly with you about how they’re feeling or whatever situation they’re going through. This is extra important right now because the future is uncertain and the world is changing. For example, videoconferencing in general is seeing a rise in education and may not end with the pandemic. As the parent, try to listen to their concerns, give advice when asked or as you see fit, and consider other outlets for your child’s mental health, such as therapy, counseling, or mentorship programs. Being good at expression and communication are signs of strong emotional health, intelligence, and resilience. — Prevention is the best solution for burnout. Your child may already be on the path to burnout even thinking about the school year ahead, but replace any anxiety and concern with excitement and preparation. Create good habits and a growth mindset now, and burnout won’t stand a chance. To help your child develop those habits and mindset, find a JEI Learning Center near you. We focus on teaching not only Common Core but also the best way to learn for life, specializing in time management, focus, and eagerness to learn. Our programs are meant to engage rather than burden your child’s minds. Learn more about how we can help by finding your local center here.
10 Must-have skills your child needs to succeed
There are certain skills your child should assemble over the years in order to become the best version of themselves. They’re already practicing math calculations, reading comprehension, and discipline at school, but there are many other strengths that are often overlooked, like soft skills, social skills, and learning skills. If you want your child to be a strong-minded, successful problem solver, combine some of our recommended skills from our “Must-Have Skills for Children” series into their lifelong learning process. These will help improve different areas of your child’s life from socialization to career success. 1. Reading a Road Map Your child may never have to read a road map, but there are still many benefits to knowing how. There is so much they can get out of this underrated skill, from growing spatial awareness to understanding directions. Read More 2. Cleaning Their Own Rooms If you want your child to grow more responsible, there’s nothing as effective as this habit. Cleaning their own room will start a ripple effect, positively influencing other areas of their lives from completing assignments to taking care of their possessions. Read More 3. Setting Clear Goals Goal setting will grow increasingly important as your child enters middle school, high school, college, and then ultimately the workforce. Rather than having them wander aimlessly, your child should learn to sharpen their focus on what they would like to accomplish. Read More 4. Preventing Procrastination Procrastination will hold your child back in life—if it isn’t already. It feeds the wrong traits, like laziness and perfectionism, instead of the right ones, like high self-esteem and healthy ambitions. Here’s how your child can regain control of their time. Read More 5. Starting Conversations (Connecting with Peers) If you want your child to make good friends, feel a sense of belonging, and grow a strong network, this skill is a definite must-have. The ability to socialize and connect well with others will prove important in overall longevity, happiness, and financial success. Read More 6. Writing Vividly Does your child’s words come to life on the page? Anyone can write, but not everyone can write well. Luckily, this can be improved. These tips will help your child take their writing to the next level so they can truly connect with the reader and clearly express themselves. Read More 7. Learning from Gameplay It’s not all fun and games! There’s a lot to be learned from traditional board games like chess to modern digital games like Animal Crossing. Whether they teach strategy or goal setting, games can nourish your child’s life beyond stress relief. Read More 8. Failing Successfully No one wants to fail, but it is important to accept that failure is inevitable, particularly on the road to success. To develop a growth mindset and resilience, your child should practice failing over and over and—most importantly—learning from those failures. Read More 9. Journaling Daily Taking the time to journal can do wonders for the mind and the soul. Your child should develop this habit for both self-care and self-development. Journaling enables them to understand themselves and grow in all areas of their life. Read More 10. Practicing Self-Care Self-care is a lifelong skill to cherish. It’s becoming more and more widely practiced because of how it elevates the quality of life and combats stress. Teach your child how self-care habits can prevent burnout and depression. Read More — Learning and improving never ends, that’s why we’re here to help your child make room in their life for curiosity, joy, and self-improvement. With these ten must-have skills, and those to come in future blog posts, your child will continue to become an enthusiastic lifelong learner and responsible young adult. We are excited to see your child thrive in every challenge they tackle! To pair with these must-have skills, our JEI Learning Centers offer excellent programs that further support lifelong learning through healthy study habits, personalized instruction, and individualized pacing. While tutoring only targets problems temporarily, we go above and beyond by building a strong foundation for all future learning. Learn more about our State Standard-aligned programs and contact us at (877) JEI-Math to speak to an expert in education.