- About JEI
- JEI News
Must-have skill for children #11: being a good listener
Being a good listener is important not only for learning but also for building strong personal relationships. Too often, people zone out or they are eager to cut in with their two cents. They focus more on what they want to say than what the other person is saying. How many times has this happened to you? However, listening well goes beyond simply staying silent. There are many aspects that make someone a good listener, and you will find that practicing this skill will result in greater respect, stronger friendships, and increased wisdom. This is why being a good listener is a must-have skill for your child too. Teach them the importance of giving others their full attention and watch their social life and academic performance flourish. More engaging study environments, like the JEI class ratio of five students to one instructor, can make it easier for them to practice. This is especially helpful if your child is learning English as a second language. You can also help your child become a better listener with these tips: Figure Out Their Role The first thing they should do is figure out what kind of conversation they are having and what their role is. Their role varies depending on the situation and who is talking. If a parent or teacher is trying to teach them an important lesson, they may want to listen quietly and ask questions for clarification. If they’re brainstorming for a group project, they can be more actively engaged while remaining respectful of others’ ideas. They should try to gauge what position best serves the conversation; sometimes, they can ask the other party directly. This also works in casual social settings. It’s natural that when a friend is talking about their problems, your child wants to help out. However, not everybody is airing their grievances to be told what to do. Sometimes, people want a sympathetic ear, so your child shouldn’t jump right in with advice or suggestions unless asked or appropriate. Practice Basic Manners Interrupting is not advisable. Of course if a conversation is fast-paced and exciting, it’s bound to happen, but your child should always try to let the other person finish talking. They don’t want the other person to feel rushed, and they want to hear the full idea or statement. Otherwise, they wouldn’t know how best to respond. They should be attentive, as well, much like they would behave in class. They don’t have to maintain eye contact the entire time, but should show through body language that they are paying their full attention. They should turn towards the other person, avoid playing with anything in their hands (especially their cell phone), and be observant. According to Professor Mehrabian, the leading expert and researcher in nonverbal communication, what someone says only conveys 7% of what they mean; the other 93% is expressed through their facial expressions and tone of voice. In the end, listening involves more than a sense of hearing. Be More Active They should not be an active speaker, but they should not be a passive listener, either. The way to be an active listener is beyond nodding and saying, “Mm-hm,” occasionally. Rather, it’s making the other person feel comfortable and heard. They can do this by asking questions that move the conversation forward or incite more details. They can repeat a few things the other person said to show they’re picking up on the important parts. These are great for when they’re listening to a lesson at school, as well. They can also ask for elaboration on someone’s feelings during a story. This shows that they care about the other person, what they experienced, and how they felt during certain moments. This will be greatly appreciated. React Appropriately Being a kind listener is being a good listener. Of course, there may be moments when your child needs to provide constructive criticism or tough love, but there is a time and a place. For the most part, they should try to be positive, helpful, and understanding. They want to make the other party feel comfortable speaking to them, but if they often react harshly or critically, other people will eventually stop turning to them for conversation. They should be encouraging or comforting, whichever the other party needs. This is an excellent time to practice their compassion and listen with an open heart. Rather than being judgmental, they should try to see things from the other perspective. This is especially important during arguments. — Encourage your child to keep these tips in mind whenever they are with other people. They will find that they can learn so much about others and themselves by becoming a good listener. For further practice, your child can listen to the radio or a podcast, giving their full attention rather than playing it in the background as they multitask. Being a good listener will help them in all areas of their lives, from building strong friendships and connections to absorbing new knowledge and wisdom. Not to mention, people truly appreciate and respect good listeners, so add this must-have skill to their lifelong learning journey today. For other skills that JEI believes every kid, from elementary school to middle school students, absolutely needs to become an effective lifelong learner, check out our Must-Have Skill for Children series!
2020 #JEIEssayContest - Life as We Know It
Life, as we know it, changes every day. There are ups and downs, new experiences, and first encounters. The annual #JEIEssayContest explores how life, like the seasons, change constantly, affecting what we view as “normal.” This submission-based contest challenges our students to reflect on their feelings and observations during these unprecedented times. This is their chance to test out not only their reading and writing skills but also their ability to express their thoughts clearly and effectively. Registration Registration costs $25 per active JEI student. Parents can register their active JEI students for this contest at their local JEI Center beginning October 1st through October 31st. Submissions All submissions are due at your local center by November 16th. Submissions will be scored by division (below) and the ability to fully complete the prompt provided. Divisions Division A - Grades 2-3 Division B - Grades 4-5 Division C - Grades 6-7 Division D - Grades 8-9 Prizes Contest prizes are awarded per division (below). Winning submissions will also have the honor of being published in the 3rd edition of JEI Student Stories. Looking for past editions? View the inaugural edition and the 2nd edition. Division Prizes 1st Place - $300 2nd Place - $200 3rd Place - $100 Our personalized programs can help improve your child's reading and writing skills. Enroll today at a center near you or call us at (877) JEI-MATH to find out more about how your child can benefit from this contest.
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!