When you were at school, you probably remember having a great teacher – somebody who was able to connect all the dots for you. They were a rare creature indeed. But you knew when you’d found one.
But what was it about these individuals that made their teaching so good? Was it pure genius or did they have a method?
The reality is a bit of both. Not only were they masters of their subjects, but they also learned a bunch of techniques that made it easier for children to learn.
But what were they?
Let’s take a look.
Children tend to be experts at following cues. If their teacher isn’t interested in a particular subject, they won’t be either.
The trick to effective teaching, therefore, is to make it sound exciting. As a homeschooler, you want to keep the tone light and engaging so children come to believe that there’s something genuinely interesting about what they’re learning.
One of the best ways to do this is to explain that knowledge is empowering. The more they know, the more effective they will be in the world.
Create A Template
One of the reasons sites like Studentreasures.com are so popular is that they create a template that makes learning more manageable. They break down skill-building into manageable chunks.
Remember, students can’t create great work without any prior experience. Instead, they need to build their skills over time, mastering development at each stage.
But what does this look like in practice?
Ultimately, it’s about creating just the right level of challenge. Children need enough resistance to make their achievements feel satisfying. But they shouldn’t feel overwhelmed and stuck. That could put them off.
Great teachers understand this balance intuitively. Kids have to struggle. But they also have to get some payoff for all their hard work too.
Use Your Hands
According to Lifehack.org, using your hands is one of the best things you can do as an educator. Children react strongly to body language and it can help to maintain their attention.
Small changes in your body language can have a profound difference in learning outcomes. Changing the angles of your hands so that your palms face outwards indicates openness and a willingness to engage in a shared experience. And that’s what learning is all about.
Keep Learning Tasks Short
The way children learn is very different from what adults imagine. Kids tend to gain the most knowledge when they receive information in small chunks. Four-hour marathons are not advised.
The reason for this comes down to the way that children learn. It turns out that the developing brain needs time for “consolidation.” Learning something new takes energy and new neural connections. And this tends to occur when the child is doing something other than actively learning.
Where possible, therefore, try to keep learning tasks short – perhaps as little as fifteen minutes. Break up the day with plenty of movement. And be sure to vary the tasks that your child completes to keep them interested.
Thanks for reading Jade x