Help – what can you help teach?
This blog goes to both parents and children!
Teaching others is not just for the adults. There are a lot of things that kids can teach us, we just need to know what to ask. I know many people are reading this and thinking I am one of those people who think that “children are little people, equal to adults”. Well, NOPE! I think that the idea that children are on the same level as adults is setting them up for a big kick in the ass! Seriously, if you tell your child they are more important and more like an adult than anyone else, you will be the only one and they will be devastated. I’m not saying you shouldn’t tell your kids how important they are TO YOU. That goes without saying, but hyping them up to be superhuman is just going to be a big let-down for them in the future.
Now that many children are home participating in online learning or some sort of distance learning, it might be hard to help without them saying, “I know what to do!” If you want to be sure, ask them to teach you! I don’t mean to tell them, “Well, if you know then tell me!” I mean “Hey, you know a lot about that. Want to teach me a little bit too?” Empower your learners! This not only boosts self-confidence it also helps reinforce learning because they are telling it back to you.
On the other hand, if a child does need help, don’t be like one of the teachers with the big, red pen! I laugh when I say this because if any of my former students saw this they would tell me I’m a hypocrite. I always used a red pen. Not because red is bad, but because you can see it on their papers! Anyhow, walk kids through what they need to learn and then let it sink in, let them tell you that they think they’ve got it. Also, encourage them to tell you that they don’t understand. Finally, when a child does their work for school, don’t make sure it is 100% correct before they send it back to their teacher every time. I used to tell my parents and students that a teacher also needs to know what kids are NOT understanding so they can teach it further. If you are telling your child, this is wrong, fix that, that is wrong…you are pointing out errors that isn’t teaching them why or what to do differently. Again, I am not saying to have your students hand in crappy work. If the effort wasn’t there, then yes, redo, but if they put all their effort in and they are proud, let them hand their work in AS IS. Telling a kid how much they don’t do right is the same as telling them how much they are doing wrong!
Sharing learning is one of the best strategies for understanding.
A funny story: My daughter, who is now 21, used to make notecards for every test she ever had. This was through middle and high school. The way that she studied was she made me play student and she played teacher. She would quiz me on the work and until I got it all right, we went through the pile of cards over and over. By her telling me and reading it, and then hearing me, she learned what she needed and practically had straight A’s! Now, can I still remember every bone in the body or every capital of every US state, well no, but she probably does!