Strength Insights

What is Strengths-Based Education?

SBEoverview

Research confirms that a student’s success is driven by non-academic factors such as their character, parental support and the level of hope + engagement they feel within school. Districts and schools have generally addressed this by trying to implement point programs (ex. advisory, life skills classes, interventions) in the face of increasing accountability for student…

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Strengths presentation ideas

girl_staring_at_mountains

This past week, team Thrively has had the honor of working with Rancho Minerva Middle School in Vista, CA. All students at Rancho Minerva are using Thrively to discover their strengths, celebrate them, and understand how they can wield these superpowers in real life. Part of their project will be to make a presentation about…

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School’s out – reflections on the lessons learned

School's Out

Thinking back, what did you learn? As the school year finishes up, we’re tempted to just hit the door and run as fast as we can. Teachers do this, kids do it, and parents do it as well. Now that every year ends with relentless test preparation followed by hours upon hours of filling in…

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Is passion misunderstood?

girl with head in hands

The point that is missed in The New York Times article entitled, “Our Push for ‘Passion,’ and Why It Harms Kids”. Lisa Heffernan made an important point in last week’s NYT article about passion: overzealous parents often take the concept way too far, and the search for a passion becomes a high pressure quest for the…

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Working Memory – Why It’s More Important than IQ

workingmemory

We tend to think that the key to doing well in school is being smart, but that’s not really true. Academic success is about more than just being brainy. In fact, studies show us that students who have a more developed working memory are actually better performers in school than those children who have a…

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Scaffolding Independence

girls flower field

The truth is that as much as we might want it, it’s not easy for us as parents to let our children become independent.  Here we’ve spent years being the rock that they lean on, and so when the time comes for them to move out and experience the world on their own it naturally…

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A New Year’s Resolution: Stress Management for Kids

goodgrief

We often think of childhood as an easy going time of fun and games. But the truth is, in today’s age when kids are completely covered up with activities and school expectations, it can be easy for kids to get overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to feel as though they can get their heads above water and catch…

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What do you get the kid who has everything? [+giveaway]

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What do you get the kid who has everything? [+giveaway]

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Seriously. Between tech gadgets, LEGOs, video games, and clothing, what do you get the kid who has everything?

Or a better question may be... do kids really need more stuff?

I'm not saying don't give any gifts. I'm saying consider the fact that our kids might not need more stuff just for stuff's sake. For a minute, consider incorporating a new kind of gift: an experience.

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You know what they say... Give a toy, play for a day; Give an experience, make a memory that lasts a lifetime.

OK so I just made that up. But it's true, right? My daughter will not be able to list the number of dolls she's outgrown since she was younger. But she will most definitely be able to describe every piece of clothing she created in her Fashion Design camp last summer. My son only wears one of the five pairs of sneakers he owns, but he can recall every pitch he threw to help bring his baseball team to the playoffs last year. Of course they enjoyed the dolls and the sneakers at the time, so it's not like I'd go back in time and deprive them, but I'm just thinking about how all the experiences they've had are the things that have really settled into their hearts. I want to give them more of those.

But... what if those two things could come together in perfect harmony?

This year we are doing something different. The kids' "big" gifts are going to be activities. My daughter wants to take an immersion Spanish course this summer, my son wants to do some kind of outdoor adventure, and my youngest daughter - well she wants to do everything under the sun :)

I use Thrively to get recommendations for them. Thrively is a strength-based activity finder for kids. It helps me find unique and highly rated activities, plus filters for what's going to be a good fit for both their strengths and interests. I entered "Backpacking" as an interest for him, and "Spanish" as an interest for her. Thrively then scans the thousands of activities in the directory to find the ones that match those interests as well as their strengths from their Strength Profile.

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Here's the recommendation that popped up for my son (umm can I go too?):

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Perfect. Now don't tell my kid. Here's where the "stuff" comes in. I went to AfterSchool.com and found:

The "stuff" here is not the experience in itself; but it facilitates the experience. My son may not remember the shoes themselves when he gets older. But he will remember the way they stood up to mud, he'll remember cinching them tight at the start of a long day on the trail, and he'll remember taking them off after a week of exploring the outdoors and looking at stars.

I plan to print a little framed card of the camp and tie it with a ribbon to his new boots. I can't wait until he opens it :)

Join us on this adventure. 

Sign up for Thrively.com and find that perfect adventure for your kids, whether it's a class or a camp. Then enter to win one of eight $50 Gift Cards from AfterSchool.com, so you can get the right gear to match the perfect activity you find through Thrively.

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Fine print: giveaway ends 12/14 at 11:59pm. Open to United States residents only, age 13 or up. No purchase necessary. 

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Teachers: How do you respond to “but when are we ever gonna need to use this?”

Insrtuctions

Ugh. That ubiquitous line that all teachers find themselves facing from students is the question of when the information that’s being taught is going to be useful in the “real world.” You refrain from spinning around, smoke blowing out your ears, to answer with “when are you gonna use Minecraft? when are you gonna use…

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7 ways to empower your kids

strength

Empowering your child is something that happens every day, in little ways. Kids need to feel supported and free to make mistakes in order to gain self esteem and embrace responsibility. Here are some quick things to start doing right now to empower your child. One-on-one time – EVERY DAY. This may sound impossible, but…

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