Old-school skills kids should learn from their grand­par­ents; not YouTube

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

takes con­cen­tra­tion, prac­tice and pa­tience. Those are all im­por­tant skills to hone. Plus, re­search in­di­cates writ­ing in cur­sive is still an im­por­tant skill. When writ­ing in cur­sive, stu­dents ac­ti­vate dif­fer­ent parts of their brains, ones not typ­i­cally de­vel­oped by ba­sic read­ing and writ­ing, and they re­fine their fine mo­tor skills.

De­spite the ru­mours of cur­sive’s im­mi­nent demise, this skill gives stu­dents an ad­van­tage in read­ing and spell­ing, per­haps due to the feed­back from writ­ing words as a whole in­stead of as in­di­vid­ual let­ters through tex­ting or typ­ing.

Pre­serv­ing a fam­ily his­tory:

Con­sider all the knowl­edge grand­par­ents have to im­part: their per­sonal his­to­ries, their tastes in mu­sic, their thoughts on world events they wit­nessed. Have your teen speak to them, record the con­ver­sa­tions and make it per­sonal. How did they per­ceive life-chang­ing elec­tions, wars and ac­com­plish­ments that young peo­ple to­day can only read about?

What was it like to see a per­son walk on the moon for the first time? What was it like to fly in an aero­plane for the first time? They can chat about what­ever comes to mind. Maybe have your teen record a video or a se­ries of au­dio record­ings, or per­haps even start his or her own pod­cast. Your teen’s fu­ture self – and maybe even fu­ture gen­er­a­tions – will thank you. In short, tech­nol­ogy is won­der­ful and can ab­so­lutely help pre­pare teens for col­lege. But some­times the best teacher is some­body who’s al­ready been there.

These are little things, but taken to­gether, grand­par­ents may get stu­dents out of their com­fort zones and ex­cited to see the world in a new-foryou kind of way. And, in the process, teens might also find kind­ness, com­fort and ex­cel­lent cook­ies. – The Wash­ing­ton Post ● Winward is an in­struc­tor at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego, an 18-year vet­eran of high school tu­tor­ing, and the founder and lead in­struc­tor of Winward Acad­emy. She earned her PhD spe­cial­is­ing in ado­les­cent brain de­vel­op­ment and ado­les­cent learn­ing.

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