Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Peer pressure, part 1

Helping your fourth grader deal with peer pressure, part 1.

Peer pressure. Growing up my parents told me stories of how they dealt with peer pressure. I will tell you that I think peer pressure started earlier for me than it did for my parents. Our children deal with the pressure of it even earlier. Maybe there were some things from our parents and grandparents that we can learn to help our children deal. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean. In the “old days” the parents spoke to other parents. They knew the parents of the child’s friends. Old time parents (not that many generations back!) knew their child’s friends, too. All of that knowledge meant that parents kept their children away from as many bad influences as possible. Of course, I am not thinking that anyone lives in Mayberry anymore, but knowing your child’s friends and the friend’s parents is a great way to help your child avoid peer pressure. Another example we can take from our parents and grandparents is to make your house the gathering place. If your child and his friends are hanging out at your house, you are more able to keep tabs on any pressure or bullying that might happen. Other things that you can do is to help your child get involved with groups of children that are providing for the building of moral character. It doesn’t have to be a religious group to be a group that has a strong moral compass.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Geography of United States

4th grade Geography of the United States

Another thing that your child will probably study in the fourth grade year is the geography of the United States. Much like the history of the student’s home state, geography of the United States can be a whole bunch of memorization. It can be so much more, however. Beyond the normal learning of the states names, and capitals, there is learning the position of each state geographically, it’s neighbors, and general topography. Once your child has gotten the basics down, then is a time to get more adventurous in learning about the geography of the United States. America is an incredibly diverse country geographically. We have coasts on three major bodies of water, there are numerous mountain ranges, and unique features such as the Grand Canyon, and Niagara Falls. With access to the internet, it is possible to go on video tours of major land forms like the Rocky Mountains, and virtually visit places such as the volcanoes of Hawaii. Geography does not have to be a boring subject. Use some imagination and treat yourself and your child to some great views. Take the study of the geography of the U.S. into other subjects, like history and geology. The more engaging the study is, the more your child will remember.