The school year has come to a close, but I don’t plan for the learning to stop. Au contraire – we learn year-round. (Don’t we all, in one way or another?)
I don’t mean I’ve developed lesson plans and subject units to pore through from now until September.
But there are things we work on all year round, such as:
- scissor skills
- gross motor skills like balancing on one foot, catching a ball, or doing hopscotch
- drawing new shapes and objects
- reading new books
- a new French word a week because Toddler wants to!
- counting higher and higher
Other things are simply learned spontaneously … because Always Be Teaching:
- new words (because I keep saying words I need to define for my kids)
- random knowledge like how rain happens and why the sun goes down
- how to cook new foods – because Toddler helps in the kitchen randomly
- which planets have rings
Yet … I’ve discovered a theme since Toddler began school in January: she learns much more readily from her teachers than from me or my husband. She’s more persistent and pays attention longer.
Why does my child give up so quickly sometimes when I try to teach her something? Even with my encouragement and praise at her accomplishments, even a small one, she often won’t want to finish the art project or whatever we’re doing. (Yet we do have a lot of successes – I’m not saying it’s always a failure around here.)
Yet she always came home with completed work from school and told me all about what they learned during the day – and never sounded frustrated or indicated she couldn’t do something.
(I realize she might lose attention during her school day as well, and since I’m not there I don’t know everything that happens. But when I do peep into the room if I arrive early for pick-up, I see her paying attention and working diligently.
Are non-parental authority figures that much more able to hold a kid’s attention? What is it about teachers that automatically command obedience – at least from my child?
I wish I had more answers to provide here; this is more just a complaining post! Going forward, I’ll keep trying to set my children and I up for success when we approach a learning opportunity by:
- being totally prepared beforehand with materials so the kids aren’t kept waiting
- not bombarding Toddler with too much information
- keeping explanations as succinct as possible
- having patience with Toddler if she doesn’t do things quite “as they should be done”
- avoiding distractions like extraneous toys hanging around or Baby waking from a nap soon
- focusing on having fun!
Do you have any tips or ideas for making learning at home go more successfully?