Are you working with your kids this summer to improve a skill? Maybe it’s math facts (Try Tap Math. We love that app.!), or maybe it’s spelling. Whatever the topic, here are some tips to make the practice both fun and effective:
- Schedule your activity time for when your children will receive it best. Make it a date! (Asking kids to come in from playing with friends or to turn off the video game to “get this stuff done” isn’t inspiring.)
- Smile a lot. Laugh. Give words of encouragement, but keep it real. (Kids know when we’re faking!)
- Avoid saying, “You’re so smart.” If children hear these words when they do something well, they may be less inclined to take risks the next time because they don’t want to lose their “smart” status.
- Avoid saying, “No.” If your children do something incorrectly, recognize that you understand why they thought that (if it’s true), then provide the correct response, and give a quick tip so they can get it the next time. (Ask someone to watch you, to be sure you’re not furrowing your brow or shaking your head –no– when you’re working with your children. Sometimes we don’t even know that our very demeanor appears negative.)
- If your children don’t get it, spend some time modeling correct responses. Remember, you’re teaching not quizzing.
- Continually monitor your children’s levels of engagement. Quit before they lose interest. Leave them eager to begin again the next time. Do not set a timer or make bribes. This time should feel like it is the reward. It should not require one.
- You may, certainly, repeat lessons if additional practice is needed. Keep coming back to the tricky ones.
- Remember that you don’t have to be captivating. Strive instead to be captivated (by your child). S/he truly is a marvel. Am I right?
- Finally, share your successes! Have your children show off their new skills with others. Genuine praise is pure glory!
I hope you truly enjoy working with your children! If you’re having a specific problem, be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll do my best to be of assistance!