Many times successes and failures in school can be traced to educational responsibility. Is your child in charge of his success – or failure when it comes to learning? If you find yourself helping too much or taking the blame for his achievements (or lack thereof), you may not be giving your child enough educational responsibility.
Provide access to a variety of study materials. When children have ready access to books and other educational materials, it's easier for them to become naturally in tune to learning. You don't have to spend large sums of money if you don't have it, but try to have things around that are helpful to their education. Manipulatives, educational videos, and hands-on science kits are great tools, in addition to books. Some libraries will loan out these items if you cannot afford to purchase them or would just prefer to be able to return them when finished.
Never do their work for them. When your child is seemingly having a nervous breakdown, it's easy for some to just give the answers. Do not do this. Instead, give your child some time to calm down and encourage him to try again. You can help for explanation purposes. But allow the child to complete the work on his own. Educational responsibility is easier to come by when it is a natural habit in the household.
Incorporate independent study. In addition to any homework, kids need to study things on their own as well. This could be additional information for what they are working on in required studies. But it may also be a free topic the child is interested in. Encourage your kids to learn new things, be it the history of a fad or more knowledge in required subjects. You may need to make the suggestion or first steps. But in time you will see your child start to automatically do this on his own. The desire for independent study is a good sign your child has some educational responsibility.
Allow room for mistakes. Remember that your child is not perfect. Remind him of this as well. Mistakes are okay. They give him a chance to learn and grow, and are a huge part of educational responsibility. When kids can recognize when they are wrong and need some extra work, this is a sign of responsibility. Let them discover those things within themselves.
Encourage your child's interests. When your child has an interest in something, encourage him by providing study materials for that subject. Take him on field trips or play games related to the interest. If your child wants to be a fireman, take him to a firehouse. If she wants to be a doctor, take a hospital tour and buy medical books at her comprehension level. Whatever your child is interested in, encourage (without forcing) him to learn more about it. Let your child tell you what he learns and also what he already knows as well.
Let them take responsibility for accomplishments and mistakes. When your child fails a test, do you blame yourself for not pushing him or do you point out to your child what he may have done to receive better results? The answer should be the latter, but many parents will take the blame for the mistakes of their kids, which can lead to them being irresponsible.
Do not force learning or use education as a punishment. Never say to your child things like “If you don't clean your room, I'm going to make you do algebra!” This teaches the child education is a bad thing. She is not going to be responsible when it comes to learning if her thoughts about it are negative. Always make learning a positive experience and offer it freely, rather than forcing the child to participate.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Your child is special and unique and should be taught accordingly. We all face the struggle of trying to get our children to memorize their facts and do their homework. We spend so much time searching for a better answer. I like the method of using a child's interests to enhance learning. While I can't guarantee you that my answer is the only answer, I can guarantee you that it's at least worth a try. Your child will definitely have fun and probably learn some things along the way.
So, what is this secret method? Well, it may not be a secret, but sometimes we don't think about it. What I suggest doing is keying in on your child's interests to form your lesson plans. This can work for homeschool or just plain studying. First, you should make a list of the top ten things your child enjoys the most. Next, using this list, think of ways you can use these interests to help your child learn. Here's an example of a miniature plan for a child named Johnny.
Find your child's key interests and use them to teach him lessons. Johnny enjoys swimming, playing basketball, video games, visiting the park, climbing trees, and many other outdoor activities. Johnny is struggling in multiplication and division. He also hates to read. His mom decides to take him to the park and play a game of basketball with him. During basketball, she asks him "If I can make 3 baskets in 5 minutes, how many baskets can I make in fifteen minutes?" Well, Johnny is confused, so his mom says, "All you have to do is see how many 5s it takes to make fifteen by skip counting first." Johnny's answer is 3, so his mom then says "So, if I make 3 baskets 3 times, what does that give me. You can count by 3s." When Johnny answers "9", his mother is very happy.
Keep up the rhythm to enhance learning skills. In Johnny's case, his mom continues to play games like this with him, being sure to show him visually what she is talking about. For reading, Johnny's mom purchases a few different computer games that enhance reading and comprehension games because Johnny likes video games. Since he likes games with action, she makes sure that all the games have plenty of that. The video games are played at least 3 times per week. She also makes sure that Johnny has fun practice for both subjects every day. Sometimes the games she makes up are the same and sometimes they're not.
Keep it fun and consistent. As you can see, Johnny's mom has begun to draw on her son's interests to get him more interested in learning. It's just as simple for you to do the same. Your games can be simple or complex. Gear the complexity around you and your child. Don't make learning seem like a chore. Make it fun and your child will view it as such. During homework time, play little games with the homework problems. Just be creative at all times, always drawing on your child's interests. When your child starts to get excited wondering what you will do each day, instead of groaning about the homework, that's when you know you've made a real difference.
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