How will you fund their education?

Australian Scholarships Group (ASG), nurture and fund your child's education

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Nine ways to build your child’s character

We all want our children to grow up to be a mature, respectful adult and a responsible citizen. Role modeling character traits can begin early in a child's life, but it's difficult for young children to get a grasp on the notion of character and what character building actually means.

Character building centres around values and ethics and the expectations of the society in which we live—how to be a responsible citizen, how to treat others fairly, what caring means, and how important it is to be trustworthy and earn the respect of others.

Here are nine things you can do to help build your child’s character. Try some of these activities around the dinner table, in the car, out walking or at any time you feel there's a teachable moment.

1. Whispers: To be respectful, requires good listening skills. Form a team of family members or friends and have the first in line whisper a message to the next in line. By the time the message has reached the end of the line, it may sound entirely different. At the end of the game, ask the first in line to recite the original message and the last in line to repeat what he or she heard. This game can also be played using rhymes, songs, or riddles.

Questions to ask:  
Why is it important that we listen to each other?
What might happen if we don't?
What does it take to be a good listener?

2. Heroes: Encourage your child to think of someone they admire. Invite them to talk about this person.

Questions to ask:  
What is it about this person that's admirable?
Does this person help to make the world a better place to live?
Imagine introducing this person to someone else, what would you say about him or her?

3. Opposites: This game can be played verbally, but for it to be most effective you will need paper and pens. Write some respectful statements on a piece of paper, for example, 'be honest or truthful' or 'remember manners' or 'help other people if you can'. Ask children to write what they think would be the disrespectful opposite of each statement. You can maximise the learning in this game by discussing how the words in each disrespectful statement might make someone feel.

4. Respectable: Either write down or ask children verbally to list the things they think should be respected. Encourage them to consider the environment, property, possessions (particularly of others), pets, people and differences.

5. One good turn: Present your child with a scenario such as 'they were at school and the teacher asked them to tidy up at the end of class. Another child offered to help, without being asked.'

Questions to ask:
What reasons would the other child have for offering to help?
How did it make you feel?
Was it helpful to the teacher?

6. On my own: Doing things on their own is a great way for children to learn about responsibility and independence. Encourage your child to list everything that they believe they can do on their own, without your help. This might include packing their library bag, or feeding a pet, or cleaning up after themselves. Make it a fun game by going through the alphabet and asking if there's something they're responsible for that starts with A, or B, or C. You might get to E and ask if they think they could be responsible for elephant washing (if you had one.)

7. Differences: Start this game by explaining that everyone is unique. We are all different in some way. Think of as many differences as possible e.g. skin colour, the food we eat, the country we live in, what we wear, the language we speak, the house we might live in, the customs we follow.

Questions to ask:
In what ways are people different?
What can be learnt from other people?
What would the world be like if everyone was exactly the same?

8. Fair's fair: Toys and board games in particular, are a great way to reinforce concepts of sharing, taking turns and learning to lose gracefully. Tag team: Use weekends and holiday times for the whole family to work on a project. You may decide to paint a room or plant some vegetables, start a collection of something, cook food for freezing, or take time out at the library to research information on a special subject. If everyone in the family is responsible for their own contribution, this sort of teamwork helps to build cooperation, respect, trust and skills in communicating.

9. World view: Notions of caring for others and caring for their world is a concept even young children can begin to understand. Take time out to encourage your child's interest in nature, the environment and the importance of lending a hand. If possible, volunteer for school working bees, Clean Up Australia Day, or follow news items on television or your local paper and brainstorm ways that children can help in the community.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

What to do when your child doesn’t play well with others

Everyone has their ‘off days’ and this includes children as well. As parents and carers, we like to think that our kids will automatically want to join in with other kids and have fun. But this isn't always the case. There could be a variety of reasons for those days when our normally even-tempered, happy go lucky child won't play well with others.

Friday, 13 June 2014

We moved to get our kids into good schools

School girl in uniform
When I was younger, my parents were fortunate that the area we lived in had good schools. I’m sure choosing a school for me was simply a case of enrolling me in the nearest school and that was that. Maybe it wasn’t that simple. But I can confirm it certainly isn’t now.