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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

April 27, 2017
Raising Futurists and Setting Goals

How to Raise A Child to Think... Like a Futurist

Become a Seymour Exhibit Guide

Suki: The Value of Goal-Setting


Places to Go!
How to Raise A Thinking Child -ccontinued
Click to view our Business Directory
  Raising Futurists and Setting Goals

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Happy May Day! There's very likely someone nearby who would be thrilled to receive a flowery May Day surprise on their doorknob!

From Fatherly.com comes an inspiring article on raising a thinking futurist, although the principles the article espouses can result in myriad results. Even as babies through college years my husband and I couldn't have predicted, nor did we try to influence, what our children would choose to do as young adults. Raising children to be wide ranging, creative thinkers can, and in my opinion should, be balanced with structure.

To wit, Suki has written a book on goal setting for teens. It will be out and available soon. How timely for our teens, between (0 Summit 2017) Summit2015ChildrenRunningLots.jpgthe end of the school year and beginning of summer, to acquire the art and practice of goal setting!! Come to think of it, why not practice this art by helping the little ones set mini-goals.

On your way to or from the Summit for the Planet, stop at the Fairgrounds to check out the HUGE Wren and Rhino Children's Consignment Sale.

(2 Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease share our newsletter with new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events!

Have a beautiful spring weekend,  Parmalee

Photo: Summit for the Planet...Ready, Set, GO!!

 

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  How to Raise A Child to Think... Like a Futurist

How To Raise A Kid To Think Beyond The Present And Build The Future

Steve Schiff April 11, 2017

The following was produced in partnership with our friends at Mega Construx, who encourage kids to unlock their potential by building beyond the rules of construction. 

As technological progress accelerates, the future can start to feel like an intimidating abstraction. It's a parent's job to make sure it never feels that way for their children, who will spend most of their lives in an unseen tomorrow. And, no, that doesn't mean a suburb studded with flying cars. The future is more complicated and far more exciting than that. But understanding how contingency splits and knots together, tying personal quests into global histories, is difficult for those lacking perspective that only time can afford.

Kids need help looking forward because looking forward is hard.

The first step to teaching children how to think about the future is teaching them that fate is a fiction. The future isn't predetermined; it's built by people with new ideas. And new ideas don't just come from the clear, blue sky. People work to find them. People structure and restructure their whole lives around the search for insight. And, generally speaking, those people have been curious since they were young.

(0 April 2017) Child_Futurist.jpgFuturists Mark Stevenson and Brian David Johnson were curious kids who grew into curious adults. Stevenson is a comedian turned consultant for the likes of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Earth Challenge, which aims to solve the problems of tomorrow. Johnson is a professor and futurist in residence at Arizona State University's Center For Science And The Imagination and former chief futurist at Intel, where he helped envision the microprocessors that let you read this on a palm-sized computer. Both men believe every kid is born capable of building a future for both themselves and others. They just need to be given room to let their imaginations off the leash.

Read more to see how you can "Encourage Imagination, Creativity, And Collaboration" >>>>>

 

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  Become a Seymour Exhibit Guide

Train to be an exhibit guide. Teens (15 and up) welcome!

Seymour Marine Discovery Center (at Long Marine Lab)

Exhibit Guide Information Sheet   *   Exhibit Guide Training FlyerDocents

Next Training: May 2017  Application Deadline May 1

Exhibit guides come on board twice a year and assist visitors at the touch pools, and interpret the aquarium and exhibit hall. Working alongside experienced docents, exhibit guides increase their knowledge of marine science, gain valuable public speaking skills, and provide important connections with our visitors.

Training: Five sessions; mid-May or late September/early October

Ongoing time commitment:

  • Summer - a minimum of one 4.25-hour shift every week for three months after completion of training, or one 4.25-hour shift every other week for six months after completion of training.
  • Fall, winter and spring - a minimum of one 4.25-hour shift every other week: Minimum commitment: Six months after completion of training.

Spanish speakers encouraged to apply.

Download a volunteer application.
Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz Map
website Santa Cruz

 

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  Suki: The Value of Goal-Setting

(0 April 2017) SukiWessling_2017.jpgLast year I made a sort of self-referential decision. I had been working on goal-setting with my kids, first my older one (just about to take off for college) and then with my then-13-year-old. I thought, "Wow, the goal-setting materials for teens that I've found are so hard to use with homeschoolers... I should write my own!" So, in order to make sure it got done, I set an explicit goal to finish a book about goal-setting by the end of the summer.

I met my goal-setting goal!

My new book is about to be hot off the presses! Join my email list in order to be notified when you can purchase it.

That book is now on the horizon. Homeschool with Confidence: a goal-setting guide for teens comes out May 15. I wrote a draft of the book, used it in an online goal-setting class that I taught at Athena's Advanced Academy, reworked the book, and then realized it was that "now or never" point that I hope kids learn to recognize as they use my book.

This first book is explicitly for homeschoolers because homeschoolers face a much different set of choices than school students do. But my thoughts about goal-setting in general apply to all teens.

Goal-setting -I hope I made clear in my book- is not about making a plan and sticking to it no matter what. For all sorts of reasons, our plans change. Flexible people are generally happier and more successful than inflexible people, but at the same time, people who feel that they have purpose and direction in their lives are also happier and more successful.

Successful goal-setting is the balance between knowing what you want and being open to changing if the need arises.

Successful goal-setting is also a balance between understanding what "success" means to you personally versus what it means to your friends, family, and our society at large.

Why goal-setting for teens?

I can't stress how important this process has been for our family. Goal-setting offers a framework for families to discuss decision-making. This framework serves to defuse the emotion that often arises when making decisions with teens. Once you have a common goal-setting language and your family lays out goals together, it becomes much easier to debate the different possibilities. Of course, you parents are going to have to give up a little bit of your sense of control, but you will be repaid by the reduced stress and the confidence that your teen will gain.

What next?

I will be offering workshops for parents and teens both in-person and online. My first workshop is a free chat session on May 22 in Aptos. Click here for more information. I hope to give other workshops throughout the summer. I will definitely be offering workshops for parents and teens at July's HSC Conference. Please see my to do list below so that you can keep in touch if you're interested in my workshops or the book!

A sense of satisfaction

The very best thing about successful goal-setting is that it makes you feel...successful! Self-published books seldom make much money (heck, these days this applies to books of any stripe). But the great thing about publishing a book is that it crystallizes the work you've been doing. Working on goal-setting with my own kids, other kids, and parents, has been extremely rewarding. I can check this goal off my list with a great sense of satisfaction.

Suki Wessling is a local mom who writes fiction and nonfiction about reading, writing, parenting, education, and homeschooling. Find Suki here and here.

 

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  Places to Go!

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High School Art Show, 4/28-5/29

 

Mount Madonna Pre-12, Summit for the Planet 4/29

 

Monarch Community School, Dia De Los Ninos Celebration 4/29

 

Gateway School, Hosts Santa Cruz Maker Faire 4/29

 

AFE (Alternative Family Education) Information Night 5/1

 

Messiah Lutheran Preschool, Auction 5/6

 

Foothills College, Let's Play Math 5/6

 

Ecology Action, Bike to School 5/5-12

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf K-8, Mayfaire 5/6

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Rascal Riding Shotgun East Coast to West Coast!

Snapshot Day Training
click to view website
  Snapshot Day Training
Coastal Watershed Council
Date: 04/30/2017
Ages: Ten and up
Details: The Coastal Watershed Council welcomes you to become a water quality monitoring volunteer! Training begins April 30th.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 464-9200 view all details >>
     
Bike to Work/School
click to view website
  Bike to Work/School
Ecology Action
Date: Every day (May 5-May 12)
Ages: All
Details: Let's bike to school and work!
Special Instructions: Locations Across Santa Cruz County
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
     
Futurist Raising / Goal Setting
click to view website
  Futurist Raising / Goal Setting
Date:
view all details >>
     
STAR WARS DAY
click to view website
  STAR WARS DAY
Library Central
Date: 05/04/2017 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Ages: Adult
Details: Visit the library for an adventure in learning - Dodging Stormtroopers and Mandalorian Mercenaries along the way
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 427-7717 view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire
click to view website
  Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire
Maker Faire
Date: 04/29/2017 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Details: This should be the most fun event of the spring!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
4th Annual Da de los Ninos Celebration
click to view website
  4th Annual Da de los Ninos Celebration
Monarch Community School
Date: 04/29/2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Monarch Community School Presents the 4th Annual Da de los Nios/Children's Day Celebration
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 429-3898 view all details >>
     
A Stellar Experience - Star Gazing at Quail Hollow
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  A Stellar Experience - Star Gazing at Quail Hollow
Quail Hollow Ranch
Date: 04/28/2017
Details: Star gazing with the pros!
City: Felton Phone: (831) 454-7941 view all details >>
     
A Concert V: Harmonious Sphere
click to view website
  A Concert V: Harmonious Sphere
Santa Cruz Baroque Festival
Date: 04/29/2017 at 7:30pm
Ages: All
Details: A great way to introduce the children to joyful baroque music ...
Special Instructions: Saturday February 25 at 7:30pm and Sunday February 26 at 3:00pm
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-2159 view all details >>
     
Futurist Raising / Goal Setting
click to view website
  Futurist Raising / Goal Setting
Date:
view all details >>
     
Spring Kids Consignment Sale
click to view website
  Spring Kids Consignment Sale
Wren & Rhino
Date: Every day (Apr 27-Apr 29) from 9:00am to 9:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Come shop for all your kids needs at our Spring/Summer connsignment sale.
City: Watsonville view all details >>
     
Focusing on Flowers - A Photography Hike
click to view website
  Focusing on Flowers - A Photography Hike
State Park Henry Cowell
Date: 04/30/2017 at 1:00pm
Details: Sunlight filtering through the redwoods, a glistening river, and breathtaking views make this hike ideal
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-7077 view all details >>
     
Garden Planting and Wool Day
click to view website
  Garden Planting and Wool Day
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: 04/29/2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Details: Plant a seed , watch shearing and...
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-9703 view all details >>
     
     
  How to Raise A Thinking Child -ccontinued

Encourage Imagination, Creativity, And Collaboration

Johnson and Stevenson credit their parents for encouraging their curiosity and crazy ideas. "Everybody has imagination," says Johnson. "What they lack is a culture that supports and encourages it and the tools and processes to use it."

Here are some ways to build an environment where all imagination is created and encouraged equally:

  • At home: Read constantly. Reward your kid's wacky ideas with praise, interest, and opportunities to dream up even more.
  • At school: Prioritize questioning, not answering. "When they come home, don't ask them what they learned but if they asked a good question that day," Stevenson says. "Make them aware of the opportunity to ask a good question. Basically, asking "Why?' a lot." His kid is only 14 months old. Just wait 'til the toddler years, Mark.
  • After school: Get them into the arts or sports. "Art teaches you to link disparate ideas and create something beautiful from nothing," Stevenson says. "And with a theater company, band, or team, you collaborate creatively with other players. That builds an incredible skillset." Adds Johnson, "Drawing, painting, building, storytelling - they're all like muscles. You have to practice."

Get Them Building

Once their imaginations are flowing, talk through their ideas, write them down, and immediately start building that robot, penning that sci-fi story, or inking that comic book. In futurist-speak, this is called "applied learning."

"Get them building, drawing, programming, working, understanding that they'll start building sooner than later," Johnson says. Adds Stevenson, "Let them go make stuff. People divide over ideology but connect over projects. Engineers don't build Democrat or Republican bridges. They build bridges." If only ... actually, not touching that one.

Make Them Explain It To You

Citing 15 years teaching futurist skills to kids through the 21st Century Robot Project, Johnson says the "Aha!" moment often comes when kids communicate their ideas to others. "By the end of a short summer program, students who don't have computer labs are on stage explaining to other kids how their homemade robot works," he says. "That's when they see themselves as proficient. They learn differently when they know they're the expert."

Stevenson agrees, saying empathy and collaboration are keys to future-forward thinking. So, the next time your kid does some unauthorized building with your favorite tools, just ask them what they're making. The answer might surprise you.

Go Beyond The Front Of The Box

The best kind of play, say the futurists, is play where there's no right answer. "It's not about recreating what's on the box, it's about realizing they can create whatever they want," says Stevenson. "You never learn anything without a mistake." Look no further than their favorite construction toys and blocks to provide opportunities to build whatever their imagination conjures, regardless of the pictures on the package.

That said, there are limits. "I'm not going to let my son wander into the street to discover what a car looks like," Stevenson continues. Good rule. Give your kid just enough slack and not a centimeter more; let them know you'll keep them safe so they feel comfortable exploring beyond what's right in front of them or in the instruction manual.

"It's not about recreating what's on the box, it's about realizing they can create whatever they want"

Get Uncomfortable

The future is unknown and the unknown is scary. Face that fear by challenging your kids and yourself with unknown ideas and experiences. Stevenson and his wife do this by taking each other on one date a month they think the other will hate. "Don't be restricted by your own prejudices. Smashing into as many new ideas as possible changes your life for the better," he says. "Even if you think you'll hate it, the reasons will be important to the churning and noodling of your brain."

Do It Yourself

The best way to raise a curious, communicative, future-forward kid is to be those things yourself. Says Stevenson, "If you teach them nothing can change, they'll believe it. Try not to be cynical." That's easy for some, but if you're like many adults who, as Stevenson says, "have had the joy of learning crushed out of them," cut yourself some slack. You don't have to go all Peter Pan. Just give your kid your most valuable commodity: time. Not necessarily to do projects together, adds Johnson, but to discuss them, be involved in your kid's imagination, and reward creativity with ... more time. Time for them to experiment and explore more, now and in the future.

Remember, the future doesn't happen to people - people make the future. So that's how you should talk about it. Empower your kid to be an active participant in their immediate future and, eventually, they'll change their community and the world. Johnson likes to say, "The future is local." As in, around the dinner table, at school, on the ball field, and, hopefully, on the driveway with a sweet hoverboard.

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