Teach Effectively by Knowing Your Child

The thing I love most about homeschooling is being able to watch my child grasp a concept and take off running. It is so rewarding, as a mom and teacher, to hold the keys to unlocking their knowledge and understanding. It can also be frustrating when a concept seems clearly presented and yet it is not understood. That is where a mom’s creativity and knowledge of the child comes into play.

Online Resources

When one of my children struggles to grasp a concept, I first look online for ideas, extra worksheets, and different approach methods. Sometimes I find just what I need, or something close and I can alter it, or I make up my own using the same idea. It is wonderful that we live in an age where we can share resources across the board. If I don’t find what I’m looking for online, doing searches usually gets my own wheels turning about how to better explain a concept.

Tapping Into Your Inner Child

Remembering things you or your spouse enjoyed as a child can help with your approach to how your kids learn. Did you love to build things? Let your child build. Did you love puzzles? Do some puzzles together. Did you love to play outside all day long? Take him to the park. Did you love arts and crafts? Cover your kitchen table with newspaper and let them go wild!

In the same way, if your child seems to be the opposite, try things you thought were boring as a kid and see if they find excitement in it. If you have a child who likes to push your buttons, use reverse psychology by letting him know that you can’t stand glitter. It may spark his artistic creativity. Once you find what they what interests them, use it occasionally for other educational purposes.

One of my sons gets extremely stressed at the mention of a test.  Sometimes, I ask him to remain calm and remember that a test is just an opportunity to tell me what he already knows.  Other times, I let him use something else as a tool in showing me what he knows.  He can build an international space center with his Lego’s instead of Popsicle sticks.  He can take his Geography test in the fun world of Minecraft instead of on paper.

Make Learning Fun

It could be as simple as taking something they love, like candy, and use it to teach colors, numbers or shapes, even math. Take a bag of Skittles. Tell your child you will share, and ask what color he wants. Give him the color he says. Or point around the room asking him the color of things and when he says the right color, give him a Skittle. For shapes, Runts are good.

If your child hates to write their spelling words, yet has an apparent need to talk non-stop, you can have them orally spell their words 10 times rather than writing them. He will hear it, see it and mentally put it together as he should. He can then practice his penmanship with writing a story about something he enjoys. While conventional methods of teaching work well, sometimes thinking outside the box can help your child grasp a concept or renew their drive for learning.

Published by

Sonshine Kinkead

Happily married, homeschooled homeschooler, and stay-at-home mother of 4 boys.

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