When you’re teaching your child, or supporting them academically in any way, even just in thinking about how to get outside help for them, you NEED to understand a few principles of how kids learn to easily avoid conflict and increase actual learning!
Teachers learn the most.
When we teach something, we retain 90% of the content. Compare that to just 15% retention when something is presented both auditorily and visually!
Prioritize creating opportunities for your child to take on the role of teacher. Many young kids will do this naturally by quizzing the parent, or telling the parent to pretend to be a student. Follow that lead! Let them turn in to the teacher! You can also set up other “students” like stuffed animals or the dog. “Teddy looks confused. Can you explain that to them again?”
Learning happens in a fun challenge, and when interested.
If your child is stressed or bored, they’re not learning much. We want all learning opportunities to be enjoyable. One way to do this is to consider their interests and make learning opportunities around something interesting to them.
Another way is to challenge them. If something is too easy, it feels boring. And some kids make more mistakes when they find something too easy. They aren’t paying much attention because they’re not interested. However, if something is too hard, they’ll become frustrated and feel defeated. Finding that fine line of giving only what feels almost easy can really engage effort and attention and make them proud of what they accomplish!
Most people can not attend/focus for More than 10 minutes at a time.
Keep learning activities short, light, and fun! An hour of tutoring once per week is far less impactful than 5 minutes of intentional practice or quick lessons twice per day. Your kid can focus better, and gets lots of opportunity to process between practices, building more automaticity.
Bonus tip: the best time to practice is right before bed! Our brains process all night long and the stuff that happens right before bed gets the most processing.
With these three principles, you can be effective in designing meaningful educational opportunities for your child while avoiding resistance, boredom, and frustration!