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10 Ways to Make Your Child Smarter

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In her book Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek makes the case that your younger kids need the opportunity to just be kids and that too many parents try to get their children to turn into academic geniuses at too young an age. In U.S. News and World Report, Hirsh-Pasek states: “We know a tremendous amount about how young children learn, based on 30 years of wonderful science. The research shows that real learning has to take place in context – and that play is the best teacher.

Children learn a tremendous amount through everyday living: playing with other children, creating stories together, finding patterns in leaves, and figuring out that if there are four people coming for dinner, you need to set four plates, four forks, and four napkins. Young children can learn about physics with blocks. What they don’t need to do is go around reciting E=MC squared.” Let your kids just be kids. Here are 10 ways to help your children become smarter.

1. Snooze time

It is essential that children get the proper amount of rest. Follow the recommendations of your pediatrician – at least eight hours per night. Not only will your kids be more alert and ready to learn, they will have much happier attitudes. Set a bedtime for your child and stick to it.

2. Exercise that brain

Your child’s brain is like a sponge ready to soak up everything it comes across. Age appropriate games help stimulate his mind and develop skills. Board games, building blocks, puzzles, checkers, and chess are just a few examples of games that also build smarts. Encourage their curiosity.

3. Physical activity

Whether it’s organized sports or just playing in the yard, children need physical activity to stimulate their senses. A study by the University of Illinois concluded that fit children perform better academically. They also have higher levels of self-esteem and confidence. Get out there and play with your kids.

4. Music

Research from the University of Toronto showed that children who studied music have higher IQs as adults. Music feeds the soul and brightens imaginations. Music is a tremendous vehicle to open up your child’s mind to many new wonders.

5. Video games

There are many games on the market now designed to develop your child’s learning skills. They promote strategic thinking, creativity, and teamwork. Many video games have downsides obviously, but some can also be wonderful for developing motor skills and memory.

6. Nutrition

Your child needs to be fed regular and nutritious meals. A steady stream of junk food creates children who are more prone to illness. They will also lack the proper nutrients, like iron, for healthy brain tissue growth.

7. Read

The most cost-effective and never-failing way to grow your child’s learning abilities is encouraging her to read. Read to your child as early and as much as possible. Keep plenty of books in your house. Be sure to pick one up for yourself. Those little eyes are always looking to see what you are doing.

8. Stable environment

In order to achieve their very best, children need to feel secure. [Tweet This] Give them a steady and reliable home environment. Think of your child before you act. She is delicate and should be treated as such.

9. Real-life experience

Make sure your children get out and see the world around them. Take them to the park. Take them to the mountains, the zoo, museums, or the beach. Take them on a simple walk. Every single place your child goes is a learning experience.

10. Old-fashioned work ethic

Your child will not be the best, the brightest, or the fastest in every aspect of life. We all have our talents and our weaknesses. Encourage your child to always try his best and work as hard as he can.

Sound Off

Which of these are you doing already and what do you need to start doing?

  • ScottB

    We did those plus a couple of others. Our two girls did VERY well throughout school. Our oldest graduated with almost straight A’s in HS (1 or 2 B’s) and our youngest is currently in the midst of her Sophomore year & has all A’s so far.

    The two additional things we did that I think contributed are:
    1) We kept the number of different extra-curricular activities small so that life wasn’t normally too hectic for us or the kids.
    2) We put the kids in a good quality Montessori school for pre-school & Kindergaten. This really achieved our goal of giving them a good foundation — not only of learning but more importantly HOW to learn ON THEIR OWN.

    FYI: Both girls then went to Public schools the rest of their years. We stayed actively involved & worked with the schools to ensure our kids were appropriately challenged.

  • Gordon Paisley

    At the risk of starting an argument, I would suggest limiting video games to a maximum of 30 minutes per day. There are numerous reasons to be cautious about game and screen time. I believe the ‘advantages’ of video games are often exaggerated and are seldom best realized on the couch in front of a screen. Get your kids outside instead.

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