As a parent or guardian, watching your student struggle through a class or assignment isn’t easy. So, what are ways you can help your student when the times get tough?
We reached out to our Personalized Education Coaches (PECs) and Course Instructors (CIs) for ways they encourage students to ask for help.
Talking about math and engaging with your student about numbers is important, true math is learned by doing. However, there are countless studies which show that talking about math and numbers can spark an early interest in math and can decrease anxiety around math.
In our previous post, we explored the final habit in Sean Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” a book that helps teens live their highest aspirations. (You can read about Habit #7 here.) This book is so life-changing, we send it to all full-time students upon enrolling! Today, we’re closing our nine-part mini-series with a brief summary of all seven habits and quick, actionable take-aways our CMASAS students can begin today!
Habit 1: Be Proactive. Take responsibility for your life. For as much as people like to be in control, we also sometimes give away our control to keep from being responsible if things go sideways. In any given day, bad things happen. The sky rain-dumps on your interview outfit, your sister stole your hoodie, the store was out of gumdrops. Covey explains how being proactive (versus being reactive) means understanding that you’re in control of you (and nothing else… i.e. hoodie-stealers or gumdrop-lacking establishments.)
Here’s Seven Actionable Take-aways:
Covey has seven tips to help you become a proactive-master. Over the next week, try implementing one a day, and see how it feels.
Habit #7: Sharpen the Saw
So you’re walking through the wood, and you see a man sawing away at a tree.
“How long have you been sawing that tree?” you ask.
“Four hours,” he replies. “But I’m really making progress.”
You frown, looking at the saw. “Your blade looks pretty dull. Maybe you should sharpen it?”
“I can’t stop now, you simpleton,” the man scoffs. “I’m in the middle of cutting down this tree!”
You shrug and walk away, knowing that if he just took a break to sharpen the saw, he’d fell the tree much faster.
Do you know why geese fly in a V? Because drafting off each other-- much like cyclists in the Tour de France-- and taking turns being the head bird saves 71% of the energy it would take to fly solo. This, in essence is synergy: when two or more beings band together to create something better than they could have done alone. Covey calls synergy “the delicious fruit you’ll taste as you get better at living the other habits, especially at thinking Win-Win and Seeking First to Understand.”
To glean a better understanding of what synergy is, let’s first take a look, in true Covey-fashion, at what it is NOT:
Synergy is NOT tolerating differences. (Tolerance is oh-so-judgy.) Nor is it working independently, or thinking you’re always right. And surprisingly, it most definitely is not compromising. Tolerating differences, working independently, thinking you’re always right, and compromising are what Covey calls the four roadblocks to synergy.
Synergy IS celebrating differences, working together, keeping an open mind, and finding new and better ways. Some of these may seem like subtle distinctions, but they’re all reflections of the hard work you’ve already done shifting your mindset through the previous five habits.
Most people prefer talking to listening. Why? Because when you’re talking, you’re in control. The center of attention. You’re not bored, because since you’re controlling the topic, you’re guaranteed to only discuss things that matter to you. The problem with valuing talking over listening is that you’re very unlikely to learn something new, expand your world-view, or develop deep relationships. “It’s our tendency to want to swoop out of the sky like Superman and solve everyone’s problems before we even understand what the problem is,” Covey says. “We simply don’t listen.”
There are four different mentalities surrounding winning. The first we’ll look at is called Win-Lose. Have you ever caught yourself not wanting to share an idea with your peers because you’re afraid someone might steal and take credit for it? Or heard the story about the two boys being chased by a bear, when afterward, one said: “I realized I didn’t have to outrun the bear… I just had to outrun YOU.” This is a Win-Lose mentality. You only win when other people lose. “Win-Lose,” Covey explains, “is competitive. I call it the totem pole syndrome. ‘I don’t care how good I am as long as I’m a notch higher than you on the totem pole.’ Relationships, friendships, and loyalty are all secondary to winning the game, being the best, and having it your way.” And while competition may be a driving factor for most, creating a world where you only win when someone else loses is a sure-fire way to breed a life filled with negativity and paranoia, a life where you feel awful because you don’t have your friend’s designer jeans, or his flashy job.
By now, you’ve taken to heart Covey’s first habits and are working judiciously to become more proactive in making choices that reflect your personal mission statement/ long-term goals. Like a boss, you’ve now started makin’ your list (and checkin’ it twice!) and know exactly what your goals are each day. You’re so clever that each of these little goals perfectly align with your long-term goals. But then other things arise. Like that story in your newsfeed you’ll never find again if you don’t read it this second. Or your sister needing help building a volcano for science class. Or Bobo the Dog about to make on the rug. Or that trigonometry test tomorrow. (You get the idea.)
Teens today have too much to do and not enough time. That’s where Habit #3 comes in: harnessing the willpower to put first things first (and, Covey adds, the “won’t power to say no to peer pressure and less important things.”)
The first step in knowing how to put first things first is by learning the difference between important and urgent. Important things are things that further your personal mission. Urgent things are things that demand immediate attention. So what comes first? Urgent, right? Not necessarily! Things can FEEL urgent and NOT BE important. (See: Twitter War, Marvel vs. DC Comics.)
In our previous post, we explored Habit #1 in Sean Covey’s book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” a book that helps teens live their highest aspirations. This book is so life-changing, we send it to all our full-time students upon enrolling. Today, we’re digging into Habit #2 in Covey’s book: “Begin With the End in Mind.”
Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind
Imagine a 1,000 piece puzzle set. You spill the pieces out onto the floor, then look at the box cover to see the image of what you’re making. It’s blank. How much longer do you think it will take for you to assemble this 1,000 piece puzzle when you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like when it’s done? This is the analogy Covey uses to explain the importance of beginning with the end in mind. If you have no idea where you’re going, it will take you considerably longer to get there.
In our previous post, we talked about Sean Covey’s book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” and how these habits help teens live their highest aspirations. (You can read it here.) This book is so life-changing, we send it to our full-time students upon enrolling. Today, we’re digging into Habit #1 in Covey’s book: “Be Proactive”, and exploring seven practical tips on how to build this habit.
Habit #1: Be Proactive.
Covey calls being proactive “the first step toward achieving the private victory.” “Habit #1 says ‘I am the force. I am the captain of my life. I can choose my attitude. I’m responsible for my own happiness or unhappiness. I am in the driver’s seat of my destiny, not just a passenger.’”
So what does being proactive LOOK like? First, it’s helpful to know there are two types of people: Proactive and Reactive. Proactive people take responsibility for their actions. They brainstorm solutions, think about their options, and know what is in their control (and what is not.) Reactive people blame the world for things gone wrong. They don’t take responsibility, wait for things to happen to them, and think of problems or barriers instead of solutions.