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The lifelong benefits of lifelong learning
You want the best possible life for your child — every parent does. You work tirelessly to make sure your child has everything they need. Still, some things are out of your control. You give them guidance and instill in them the values needed to face the challenges that come their way, hoping they grow into independent, successful adults. Eventually, you have to trust you did your best. Lifelong learning can help. Lifelong learning is about staying curious and taking the initiative to independently learn and grow. Lifelong learning is built upon five “self” muscles that act as pillars to the best self possible: self-discipline, self-motivation, self-improvement, self-reliance, and self-confidence. Like all muscles, the more work they do, the stronger and more resilient they become. The sooner your child adopts lifelong learning, the sooner they can get on the right track to a fulfilling, independent life. It can be difficult for your child to understand the importance of embracing this lifestyle or recognizing its benefits, so lead by example, assist in making long-term goals, and provide encouragement. Self-Discipline Lifelong learning builds self-discipline, meaning your child will study, complete assignments, and do what they plan to do on time and without being told. They can rely on this self-study outside of school to figure out what habits, schedules, and methods work best for them as everyone is different. By perfecting their own routine and building the habit of consistent learning and practicing, your child will become a responsible learner outside of school and accomplish even more in life. In the beginning, your child will still need your help, so give advice as they work on creating habits and routines. Do they work better when they focus for an hour,, then take a thirty-minute break? Are they more likely to complete homework if they do it right after school? Habits also take time to form, so give them gentle reminders in the beginning. Self-Motivation If your child strengthens their self-motivation muscle, they won’t have to wait for inspiration to strike to roll up their sleeves and get to work! Lifelong learning means your child should be enthusiastic about and take responsibility for what they choose to learn on their own. Your child should ask themselves why they want to learn something new (the purpose) and how they will learn it (the method). You can work on those questions with your child. The answers will give them the motivation they need to say farewell to procrastination! Also, if you encourage them often, they will start to encourage themselves. Your child will associate taking action with positive feelings and be able to do work even on days they just don’t feel like it. Self-Improvement Lifelong learning teaches your child to always work on improving themselves and the overall quality of their life, including good health and relationships. For health, simple acts like reading and picking up a new instrument can reduce stress levels, improve memory, offset cognitive decline, and increase the life span. For socializing, your child can bond with others over new hobbies and skills as well as communicate more clearly. Having a good social life can, in turn, boost happiness and networking skills. The best way to help your child seek improvement is to become a role model. Show that you are always trying to elevate your own life, whether it’s by exercising consistently or learning new languages. You could even do these activities with your child. Self-Reliance Children rely on adults for assistance, but eventually, they will become the adults they can count on! This is important because learning and homework never end. For your child’s career, they will have to keep studying on their own time by attending seminars or reading. In their personal life, they will have new responsibilities like filing taxes. Although your child can continue receiving lessons or guidance, self-reliance means they will try to figure something out on their own before asking for help! You can gradually let your child try things on their own, giving gentle nudges and tips as necessary. Then, celebrate whether they succeed or fail, so they know that the important thing here is they tried their best. Remind them that it’s okay to ask for help, but they should try things on their own first. Self-Confidence If your child is confident, they will never stop trying or putting themselves out there! Thankfully, nothing boosts confidence like tackling a challenge and learning they can do it on their own, and that’s exactly what lifelong learning is all about. The more your child fails, persists, then ultimately succeeds, the more they will have faith in themselves and know they can overcome anything since they’ve done it before. Self-confidence will help them do well on job interviews, take smart risks, and grow leadership skills. Confidence comes from repeatedly trying new things in spite of fear or anxiety, so gently nudge your child out of their comfort zone. Help your child understand their strengths and explain that their weaknesses are not disadvantages. — The benefits of lifelong learning are limitless, just like your child’s potential. JEI Learning Center believes in every child’s infinite potential, which is why we are experts on lifelong learning with our JEI Self-Learning MethodⓇ. We know the long-term goal is giving your child the best life, and so everything we do is toward that greater vision. Rather than come up with solutions to immediate issues, like upping a grade from B to A, we bolster consistent study habits so the learning never stops. To help your child embark on this journey of lifelong learning to their best life possible, find a JEI Learning Center near you!
How to reduce your child's screen time
Everybody knows what it’s like to be on their phones all day. We have all been asked by Netflix, “Are you still there?” only to begrudgingly note yes, we are...and we have been for the last three hours. Technology has become so convenient and addictive that it’s hard to resist the digital screen. There’s nothing wrong with peppering our days with some screen time. Dr. David Anderson, a clinical psychologist and the senior director of National Programs and Outreach at the Child Mind Institute, said, "[S]mall doses of screen time can be a mental health-positive way of relaxing, reducing stress, and connecting socially to friends and family members.” However, the keywords are “small doses,” and it can be easy to pour too much screen time into our day. As with all things, moderation is key. We can benefit from our screens, but we can also benefit from turning them off. This is particularly important for children as they are still developing physically and mentally. The Seattle Children’s Research Institute noted that children between the ages of 10 and 16 now spend 10.4 of their waking hours with minimal movement. They would rather go online than go outside, which can result in lethargy and health problems. JAMA Pediatrics released a study in 2019 that linked excessive TV and video game consumption to lower academic performance in children between four and eighteen years of age. Because of the constant stimulation from technology, children, like adults, can get easily distracted and lose their ability to focus. To prevent or rectify these problems, how can parents like yourself limit screen time for your child? Fight Apps with Apps What? You should use the screen in order to limit the use of the screen? Yes, you can combat technology with technology! Apps like Offtime show how long you spend on various apps and how many times you unlock your phone. Seeing the stats can be the eye-opener that your child needs, especially if they see that they spent a total of three full days on social media or games! Other apps can encourage taking breaks from your phone. The app Forest displays a growing tree for however long the phone remains unused. Encourage your child to give these apps a try! Set Some Ground Rules You can also set rules for when or how much your child uses their gadgets. Common Sense’s nationwide survey revealed that 68% of teenagers take devices to bed, and a third of that number actually sleep in bed with them. Consider keeping your child's devices out of reach from a certain time before bedtime to after they wake up. The blue light from screens can affect the sleep-wake cycle, so by removing this, they will sleep better and awaken refreshed and prepared for the day ahead. You could also limit TV time, place restrictions on streaming services, or require homework completion before gaming. Eventually, your child might enforce these habits themselves. Make It a Team Effort Get the whole family involved and maybe even make a fun game of it. For example, give a prize to whoever can last the longest without a device. Make this a team effort, so your child doesn’t feel like they’re the only ones struggling to disconnect; rather, you’re all in this together. Whether you make this a family venture or not, you can set an example as a parent. Be present with your child, put aside your devices as often as you can. If your child is having a hard time reducing their screen time, seeing you thrive, and experiencing the benefits secondhand may inspire them to follow suit. Doing this together may create even better results! Create Quality Time and Experiences Try to spend quality time and create memories with your family to replace the instant gratification of technology. A lot of technology usage can derive from feelings of loneliness, but it actually doesn’t help. When you are with your child, give them your full attention. They may feel less of a need for technology and more appreciation for face-to-face connections. Plan family nights so your child will have too much fun playing board games or cooking together to even notice there’s no screen! You can also sign them up for fun activities, like an art class or sports camp, that will spark their imagination, encourage movement, and create special memories. - There’s a lot to be grateful for regarding technology. We can talk to family members in other countries and learn digitally through sites like Skillshare or programs like JEI Remote Learning. But there’s a lot to be grateful for outside of technology, too, so consider reducing your child’s screen time through the tips mentioned above. This is the perfect opportunity to challenge your child to go completely screen-free for as long as they can. With these tips, we hope your child will be able to experience an increase in focus, stronger connections, more exercise, and better sleep. We at JEI Learning Center believe your child can accomplish this and much more, so even if you’re starting late, take the pledge today!
Have fun cooking with your kids at home
When you’re at home with your kids, a fun way to spend time with them is to invite them to lend a hand in the kitchen. Kids love to be around their parents and help out--particularly when food is involved. It is also a wonderful idea to bring something new to the table (literally and figuratively), especially now when kids have been home for days and growing more restless by the minute. Cooking is not only a fun new activity to introduce to your children but also a great opportunity to pass on family recipes, talk about nutrition, and nurture gratitude for food. Kids can also learn that by putting in the effort, they can get a (delicious) reward! That’s the icing on the cake. One piece of advice for cooking with kids is to delegate tasks based on their ages and experiences. For example, younger children could gather and stir ingredients in a bowl, which helps them learn new words. Older children could crack eggs and test out their math skills by measuring ingredients and converting units. Late teens could use the stove and cutting board, and, of course, everyone can help with the taste testing! Now, roll up your sleeves, tie on the aprons, and get to cooking! Fast Food At Home Your kids may miss going through the McDonald’s drive-through or carrying out a steaming box of freshly made pizza, but don’t fret! You can always deliver healthier alternatives through these recipes. Build-Your-Own Pizza Ground Beef Tacos Chinese Pork Fried Rice Turkey Sloppy Joes Deli in Your Kitchen Salads are both easy and delicious meals to quickly whip up! You can follow the recipes below or get creative with the ingredients. You can even turn some of the salads below into sandwiches or sides for other meals! Egg Salad Tuna Salad Pesto Pasta Potato Salad MasterChef Junior-Level With these recipes, your kids can try their hand at meals that are a little more advanced! After tackling these yummy dishes, you can then surprise your junior master chefs with a certificate because they deserve it. Kid-Pleasin’ Lasagna Baked Potato Soup Chicken Zucchini Casserole Tortilla Bake Desserts Galore These fun and easy recipes can make great after-dinner treats or yummy snacks between meals. Feel free to get creative with the decorating, too! If you have icing or sprinkles, why not? Cooking is all about experimentation. Banana Bread Chocolate Brownies Oatmeal Cookies Cornbread Muffins Now that you have a list of recipes to try out with your kids, you can have fun for days and raise little chefs! This is an amazing way for you to spend quality time with your loved ones and create memories you can look back on fondly. Take plenty of pictures and frame them for the kitchen! For some extra fun, you can turn this into a 30-day cooking challenge, look up more recipes, or create your own based on what’s in your pantry. Maybe you can focus on breakfast one week with fun omelets and waffles! Maybe your kid particularly likes Asian cuisine and wants to experiment with turning instant ramen into a gourmet noodle dish! There is so much room for fun and learning here, so enjoy and happy cooking with your kids! Share pictures of what you make by tagging us on Twitter and Instagram and using hashtag #JEIChefKids.