Lisa Goins,PhD APRN, FNP-BC, RMT
Help! My child is struggling in school. My child is having trouble reading. My child is having trouble with math. My child is having trouble with history. These are often the problems that many parents become informed with as the school year gets underway and the progress reports begin coming in. What can a parent do? Besides talking with school members and staff, arranging help, tutors, and educational plans, and so forth, what can you do as a parent?
Sometimes a child has suffered great damage to their self-esteem. A parent has to start here. No more negativity. No more badgering the witness. Get rid of the expectations. It is time to try something different. Most kids love cartoons and fantasy. Start here. If the local newspaper offers the comic’s page, then get a subscription. Many cartoons may have short sentences and daily jokes. Talk about it, read it to them once or twice, and then just stop. Let their curiosity get the best of them. One day you may see them reading the cat strip and then one day they will be reading the entire comic’s page. No access, daily comics are online and can be accessed for viewing.
Math is always a problem. Sadly, girls are often the target of poor math but boys equally struggle. Why? Often the activities leading up to math in school are based on projects in other classes. For example, boys learn how to cut wood and work longer with math problems that are used in class than girls do in home economics. But the classroom math is often more similar to the cutting wood projects than sewing up cute pillows. So the girls begin to struggle. What can a parent do? Gaming dice. Most role playing gaming involve the use of dice. Rolling up a character is largely used by rolling dice. Gamers may use assorted six-sided dice to get stats, percentile to get averages, and four, eight, and twelve to see if they met objectives. There is adding, subtracting, multiplication, dividing, averaging, and when escaping those excellent traps, geometry and physics.
History is often embedded in role playing games. From the silk roads of China, to ancient Greece and Rome, to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth with references from WW1, and then modern day gangster or alien locations. How fun is it to know that this event happened here? Yes, these fantasy places do exist in the real world. What if you needed to know about the Wild West of the United States and needed to learn about ghost towns. Why not have a gaming session and use the map of the location? Did the early railroad run through that town that was just had that show down at high noon? Wow! Perhaps a family vacation to see it?
Computers. The time has come that a young student needs to have access to a computer to do their work and have access. The skill to know how to use a computer is necessary for almost every trade of work now. To not know how to use a computer makes it difficult to be successful. Yet, the child is struggling. There are many games and activities online now that are free and help children to learn quickly. Children who use computers can help accelerate their learning skill set faster because the computer interacting is bias for the most part. This leads to video games that can offer quicker eye movement and hand coordination, along with increasing reading, math, critical thinking skills, quick decision-making abilities, and enhanced attention span. Depending on the game, social ethics and morals can be taught and discussed with parents.
Other options to books and video games is cards, board games, miniatures, maps, and structures. There is all kinds and types of gaming material out there and not just for boys, but girls too. So venture out into the world of gaming. There are hundreds of companies online, conventions to visit, and stores to seek out. Many will welcome contacting them and do demonstrations of their games for parents and children if present. Take this time to invest in your child’s education and a life time of gaming. It is okay if the parent picks up some cool merchandise too. Everyone always can use a new set of dice.