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, though, 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 (i.e. ½). You can also say the fraction out loud in case (“one-half”). Making questions hands-on may involve some creativity! One idea for fractions is to cook something, but ask your child to split the recipe in half. There are so many ways to incorporate different learning styles in 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 him or her plenty of thinking time is another. We all wish we could avoid this awkward silence, but creating wait time for your child to wrap his or her head around complicated questions is actually extremely important for general understanding. During this wait time, students make connections and predictions that they will remember so much better than anything that is explained to them.
Patience is key.
3. Read out loud to hold focus.
If there’s anything we know about kids, it’s 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 accents if that’s what works for your child!
4. Take things step-by-step.
When explaining things to your child, it’s important to take things slowly. Especially with math (but not exclusively), knowing the order of steps is the best way to complete problems accurately and avoid silly mistakes. Also, after completing the same set of steps over and over, students can 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 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, “Monkey see, monkey do.” (We know your kids aren’t monkeys, even if they act like it sometimes!) This saying basically means that your children will mimic your behaviors. If they 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.
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 them out to students in case they missed it!
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’s 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 children’s 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 and his classroom 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 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 our academies across America, but we wanted to help more students and be an affordable, accessible option for families. If there aren’t any A Grade Ahead enrichment academies within 10 miles of your home, 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.
All in all, learning happens 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 the educational experience! What other teaching methods for parents have you used? How well did they work? Share your story in the comments below!
Author: Morgan Leopold, Curriculum Writer at A Grade Ahead
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