Teaching Our Children to Have a Growth Mindset
COVID-19 brought “homeschooling” to a new level of understanding. The challenges for parents have been tremendous at times. Many are working from home, often managing the home with more people around than usual, and then had to become their children’s teacher. The responsibility of working in a new way has thrown many of us off our game.
My mom, who was a nurse, was the best teacher I ever had. I credit her with the passion I have for learning and growing. Learning disabilities were not as well understood when I was growing up, and may have played a role in my learning hurdles. Schoolwork was very challenging for me. I could not read, and homework seemed to be in a foreign language.
My earliest memories were trying to do elementary school homework in California. We had a white Formica kitchen counter where we ate most of our meals, and that was Mom’s blackboard. Sitting at that counter, she would help me write, do math, and teach me to outline my thoughts. She did it all in pencil and stayed there until I got it, or the next meal had to be served!
My parent’s commitment to my academic growth continued when we moved to Swarthmore, PA. I was in 4th grade and was reading at a 1st-grade level. The school wanted to keep me back, but my parents would have none of that. Besides, I was bigger than most of my 4th-grade classmates! After school, it was homework time with Mom. Playing outside with friends came after the homework was done. During our four years in Swarthmore, my parents made sure I got to summer school every year, and that continued for another year when we moved to Darien, CT, in 8th grade. A strong commitment to learning was the way I grew up.
To this day, I feel fortunate to have been raised with a growth mindset – to have been taught that there is information out there to help us be better informed, wiser, and make better decisions.
To Moms and Dads who are challenged with COVID-19 homeschooling, this may not be what you signed up for, but if you look at it as an opportunity, you may be setting your children up for one of the greatest gifts you can give them, a growth mindset.