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11 ESSENTIAL SKILLS EVERY KID MUST MASTER

Friday a teacher fearlessly asked me,

I really like the way Brainsarefun integrates all the fundamental skills you emphasize. Do you have one simple list that I can use to keep me focused?

My reply,

You bet there is and here's the list in a nutshell, I believe you'll find it useful.

Download more free skills here.

I began Brainsarefun to fill an enormous void. Far too many kids (and adults) were struggling with school (pre-school through college) because they never experienced success with reading, math and study-skills. So let's give them a chance. For 10 years I've been asking parents and teachers to show me a better way. So far, no one has. Home and schools. All ages. All curriculums.

Thanks for all you do to flood kids with success,

Click here for sample "earning" contracts.


Rory Donaldson, Chief Brain, Success with reading, math and study-skills teacher, Brainsarefun. To save academic lives Brainsarefun's Fearless Friday Blog is published fearlessly every Friday, © 2012 – 2014 by Rory Donaldson, rory@brainsarefun.com, 860-304-3178. Our kids really can do it!
 

KIDS WHO AREN’T COOPERATING

This Friday a teacher fearlessly asked,

Everything you teach is great, but what about the kids (or adults) in every classroom who have a hard time "cooperating?" What do I do with them?

Rory's reply,

This is where the art of teaching pays off BIG!

The Brainsarefun toolbox is filled with integrated skills, tools and solutions that you can call upon as needed, but #1, kids gotta expereince success. The place to begin, "Catch kids (people) doing the right thing and reward them immediately." This isimple skill is rooted in deep science, "Kids act in their own self-interest." They want what they want, and they want to be recognized for their achievement. Kids love to succeed.

GREAT REWARDS are those that provide kids with more time, more ​freedom to choose and more resources to pursue what they want to pursue. Smiles and thumbs-up are two of the best rewards because they provide “recognition.”

Do you have kids who struggle with cooperation? Touch that kid on the shoulder. Smile. Catch that kid doing the right thing and reward with eye contact, a touch and a smile. Until a kid (or adult) is "cooperating," what's the point in going on? It will only put you at odds. Allow me to offer two white papers that will be useful in getting kids to cooperate:

  1. Effective Rewards and Punishments
  2. The Nose Script

 

Download more free skills here.

I began Brainsarefun to fill an enormous void. Far too many kids (and adults) were struggling with school (pre-school through college) because they never experienced success with reading, math and study-skills. So let's give them a chance. For 10 years I've been asking parents and teachers to show me a better way. So far, no one has. Home and schools. All ages. All curriculums.

Thanks for all you do to flood kids with success,

Click here for sample "earning" contracts.


Rory Donaldson, Chief Brain, Success with reading, math and study-skills teacher, Brainsarefun. To save academic lives Brainsarefun's Fearless Friday Blog is published fearlessly every Friday, © 2012 – 2014 by Rory Donaldson, rory@brainsarefun.com, 860-304-3178. Our kids really can do it!
 

BRAINSAREFUN FEARLESS FRIDAY BLOG – Bright Futures With Reading, Math and Study-Skills – Friday October 3, 2014

LISTENING

Fearlessly – I have been excoriated by some teachers and parents who believe that all I believe in is "reading."

There must be other skills than reading. How do I teach them?

Rory's reply

Absolutely there are other skills than reading. Since reading is not an isolated skill it demands mastery of writing, listening, speaking, information organization, critical thinking, study skills and success with math as well. That's why we teach them all, integrated with how to start on time, stay on task and complete assignments.

Kids deserve a chance and that's why ALL kids should develop their "listening" skills 2-full years above grade level.

My advice is to take 3 Listening Tools immediately and call me in the morning.

 


Download your free skills here.

I began Brainsarefun to fill an enormous void. Far too many kids (and adults) were struggling with school (pre-school through college) because they never experienced success with reading, math and study-skills. So let's start with "success."

Thanks for all you do to flood kids with success,

Click here for sample contracts.


Rory Donaldson, Chief Brain, Success with reading, math and study-skills teacher, Brainsarefun. To save academic lives Brainsarefun's Fearless Friday Blog is published fearlessly every Friday, © 2012 – 2014 by Rory Donaldson, rory@brainsarefun.com, 860-304-3178. Our kids really can do it!

BRAINSAREFUN FEARLESS FRIDAY BLOG – Bright Futures With Reading, Math and Study-Skills – Friday September 26, 2014

CAN I HAVE 20 DOLLARS?

Fearlessly – the mother of an entitled teen asks,

My daughter wants me to just give her $20. She's a real good kid but I don't like the idea of handing her money. What do you think?

Rory's reply

The idea of "free money" freaks me out. I don't get "free" money. I bet you don't, so why should your child?

I think it's time to read my white paper on No Allowances.

Teach kids to earn their way by beginning with our most fundamental solution that leads to "cooperation" before attempting additional instruction. Download your free skills here.

I began Brainsarefun to fill an enormous void. Far too many kids (and adults) were struggling with school (pre-school through college) because they never experienced success with earning. Allowances are a poor idea because they encourage the idea of "free money." I don't get free money, I can't imagine why my kids should.

To remedy kids believing they're "entitled" to free stuff I set out to teach them the greatest study-skills of all: how to start on time, stay on task and finish their assignments. This requires living up to agreements.

The place to start is always the same, "success."

Thanks for all you do to flood kids with reading, math and study-skill success,

Click here for sample contracts.


Rory Donaldson, Chief Brain, Success with reading, math and study-skills teacher, Brainsarefun. To save academic lives Brainsarefun's Fearless Friday Blog is published fearlessly every Friday, © 2012 – 2014 by Rory Donaldson, rory@brainsarefun.com, 860-304-3178. Our kids really can do it!

BRAINSAREFUN FEARLESS FRIDAY BLOG – Bright Futures With Reading, Math and Study-Skills – Friday September 19, 2014

EARNING POINTS FOR READING

The following email from Lisa provides some great insight:

Dear Brainsarefun, He signed the contract earlier this morning. We made a few revisions after a practice run last week. He made $8.00 last week and he's thrilled to death! (Says he's going to buy a wallet.) Using the skills I learned at Brainsarefun has made a huge difference already. I feel I need to give him points for things beyond what which you mentioned. 

First, I want a reward system to encourage reading during free time and less T.V. , etc. Second, he has developed a weight problem, so I want to encourage more exercise and less T.V. Plus, I have 2 other kids who want to make $$$ now. Just this simple contract has changed his whole attitude. (You'd never know it's the same boy.) He's very motivated (so far). He really likes having a structured schedule too.

Thanks for everything! Lisa

Rory's reply:

Dear Lisa, Let's begin by being clear about the behavior you want your son to change. While contracts can help change all kinds of behavior, Brainsarefun focuses on academic success. I want these kids to continue their educations and hold jobs with a future.

As you know, I like to count and graph the 3 critical behaviors associated with academic success: starting on time, staying on task, completing assignments. 

Brainsarefun does not focus on changing other behaviors and warns against throwing in the kitchen sink. I know. I know. Parents and teachers have so much success with these contracts and agreements that suddenly they’re seen as the cure-all "for all that ails ya."

It’s my experience that you will achieve the most by making it simple and focusing on academics for the time being (You can always add more in a month or two) if you want. Set everyone up for success by keeping it simple.

Keep the focus on the three behaviors associated with academic success (starting on time, staying on task, completing assignments).

  • What are your child's expenses and wants every week?
  • How much money should your child be able to earn every week?
  • How much television, computer and "borrow the car" time?
  • Keep track of points and rewards earned in a notebook

Reward your children for “earning” their points and eliminating all allowances.  Let them spend their wealth whenever and however you (the parent) define as moral. Don’t make the mistake of forcing them to save, that only proves to them that you’re still in control. It’s time for that ball to be thrown into their laps and for you to get out of the middle.

They’re in charge. When they’re broke, that’s good. Being broke is a great motivator and better now, when kids are young, that later in life when the consequences can be so much worse.

Finally. I know from personal experience with many kids, parents and teachers that contracts and agreements can be a lot of fun, contributing enormously to clear communication.

Never, ever, ever give up. And above all, Love!

Thanks Lisa, Rory

HOW DO YOU TEACH KIDS TO EARN FOR LIVING UP TO AGREEMENTS? Download easy-to-use examples and instructions here.

I began Brainsarefun to fill an enormous void. Far too many kids (and adults) were struggling with school (pre-school through college) because they never experienced enough success with reading, math and study-skills. They rarely got the chance to experience the satisfactiion of "earning."

To remedy kids believing they're "entitled" to free stuff I set out to teach them the greatest study-skills of all: how to start on time, stay on task and finish their assignments. This requires living up to agreements.

The place to start is always the same, "success."

Thanks for all you do to flood kids with reading, math and study-skill success,

Click here for sample contracts.


Rory Donaldson, Chief Brain, Success with reading, math and study-skills teacher, Brainsarefun. To save academic lives Brainsarefun's Fearless Friday Blog is published fearlessly every Friday, © 2012 – 2014 by Rory Donaldson, rory@brainsarefun.com, 860-304-3178. Our kids really can do it!