We have long known that when children receive encouragement and motivation in the right way from teachers, coaches and mentors, their confidence can soar. But how does a parent learn all of the techniques that professionals whose job it is to help children to achieve their best, have been mastering for years? With so many families shifting to home-based learning as school classes continue to be disrupted, we’ve compiled a list that can guide you to confidently lead your child to developing a love of learning, with invaluable attributes like persistence and grit along the way.
Here are 5 ways to encourage your child to enjoy their learning from home. In time, you’ll notice how a feeling of self-belief brings a whole range of benefits, including self-driven learning.
1. Acknowledge effort rather than result
Perseverance is a skill that will aid a child through their continual learning and development well into their professional lives. Rather than focusing on their achievement from completing a test or on a great result with a phrase like “You got 100%!” or “I knew you were smartest in the class!”, shift your encouragement instead to the effort your child has put in to complete their work. Comments like “It must feel great to complete your work on time and put in so much effort to really understand the project.”
2. Show your full attention with positive body language
When your child is ready to focus on their tasks, let them know that you are nearby and prioritising their learning time. Depending on their age, you may like to start by sitting beside them and pointing to certain parts of questions, to draw their attention to what is being asked of them. Try offering cues with your body language so that they remain focused on their work. Celebrating the completion of a task with a hi-5, stickers or some music at the end can emphasise your support and the importance placed on learning.
3. Give enough time to think and work through tasks before offering guidance
Children can quickly learn to wait for the answer to be told to them, conserving energy and also guaranteeing a right answer. Let your child know that you are on hand to provide a little guidance, to assure them they are on the right track so that they can keep progressing with their work. Consider guiding phrases like “If X times X is Y, then it must be …” or “Try reading the sentence again and then let’s look over these word gaps one more time to see if any other words can fit here.” Modeling how to think rather than giving the right answer, are invaluable tools that can aid them in a range of scenarios.
4. Provide something that they are ‘just’ able to do
Many of us have discovered the power of grit which comes from a place of passion and sustained persistence. This recipe for personal success, defined by leading expert Angela Duckworth, can be encouraged by coaching a child to reach a new level of skill with a task that they are just able to do. Just like how reading is taught by starting with sounding out letters and then words, providing bite sized steps for your child to break down and reach provides them with the determination and a chance to persist to reach a larger goal. A wish to prove to yourself that you can do it, rather than to receive praise, will fulfill future endeavours.
5. Use simple language and repetition
A barrage of questions can quickly throw off focus and morph into doubtful self-talk. Effective guidance in a coaching way can be given by using clear and simple language and with repetition that helps a child to revisit and understand the direction given. This will provide them with clarity while encouraging them to try and try again.
Learning from home has become imperative for children to succeed with their education. As children adapt to a home-learning environment, parents need to simultaneously refine their teaching and motivational skills to support the efforts of their children. Check out our recent blog about online learning for more information about learning from home, or get in touch with your local centre to talk about in-centre and online learning options for your child.
Owner / Manager - NumberWorks'nWords Epping
My wife Ashleigh and I are the owners of the new NumberWorks'nWords centre in Epping. We are a specialist maths and English tuition centre catering to students of all levels from Kindy to Year 10. We service the Paramatta, Ryde and Hills Districts with families currently attending from all surrounding suburbs including: Epping, North Epping, Carlingford, Eastwood, Marsfield, Cheltenham, Beecroft, North Rocks, Ryde, North Ryde, Parramatta and Oatlands.
NumberWorks'nWords has enjoyed teaching students for over 36 years with proven methods. We aim to create a fun and enjoyable learning environment with qualified tutors working closely with each student in alignment with the NSW School Curriculum. We praise and celebrate children when they achieve goals and we build them up with encouragement when they're struggling with confidence.
We offer a no obligation, free assessment for all parents looking to get some help for their children.
Contact Adam and Ash on (02) 9869 4140 to find out more or to book a free assessment for your son or daughter.