Teaching at Home: Make Learning Stick!
Does this school year have you teaching at home? No need to worry, I have a great post for you that will help make learning easier for your child. Try these great ideas to help make learning stick!
Can you believe another summer has come and gone? 2020 has definitely NOT been what we have expected, right? It’s been very challenging to say the least.
I know we are all hoping that things get back to normal soon, but we are MOMS and we are RESILIENT! We are adapting everyday to changes, adjusting our schedules, watching our finances, and making sure our families have what they need. It’s our mom super power!
So it’s back to school time and things are a little different. A lot of schools are not fully doing in person classes yet, so a lot of the learning is virtual. How do parents navigate this new learning situation with their kids?
As a former teacher, I want to give you some tips that can help kids of all ages be able to learn in any setting.
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Tips for learning and making it stick!
How does your child learn best?
Knowing what your child’s learning style is, is KEY to helping them learn, understand and retain the information. There are several different models of learning styles but the basic 3 are:
- Visual: learn best by seeing
- Auditory: learn best by hearing
- Kinesthetic (touch): learn best by doing
I’m definitely a visual learner, it was always hard for me to listen to a lecture and fully understand what the teacher was saying. I really needed to SEE pictures and colors to put abstract ideas together.
If your child is old enough, you can find online tests such as this one from howtostudy.com to determine what their learning style is. This may be a little too advanced for younger kids, depending on how old your child is.
So instead pay attention to what peaks your child’s interest when it comes to learning. Do they like to color, look at picture books, build things, do they like to play sports, do they like to listen to stories. By assessing what your child likes to do, you can figure out what learning style your child is and how to best help them learn.
Prepare Ahead of Time
If your child’s teacher has some work that needs to be done before class time, make sure it gets done. A lot of times this is done with homework. There is a reason the teacher wants the students to review materials ahead of time; so they can be prepared to understand what the lesson is about. Sometimes teachers want students to review vocabulary words and definitions ahead of time so they are better able to understand what the lesson is about. Or maybe the teacher may want the students to review a previous lesson. All of this is to be ready for the lesson for that day.
Show Up Everyday
It is so important to show up ready to learn everyday. Even missing one day can cause your child to miss a lesson and now does not understand whats going on in the class. And since lessons build on top of each other, missing one class and not understanding can cause an avalanche of confusion and falling behind.
Now of course it does happen. Kids get sick, emergencies happen, things come up and kid’s have to miss school. If possible ask the teacher if you can get that day’s work ahead of time so your child can work on it while out. Or after your child gets back to class, make sure they get the makeup work and do it. If they don’t understand, let the teacher know so they can get some extra practice or teacher time after class.
Break It Up
Break up large amounts of information into smaller, more manageable chunks. A good way to do this is with graphic organizers. Graphic organizers are things like tables, charts, Venn diagrams, mind maps, timelines, flow charts, T-charts (to compare and contrast).
Repetition is Key
When I think of repetition, it reminds me of making hundreds of flashcards in college and trying to memorize everything on them. It never worked. That type of repetition rarely works at retaining information.
By repetition I mean to use different ways of reviewing the material with your child. That way they can get the information from different angles. The more times your child can go over the information, the better it will stick.
Learning Ideas for Visual Learners
- Draw pictures and diagrams to explain a topic
- Color in those pictures and diagrams
- Trace pictures out of textbooks and label them
- Use different color pens/highlighters when taking notes
- Watch videos online to help further explain a topic
- Use different colored post it notes group facts or information together
Learning Ideas for Kinesthetic Learners
- Hands on activities
- Making models
- Building things
- Acting out concepts
- Cutting/pasting activities
- Busy books/binders
- Watch then return demonstrate
Learning Ideas for Auditory Learners
- Listen to stories
- Listen to audio recordings/videos
- Read chapters out loud
- Have discussions on the topic
- Incorporate music
- Make up songs about a topic
Use the Teach Back Method
You really want to be able to put a whole picture together of what you are learning. When all the concepts come together and you can see the whole picture that’s when you know you have it. One way to assess if your child understands something is if they can teach it to you. If they can explain it and teach it back to you, then you know they have mastered that concept.