Tips for teaching your kids

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Parents and teachers are very different beasts. The skills to be a parent and the skills to be a teacher may appear similar but when it comes down to the actual tasks they are worlds apart. I have a huge amount of respect for the teachers of my children. I can barely handle the two of them on their own. Their teacher is able to manage around twenty at a time. While that is amazing I also have a new respect for a teacher’s ability to actually get children to sit, pay attention, and understand complex things. It is incredible. I have this new respect because of the coronavirus. I have taken over the role of the teacher in many ways and it is tough. Here are some tips I learned from talking to the experts.

Be the teacher

Your children know that you are not their teacher. It is natural that they will test how much they can get away with under this new development. Instead of shouting at them and following them around all day, appeal to their emotional side. Experts say by allowing them to be the teacher for ten to twenty minutes they will see it is not an easy task. Then when the roles reverse, they may actually pay attention more. 

Role-play like this is used in early education systems to help the learner understand both perspectives. You want to show them how challenging what you are trying to do and that maybe they are on the lucky side as the student.

Explain the problem

When you teach kids thing after thing after thing, you never know if they are listening or learning. Often you will mistake their behavior as being bold when in reality they are just confused. As you go through a topic ask them to explain it back to you in their own words. Try to examine if they are actually understanding the problem.

If a child is lost or confused they will lose interest quickly. You need to keep them on board to keep their attention.

Keep it short

When I plan my day during the current coronavirus pandemic, I want to get the school side of things out of the way quickly. It is a chore for me and my child so I try to pack it all together and power through. I have learned that this is a terrible idea.

Adults don’t have the attention span for this and children definitely don’t. Experts say that learning blocks should be a maximum of twenty minutes to have any chance of keeping a child’s interest. Your child may be far less, and that is ok. Try and play with the learning block times to see what has the best result and have plenty of breaks in between. 

Know your child

The one advantage that you have over a teacher is that you know your child better than anyone. You know when they are hungry, you know when they are restless, you know how to excite them and you know ho to bore them. Use this knowledge to your advantage.

Arrange activities to tire your child a little physically but also to warm up their brains. Keep an eye on their hunger and give some snacks if they need them. Pay attention to their needs and you will be rewarded with a better student.

The current environment is not an easy or normal one. So don’t place unrealistic expectations on you or your children. Do what you can during this tough time and achieve small goals. Talk to your teacher for some tips and to learn what are the key things you need to be doing. From there, just try your best. Hopefully, it will all be over soon.