Two steps forward, one step back. It’s a step back into our memory that connects new learning to old. In order for our brains to gain new knowledge and skill, it is essential that the new learning has something to stick to from the past. In the education world we call it “connecting to prior knowledge”. In our parenting world it’s “remember when?” Our children often proclaim, “I don’t know how..” That may be very true, but when we re-mind them that there have been thousands of times in their lives that they didn’t know how..now they do!
Thinking back and remembering what we know, instead of worrying about what we don’t know, accomplishes half of a challenge. Teaching children to think back and reflect on past achievements, and failures, encourages them to take one more step forward and achieve something that once felt daunting. This is why it is so important to allow children to complete tasks on their own. When we do it for them, there is no working memory to use when faced with a similar task in the future. An ounce of memory along with an ounce of courage launches brains forward and pushes on to great achievement.
- Heart – recall things done or said that encouraged someone’s happiness.
- Mind – when an academic task is difficult, step back and start with the parts that are already know.
- Body – remind your child how many laps he/she ran in last year’s Read and Run Relay!
- Soul – consider the personal sense of achievement felt the last time you accomplished a daunting task.
“I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience.” – Thomas A. Edison
“The future influences the present just as much as the past.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Everything we do seeds the future. No action is an empty one.” – Joan Chittister