What skill do you want your child to improve this year? Writing? Reading? A musical instrument? A new language? The ten-minute rule is a great way to slowly and steadily build important skills. Pick one skill and commit to practicing it for ten minutes a day for all of 2016.
We have all heard of the Tiger Mother (and some of you are Tiger’s. This post isn’t for you. If you think you need to practice a skill for six hours a day then you should read a blog about helicopter parenting.) Anyway, this system isn’t for getting your kids into an Ivy League or ready for the Olympic qualifiers. This is to build a skill until it is better, passable, more functional. You can learn a lot about music by practicing just ten minutes a day. You can absorb a lot of vocabulary words if you study a language ten minutes a day. You can finally do that back walkover if you slowly work up to it for just ten minutes a day. But, you have to commit, and you have to be consistent.
The great thing is that kids will not only learn the practiced skill, but they will learn about dedication and focus and consistency. Sometimes they will just want to go to bed but instead they will have to finish their ten minutes. This teaches kids about a lot more than just a skill.
How do you do it? Buy a calendar and check off each day you do your ten minutes. Better yet, create a visual progress report. If you are practicing piano, record your work on the first of each month. If you are learning Spanish vocabulary, keep a running list of words you have mastered. If you are trying to do a back walkover, take a picture of your progress at the beginning of each week. For extra motivation, make incremental goals for each month or quarter. Post those in your calendar. Celebrate victories, celebrate milestones, and show off your progress.
Help your children improve a skill, any skill, by committing just five minutes a day.