Megaskills: Building Our Children's Character and Achievement fo School and Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

Specially designed for school-aged children, this cornerstone guide provides you with hands-on techniques and kid-friendly activities to teach children the MegaSkills that are essential to success in school and life: Confidence, Effort, Initiative, Caring, Motivation, Responsibility, Perseverance, Teamwork, Problem-Solving, Common Sense, Focus, Respect New!.

Along with the age-specific activities, this guide contains academic objectives for each MegaSkill, tips for getting the ...

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Megaskills: Building Our Children's Character and Achievement fo School and Life

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Overview

Specially designed for school-aged children, this cornerstone guide provides you with hands-on techniques and kid-friendly activities to teach children the MegaSkills that are essential to success in school and life: Confidence, Effort, Initiative, Caring, Motivation, Responsibility, Perseverance, Teamwork, Problem-Solving, Common Sense, Focus, Respect New!.

Along with the age-specific activities, this guide contains academic objectives for each MegaSkill, tips for getting the best from technology, MegaSkills report cards for parents and children, research notes, and a wealth of additional resources.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402234750
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Dorothy Rich, Ed.D, is founder and president of the nonprofit Home and School Institute (HSI), based in Washington, D.C. An acclaimed expert in family educational involvement. Dr. Rich is the author of the original MegaSkills publications and the developer of the MegaSkills training programs, used by more than three thousand schools across the United States and abroad. In her lifetime of work in the field, she has focused on helping families and educators team together to build achievement in school and beyond.
Dr. Rich's work has received the A+ for Breaking the Mold Award from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as recognition from the MacArthur Foundation and other distinguished foundations. Her work has been researched, tested, and found to be effective in raising student achievement, decreasing discipline problems, increasing time spent on homework, and decreasing time spent watching TV. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NBC Today, Education Week, Good Morning America, and Reader's Digest.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1
MegaSkills and Our Children

Raising and Educating Children Today
Being a parent has never been easy, but it wasn't always this hard either. No longer can most of us command, "Do this or do that" and expect our kids to just obey, no questions asked.

The twenty-first century is a time for thinking learners, and that's what our children will have to be. While children may not be listening (as we're told they once did) to their elders, they're listening to advertisers, to peers, and to others who may not have their best interests at heart and who may not be offering the best advice. That's why it's especially important for children to have what it takes to build their self-discipline.

At the same time, as parents, we have to put across the sense of standards and limits that children need for stability, for reassurance, and for the real freedom that comes with selfdirection.

This is no easy assignment, and that's why MegaSkills are so important.

In the midst of the headlines about the Information Age and the Computer Revolution, it can get very confusing to figure out what is really important in our children's education. How we wish we knew all the answers right now.

It's an exciting time and an anxious one. In many ways, we're caught in the middle-we don't know all the answers and we don't even know all the questions.

There's long been a saying that the only two things we can count on are death and taxes. Today I add a third: change. Around us and to us.

Coping with change takes a new and higher level of competence and understanding. We have to deal with the expected and the unexpected. Knowing the level of change we face today, we can only imagine how much more our children will face in the years ahead.

Some experts tell us to get computers and all will be well. I wish I could believe that we can solve our education problems that easily. There's no doubt that computers open up brave new worlds for many students. But they are still machines. While machines can get us to places faster, we still have to know where we are going.

MegaSkills: The Inner Engines of Learning
In school, test scores tell us that students today are scoring about as well as they did in the 1970s. With increased technology demanding more know-how and increased global competition demanding more effort, what was good enough for the seventies just isn't good enough anymore.

In the workplace, employers are alarmed. Today's graduates, they say, are only marginally prepared for job success. The problem is not just literacy. Students have trouble giving their best to their work and in having disciplined work habits.

At home, parents see children struggling to deal with the growing complexity and often overwhelming choices in their daily lives. Younger and younger children face emotional and dangerous problems such as sex, drugs, and AIDS. They are asked to be grown up when they are still children.

It is generally agreed that children need certain basic skills (usually called the three R's) in order to succeed. But for children to keep learning basic skills at school, they need to learn another important set of basics at home. "MegaSkills" are our children's inner engines of learning. Though reinforced in the classroom, they get their power from the home.

I know it's fashionable to talk about megathis and mega-that, and because of this, in some ways, I hesitate to use the word "MegaSkills." But when I think about what it really takes for children to learn and use the skills they learn, when I think about what it takes to resist the temptations of taking drugs or dropping out of school, I think about attitudes and abilities that are bigger than ordinary skills. I think about confidence and motivation, perseverance and problem solving. And the word "MegaSkill" to define these seems appropriate and right. A MegaSkill, like confidence, is a long-lasting, achievement-enhancing skill. It's what makes possible the use of the other skills that we learn. MegaSkills keep children reading long after they learn to decode the alphabet. A MegaSkill is like gas to make the car go.

This book explains how to help children develop these MegaSkills:
Confidence: feeling able to do it
Motivation: wanting to do it
Effort: being willing to work hard
Responsibility: doing what's right Initiative: moving into action
Perseverance: completing what you start
Caring: showing concern for others
Teamwork: working with others
Common Sense: using good judgment
Problem Solving: putting what you know and what you can do into action
Focus: concentrating with a goal in mind
Respect: showing good behavior, courtesy, and appreciation

These aren't the only MegaSkills, but they play a strong role in determining success in school and beyond. They don't drop from the sky and land on a lucky few. They can be taught at home by parents, even today. They are the values that undergird our work ethic, our national character, and our personal behavior.

Much as I admire academic prowess, and I do, research has shown that adult productivity and happiness are the results of more than academic competency. The happiest and most successful adults are those who possess MegaSkills qualities and, of course, a sense of humor. I can teach MegaSkills, but as to the sense of humor, now that's really hard!

TOMORROW IS NOT FAR AWAY
We don't know for sure whether our children are learning today what they will need tomorrow, but we do know that children will need the skill and ability to take what they know and put it together in new ways to solve new problems.

The academic term for this is "transfer." To be useful for the twenty-first century and beyond, education has got to transfer. Little is really known now about what technical skills will be needed. We don't know the specific situations our children will face or even the machines they will use. What we do know is that our children will have to be able to use and adapt what they learn today. They need knowledge enhancing skills, good any year and any place. They need MegaSkills.

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Table of Contents


MegaSkills: Information-Age Basics     xiii
More Than Ever, Our Children Need MegaSkills     xiv
The Joy of Learning: A Message from Dorothy Rich     xvii
A Message from Bill Bradley     xix
What's New in This Edition     xx
Opening New Doors     xxi
MegaSkills: The Stuff Achievement Is Made Of
MegaSkills and Our Children     3
First Steps: The MegaSkills Program and How It Works     11
Knowing What We're Teaching: MegaSkills and Academics     16
Teaching MegaSkills at Home: What to Do and How to Do It
MegaSkills and the Technology Connection     23
MegaSkill One: Confidence     27
MegaSkill Two: Motivation     40
MegaSkill Three: Effort     52
MegaSkill Four: Responsibility     64
MegaSkill Five: Initiative     75
MegaSkill Six: Perseverance     87
MegaSkill Seven: Caring     97
MegaSkill Eight: Teamwork     107
MegaSkill Nine: Common Sense     119
MegaSkill Ten: Problem Solving     133
MegaSkill Eleven: Focus     147
MegaSkill Twelve: Respect     157
Readiness to Learn: Translating "Educational Goals" into Practical Action at Home
Getting Ready for School: We Have a LittleList     171
The Three R's: Before School     179
Strengthening the Three R's at Home
Introduction: MegaSkills and the Three R's: The Chicken and the Egg     187
Reading: Moving Along with Books     189
Writing: Everyone Can Do It     200
Math: No More Excuses     212
Transitions: To the Teen Years     221
The MegaSkills Support Network: People Helping People
Introduction: Beacons in the Fog     229
Parent to Parent: Looking to Each Other for Help     232
Grandparents: MegaSkills Across the Generations     239
Parents and At Home Child Care: Making Sure Sitters Do More Than Sit     245
Parents and Teachers: Superpowers, Not Superhuman     252
Single Parents and the Schools: Making the Connection     259
Parents and Students: Helping Children Feel More at Home in School     264
Creativity: The Spark and the Satisfaction
Introduction: A Sense of Balance     273
The "Right Brain" at Home     275
Inspiration and Perspiration     284
MegaSkills: Powerful and Surprising
Secrets of MegaSkills     293
Critical Resources for the Twenty-first Century-Schoolabilities and Employabilities     298
Appendixes
Seeing Children's MegaSkills in Action      305
MegaSkills Measure: A Quiz for Parents     307
The MegaSkills Library for Children     311
Internet Resources and Help for Parents     316
MegaSkills "Recipes," Chapter by Chapter, by Age Range and Academic Objective     319
MegaSkills' Impact Over the Years     327
Acknowledgments     330
Index     333
About the Author     353
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