Archive for the ‘COMMITMENT TO LEARNING’ Category

Homework

Homework—an important part of reaching goals

Remember when you were a student and wished the teacher would say, “No homework today. Go home and have some fun!” You may have loved the lectures and the learning, but dreaded the tests and homework assignments. Well, you’re not alone. Most young people would rather play with their video games than sit down to read The Great Gatsby or work on statistics. But any goal worth achieving takes hard work. Work that takes place in the classroom and at home. In addition to reaching academic goals, doing homework teaches young people to follow directions, manage their time, and work on their own. Homework is Asset 23 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who spend at least one hour on homework every weekday are more likely to grow up healthy, stay committed to learning, and achieve their goals. About 47 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report doing at least one hour of homework every school day, according to Search Institute.

Tips for building this asset

All you may hear about homework from young people is that they hate it, don’t have any, or have too much the night before a test. Sometimes, young people actually lack essential homework skills. Once they get the hang of homework basics—organization, time management, and study skills—they can be more creative with their study strategies. Encourage them to keep trying.

Also try this

In your home and family: Turn off the TV during study time and create a quiet area in your home for your child to do homework. Make yourself available if your child has questions or needs help.

In your neighborhood and community: Consider starting a “homework house” in your neighborhood. Each day a different home can provide space, encouragement, and help with young people’s homework.

In your school or youth program: Make yourself accessible—through e-mail, a Web site, or the phone—so students and parents can contact you if they have questions about an assignment.

Additional Homework Ideas

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

School Engagement

Academics are important, but there’s more to an education

Each day is a new beginning, a new day to learn. For some young people, this prospect is exciting and exhilarating. For others, it’s scary. Sometimes learning is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Help young people understand that academics are just part of the education they must complete to successfully attain goals. Find creative ways to show young people learning means more than studying for or worrying about tests. Opportunities for learning are everywhere, and they’re fun! School Engagement is Asset 22 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who are actively engaged in learning exhibit more positive than negative behaviors. About 55 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they are actively involved in their learning. It’s time to help even more young people discover—and achieve—personal success in and out of the classroom.

Tips for building this asset

The best way to keep young people engaged in school is to focus on their individual interests and goals. Listen to young people and pay attention to the activities they most enjoy. Once you’re aware of what they want (or need), help them tie their interests and goals to what they learn in and out of school. Since learning doesn’t just happen within the four walls of the school, look for—or design—additional learning activities that complement school curricula. Acknowledge and celebrate school successes. Help young people address any challenges they may face.

Also try this

In your home and family: Help your child stay interested and involved at school by ensuring he or she is getting enough sleep, eating well, and managing difficulties. Show your child that learning is more than just the classes they take at school. Talk to your child about things he or she is interested in, and help your child find new ways of experiencing and learning about those interests—outside the classroom.

In your neighborhood and community: Look for ways to address the curiosity of young people through books, plays, artwork, or hobbies. At the local library or community center, post notices about fun community events or activities, such as author signings, school debates, or museum classes.

In your school or youth program: Help young people focus on their personal ideas of success. Have them create goals that encompass academics, hobbies, and values. After several weeks, evaluate students and participants based on their goals. Celebrate successes and talk about steps to take to improve where needed.

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Achievement Motivation

Doing your best always makes the grade

Do you know young people who always try their best in school, without rewards or punishments dangling over them? These students have found a reason to work hard; they have achievement motivation. Doing well academically means different things to different people. It doesn’t have to mean getting straight A’s or being the valedictorian. It does mean doing their best work and caring about their performance, whether they’re creating an art portfolio or writing an essay. There are plenty of reasons to work hard in school—getting good grades, making parents happy, or earning a spot on the honor roll. But the biggest incentive for young people to do their best—in school and out—comes from within: personal pride from knowing they gave it their all. Making an effort in school and other activities now, can give young people more reasons to feel proud later on. Achievement Motivation is Asset 21 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows young people who try their best in school have better grades, are more likely to finish high school, and are better at managing stress. They’re also better at setting goals and more likely to enroll in college. About 65 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they are motivated to do well in school, according to Search Institute surveys. Help young people understand how important school is so they study hard, pay attention, and do their homework.

Tips for building this asset

What drives the young people you know to do their best? Whatever their reasons, remind them that when they try their best they can always feel good about the results, no matter what the grade.

Also try this

In your home and family: Ask your child about what motivates her or him to succeed in school. Find out what challenges he or she faces and discuss ways to overcome them. Share any tips or advice you learned from your own school experience.

In your neighborhood and community: When you say, “What’s new at school?” to young people in your neighborhood, focus on their interests instead of their grades.

In your school or youth program: Discuss the following with young people: If your school or program awards letters for any subject or activity, what would you like yours to be in? Why?

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Reading for Pleasure

Reading should be done for fun

Have you ever been so engrossed in a book you skipped watching a favorite TV show, didn’t hear the phone ring, or stayed up too late at night? Now that’s a good book, and as anyone who loves to read will tell you, that’s the best part of reading! Books are the way most teachers instruct their classes. But there’s also a reason for young people to read for fun. The Commission on Reading contends that reading for fun teaches young people how to become strategic, skilled readers. They learn the difference between reading for a test and reading for pleasure. They learn when to read carefully or skim, ask questions or consult a dictionary. Reading for Pleasure is Asset 25 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who read for pleasure at least three hours a week (that’s only 26 minutes a day) exhibit more positive than negative values. Only 22 percent of young people, ages 11–18, read for pleasure three or more hours a week, according to Search Institute surveys. But reading—whether it’s for a grade or not—can open up a new world, transport you to faraway lands, bygone eras, or lives only dreamt of. Reading is important. It uses facts, figures, and emotions to both teach and inspire. Inspire young people to read for pleasure, and they will have a far richer life.

Tips for building this asset

Make it easy for your child—and other young people you know—to read for pleasure at your house. Provide a variety of reading materials such as novels, magazines, newspapers, and comic books. Also, set an example with your own behavior. Don’t just read in bed when everyone else is asleep. Let the young people around you see you reading. Discuss issues with them that come up or other ideas you’ve learned from books. Finally, limit TV and computer time.

Also try this

In your home and family: Set aside a family reading time once a week. With younger children, read aloud together. With older children, read different books while hanging out together, or read the same book and then discuss it.

In your neighborhood and community: Volunteer to read books aloud to children in your community center, school, faith community, child-care center, or library.

In your school or youth program: Set up a book club to read popular fiction, nonfiction, or classics. Get together outside of class or during the regular program time to informally discuss the books you read.

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them? Visit www.search-institute.org/assets.

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Bonding to School

Finding a connection with school

Why do some kids drop out of school and others stay in and even excel? Experts say kids whodon’t like school and choose not to attend are disinterested, bored, and feel unconnected. On the other hand, those who stay in school and do well have the opposite experience. They like it there. They have people who enjoy seeing them every day and who miss them when they’re absent. They also have friends and family who are proud of what they do at school. These young people are stimulated and challenged, have fun, and enjoy learning at school. Bonding to School is Asset 24 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who care about their school are less likely to be involved in violence or the use of alcohol and other drugs. They also are more likely to become good leaders, value diversity, and succeed in school. About 52 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they care about their schools, according to Search Institute surveys.

Tips for building this asset

Parents and others in the community can make a big difference in improving schools and making them caring places for young people. If you know a young person who doesn’t like school, ask her or him why. Remember that for students, part of bonding to school involves knowing someone in their school cares about them. Share your experiences from when you were in school—such as finding an adult or a peer who cared about you—with the young people you know who are struggling to fit in.

Also try this

In your home and family: Tell your child about one adult and one peer who cared about you when you were in school. Help your child identify which adults and friends at school he or she likes best and why.

In your neighborhood and community: Be an involved partner with the school. Volunteer to tutor in an after-school program or as an athletic coach. Use these opportunities to bond with students, helping them in turn to bond to school.

In your school or youth program: Identify young people who do not have an involved adult in their lives and find ways to help them connect to a caring, available adult.

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.