What do I mean by that? Well, as some of you might or might not have heard; Stan Lee passed away a few days ago. If you are not sure who this is or why he is important allow me to fill you in. He, along with some other notable writers, is basically the father of the Marvel Comics Universe. I can hear some of you now, "I know nothing about comic books, I never read them, I was never interested.. There is no way I can relate to my kids with this" Ok, that is all well and good but if your kids have grown up in the last ten years chances are they have been influenced by something that he has created. Are you still not following me? Ok, let me put it more bluntly. Your child has probably heard of or is interested in one of the following characters on this very short list
The Incredible Hulk
This is just a small small extremely teeny tiny list of the characters that are housed in Marvel's colossal universe. Why is this important? Because even though you may not know what characters your children are interested in, whether it be comics, video games, novels, short stories, or tv shows, the very least you can do is learn just a little bit about them. My dad used to sit down and watch the Spiderman movies with me, we watched Justice League on Cartoon Network, he went to go see super hero movies. Granted, he was also interested in these characters, but he wasn't nearly at the level I was. We connected in a way that we wouldn't have otherwise connected.
Connections, the more of them you have with your children, even when they involved something that you know nothing about, the better your children will respond when it comes to their life, especially with their school work. They will respect you for respecting their interests and in the mean time you can introduce them to other academic fields to get them interested in something new. It's a symbiotic relationship.
Chase Your Infinity
Imagine someone walking up to you when you are 1 years old and asks you to ride a bike before you knew how to walk. How about if someone asked you to compose a symphony when you didn’t know what the difference between a B sharp and a C. Imagine someone asked you to solve complex problems before you’ve learned how to tie your shoes. These are all ridiculous correct?
So. If that is the case, why is it that we don’t view Kindergarten as a natural stepping stone for children in their cognitive, social, emotional, and academic development. “But Mr. White, I understand how important it is for my child to have a strong foundation, but it’s Kindergarten. They still take naps right?”
No. we don’t have nap time anymore because we are trying to get to 1st grade which will prepare us for 2nd grade and prepare us for the all important 3rd grade testing year.
Pre-K through 2nd grade are as important in your children’s lives as their high school years that help them get prepared for college. I won’t bore you with a lot of statistics but let me expose you to one critical statistic.
Eighty-seven percent. That number is a critically important number. That is the percentage of how often 1st grade reading scores match up with 4 grade reading scores. If you struggled in 1st grade and couldn’t get on grade level by the end of the year then statistics show that 87% of the time you won’t be on grade level in 4th grade.
What helps a child get ready for 1st grade? Kindergarten. So it’s not an unfair leap to say that how a child performs and learns and develops strategies for reading in Kindergarten could easily affect how they do 4 years after. Think about it; four years is a long time for a lot to take place. That is how long high school is and colleges. So imagine how important the pre-k, Kindergarten
, 1st, and 2nd grades are for the rest of your child’s academic career and lifelong learning.
Lastly. Prisons are built based on 4th grade tests scores. If we know that 1st grade reading scores correlate to indicate 4th grade reading scores then we can basically say that 1st grade reading scores are where our societies judicial system starts to indicate if an area needs a prison system. It’s a terrible truth but it’s not unfixable. Continue to promote foundational importance to develop a love for lifelong learning. We are all in this together and the next generation needs all of our understanding and commitment so that they can go after their joy and chase their infinity.