Building Cranium Character – Teaching Children to be Trustworthy

We all make mistakes, and we can all think of a time when we didn’t act honestly. The key is learning from the mistakes we have made and working towards more trustworthy behavior. This is true for both children and adults. The first Pillar of Character that our Cranium Character program focuses on is trustworthiness. And for good reason. There’s nothing more central to good character than the components of trust – honesty, loyalty, integrity, and keeping your promises.

Cranium Academy students are learning more about what it means to be honest. Honesty, quite simply, means speaking the truth. To a child, this often presents itself as promise-keeping… doing what you say you will do. As a parent, it’s easy to make promises to avert bad behavior. And while it might seem harmless, not following through on our promises does send a message. Promise-keeping means saying you will do something, then actually doing it. In our lessons on trustworthiness, the children are starting to understand that they have the ability to be trustworthy. They can learn from the mistakes they make, and identify ways to help them be more trustworthy.

There are some simple ideas you can use at home to help reinforce trustworthy behavior and the Cranium Character lessons at home. Break out some dominoes, line them up and push one down to show how one lie leads to a whole trail of lies. Talk about how this can be like our behavior sometimes. Share your expectations for trustworthy behavior in your home. Be sure to praise your child when he or she says or does something that helps you build trust. Most importantly, try your best to set a good example and model the behaviors you want to see in your child!

Maximizing Your Child’s Cranium Capacity

Research has shown that 50% of the brain’s neural network is set by the age of five, and 80% by the age of eight. This means that a child’s capacity for developmental mind and body learning is expanding at an amazing rate, and at a very early age. We’ve designed the learning programs at Cranium Academy to reach children during this exciting period when important connections are being made, and when children have the greatest potential for building up their critical thinking skills. This unique approach is centered around teaching children to move beyond ‘what’ is happening into ‘how’ and ‘why’ it is happening.

Let’s use gravity as an example. Traditional teaching techniques might have a child memorize the definition of gravity and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Using the Cranium approach, children first explore and discover what happens when they throw objects up. Then they discuss why that object doesn’t keep flying up into space? Then each child might be asked to jump up and down. Why do we always fall back down to the ground? Why can’t we just jump up, and stay up? They will learn how gravity works and then discuss and predict how it effects different things around them.

Try taking the Cranium approach at home! You can start by asking your child more open ended questions. Look for opportunities to ask “why do you think that happened? “You’ll see those eyes light up and their wheels start turning… and you just might be surprised by their Cranium capacity!

Cranium Explorers Use Critical Thinking to Dive into the Earth’s Crust

Our young explorers set out on another amazing adventure as we dove into the Earth’s layers, exploring its crust, mantle, and core! The further into the Earth we traveled, the warmer we got. We discovered how hot it really is in the core of the Earth, and children used critical thinking to explore why living things can’t be found there. We shook up the classroom a bit when we discovered tectonic plates on the crust and how their movement causes earthquakes.

A great way to reinforce this exploration and encourage critical thinking at home would be to go to the library and check out The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth. Read it with your child and ask them if they remember the layers of the Earth? Did they imagine the layers the same way?

If you’re not afraid to get a little dirty with your kids, another fun activity would be to dig in the dirt outside together as you talk about the Earth’s layers. How far did you dig down? Which layer did you get to? Ask your child how they would know if they made it to the core.

Talk to your child about what he or she learned about the Earth. You’ll be amazed at what they tell you!