The worst feeling in the world is watching your children struggle but not knowing how to help. We’ve all been there! When it comes to their education, we believe that there’s always a way to help students succeed. You just need to know how to help them! Although learning from knowledgeable teachers (either at school or at an enrichment academy) is the most effective method for students to learn, there are still things that parents can do at home that will give kids a leg up. Keep reading for ten teaching methods that parents can utilize when working with students at home!
A Grade Ahead Recommends: Teaching Methods for Parents to Help Children Learn
1. Teach with Various Methods and Incorporate Real Life Examples
All students have different preferences about the way they learn best. Some like to learn visually, others need to hear things, and some have to use their hands in order to understand. Psychologists have called this “metacognition.”
Imagine you and your child are working on fractions. Visually, the student sees the fraction on paper (e.g. ½). You can also say the fraction out loud (“one-half”). Making questions hands-on may involve some creativity! One idea for fractions is to cook something, asking your child to split the recipe in half. There are so many ways to incorporate different learning styles into your child’s education and make each problem relevant to everyday life.
2. Allow for Ample Wait Time
Allowing your child plenty of time to work through problems on the paper is one thing, but allowing them plenty of thinking time is another. We all wish we could avoid awkward silences, but creating wait time for your child, allowing them to wrap their head around complicated questions is actually extremely important for general understanding. During this time, students make connections and predictions that they will remember so much better than anything that is directly told to them. In other words, patience is key.
3. Read Out Loud to Hold Focus
If there’s anything we know about kids, it is that they can never maintain focus for long. Sometimes, when students zone out, they can miss important details and instructions that could make all the difference in their understanding of certain topics. We recommend reading out loud as much as you can, especially with instructions. Try to vary your vocal tone and add some interesting emphasis if that’s what works for your child!
4. Take Things Step-by-Step
When explaining things to your child, it is important to take things slowly, focusing on understanding and accuracy. Especially with math (but not exclusively), understanding the order that steps need taken is the best way to complete problems correctly and without making silly mistakes. Through consistent, regular practice, students can then develop the ability to work through problems much more quickly and efficiently.
5. Don’t Assume They Already Know
One of the most difficult things to do is to find the missing puzzle piece in your child’s mind. Often, students don’t understand things right away, even when they are clearly explained, because there is a vital piece of information missing. Back to the math example, we would expect that second graders to know that “sum” means that everything is being added up. However, if one student doesn’t remember this fact, a page of problems on addition may not make sense right away. So, just like the step-by-step advice, avoid assuming that students already know certain things because sometimes, the thing that’s making them confused is the thing that everyone keeps skipping over!
6. Model the Way
If explaining isn’t working, show your students the way! You may have heard the expression, “Lead by example.” If children can watch you complete a difficult problem before attempting it themselves, they may be less confused and frustrated when verbal explanation isn’t getting through.
7. Ask Casual Questions Throughout the Day to Check Comprehension
After spending time teaching your child, it can be extremely frustrating when they seem to forget everything. A good way to combat this is quizzing your child often to promote retention and to gauge which topics need to be reviewed. We suggest keeping this interaction positive and not getting visibly upset when they don’t remember everything. Learning is always a work in progress!
8. Notice Television Episodes and Videos that Pertain to Topics You’ve Covered Together
As mentioned, it can be very helpful when students see how topics they’ve learned relate to everyday life. With how prevalent technology is today, this is a good place to look for examples! Pay attention to television episodes and videos that relate to topics you’ve taught, and be sure to point these out to students so that they don’t miss them!
9. Encourage Them Often
Believe it or not, there is one person your child wants to please more than anyone else – YOU! For this reason, make sure to offer your children praise when they deserve it, and let them know that you believe in them. Soon, they will feel motivated to achieve!
10. Work with Kids’ Specific Learning Needs
Some students have different learning needs than their peers, and that’s okay! However, when students don’t learn the same way as others and need accommodations, it is vital that parents know how to handle them. This website is a great introductory tool for common student needs.
Remember: utilizing these teaching methods for parents in everyday life is just one step on the road to academic success.
Again, we want to stress that students will have better chances of reaching academic success when they learn from teachers. So, when the content starts getting a bit too tricky for parents to explain (or even if children just need to see it in different ways in order to understand), we recommend joining an enrichment academy!
Don’t worry – you can still be extremely involved and continue to use these tried-and-true teaching methods for parents.
As a writer and a teacher at A Grade Ahead, I can attest to the quality of enrichment found in our curriculum and the dedication of our teachers. As a teacher, I provide thorough updates to parents, and I love when parents are actively engaged with their students’ progress! Teachers like me may even spot areas where students are struggling.
This school year, I had one mother ask me what sort of teaching styles worked with her son because he was having trouble staying on task in his classroom at school. I shared the methods I found to work well with her son’s learning style, and she shared her experience as well as his school teacher’s experience. This type of communication allowed us to coordinate and find a method to motivate the young boy consistently across different environments.
At an A Grade Ahead enrichment academy, you and your child will receive support and communication that can truly help your child succeed.
What if there isn’t an A Grade Ahead academy near me?
Once again, parents: do not worry. We love all of our academies across America, but we want to help more students and be an affordable, accessible option for families. If there aren’t any A Grade Ahead Enrichment Academies nearby, you can register your child for our Enrichment At Home program. In this program, we send curriculum directly to your doorstep at the beginning of each month. (Plus, it’s available in the U.S. and Canada!)
In the Enrichment At Home program, the teaching methods for parents will work splendidly! Parents can participate alongside students with the provided answer keys and teaching tips. You can get a taste of our curriculum and even have your child take our free online assessment right now on our website!
All in all, learning happens both inside and outside the classroom. The more students learn, though, the more likely they are to succeed, so it’s important that parents remain involved in their educational experiences! What other teaching methods for parents have you used? How well did they work? Share your story in the comments below!
Original Author: Morgan L., Curriculum Creator at A Grade Ahead
Updated Author: Jackie Aukerman, Curriculum Creator at A Grade Ahead
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