“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” So says Aristotle.
In other words excellence is not a one-time event. Nobody is great because of a single, solitary event or act. Excellence emerges as a result of small acts performed well, consistently and over time.
Expertise, mastery, competence, greatness, genius – whatever other name you want to call it, excellence is the result of consistent work.
As parents, we all want our kids to be the best; we want them to experience success in school, socially, in sports, in music and in life in general. But wanting this for our child is not enough. We have to model it for them.
We have to teach them and help them form the positive habits that will be the foundation for their future success in school and in life.
Did you know that in the US fewer than 45% of parents read to their children? Fewer than 28% tell their kids stories.
These basic interactions are essential for developing early literacy skills. These and other reading activities are the early stages of habit formation and establishing positive attitudes towards reading, writing and learning.
If as parents we neglect the basics when our children are young and most impressionable, we miss a golden opportunity to establish a strong foundation. But this is no easy task!
Most parents are working full time – maybe multiple jobs, so we don’t always have time. Or maybe our parents didn’t read to us, so we don’t have that in our own personal literacy histories.
Whatever the reason, the fact that parents are not as involved as they need to be in their child’s cognitive stimulation isn’t because they don’t care. Every parent wants their child to be successful. But parents sometimes need some coaching on how to accomplish this.
The key to establishing excellence is by creating a foundation for positive habits and positive attitudes early in life.
It’s critical that parents and caregivers play this role. There is over 40 years of early childhood research that has demonstrated that parent involvement is THE single-most important factor for determining a child’s school and life success.
Okay, so we know how to train for excellence: we need to form positive habits through doing, by practicing towards our goal, repeatedly. And we know that to have successful students parents must be involved in this process. But this is not enough.
Parents NEED resources to build excellence.
As a result of my years of experience in the classroom, and through my extensive research on best literacy training methods, I have been able to develop with Pocket Literacy Coach (a parent educational coaching service) a system of coaching parents.
This system employs research-based content to help support parents to build positive habits and positive attitudes towards literacy and learning in their child. Pocket Literacy Coach helps parents get into a daily rhythm of doing creative, stimulating educational activities with their 2-12 year old child.
As you work to establish foundations of excellence in your child there are four principals to keep in mind:
- Repetition: We are what we repeatedly practice, what we repeatedly do.
- Response: We have to have models to imitate, and we have to have feedback from coaches, teachers and, most importantly, parents.
- Respect: When we’re training, the most effective student-teacher relationships are the ones wherein there is mutual respect for the person and the content.
- Rhythm: It’s important that we establish a rhythm. Try to establish a routine for whatever it is your training in – a routine time, place, procedure.
- Applying these basic principals will set you on your way to Aristotelian Excellence!
Dr. Chris Drew, founder of Pocket Literacy Coach (PLC), has nearly 10 years of education experience and has taught English reading and writing skills at colleges and universities across the nation. His publications and lectures on pedagogy and literacy education established Dr. Drew as a thought-leader in the education field.
Dr. Drew’s education and literacy expertise lead to the development of PLC in 2009. Targeting parents of children between the ages of two and 12, PLC provides parents with inexpensive, convenient and creative mobile learning activities for their kids and helps establish positive daily learning habits.
In addition to developing PLC, Dr. Drew serves as president of Meta-Threads, a language curriculum and education clothing line that enhances language development in young children and increases vocabulary knowledge in young teens and adolescents. He is also an adjunct professor of English at Harold Washington College in Chicago.
About Pocket Literacy Coach
Founded by entrepreneur and college professor Dr. Chris Drew, Pocket Literacy Coach is an innovative mobile learning system designed to coach parents on how to educate their children. The system delivers daily text messages to cell phones with a short learning activity that parents can use with children to help them build their literacy skills. Research has proven that using educational text messages not only enhances parental involvement, but also helps parents make their children better readers.
For more information on Pocket Literacy Coach, visit http://pocketliteracy.com