With the beginning of the new school year rapidly approaching, it’s time to start imparting the wisdom of the world on our kids again. So how exactly are we planning on doing that? There are so many different answers to that question. I have found that this 5 stage process will help you teach just about any skill.
For many years, modeling has been a great way for kids, and adults, to learn. You know what I’m talking about. Think back to your own childhood, watching a parent cook or work on projects around the house. I have fond memories of watching my mom and my grandmother sew just about anything from scratch. At 6, I remember pulling out my fabric scrap collection, drawing out patterns, and creating a doll bed with bedding, doll clothing, and eventually a doll. I was able to do this because I spent hours watching my family sew.
There are 5 distinct phases to this process of modeling:
1. You do and they watch you.
2. You do and they help you.
3. They do and you help them.
4. They do and you watch (and answer questions).
5. They do alone and you come and check the finished product.
I have found the basis of this structure in most everything I teach these days, whether it's to my kids, my employees, or even my dog.
The variations I need to apply to this process depend on how often I need to repeat each of the steps. Often with older kids (or adults I work with) I can merge or even skip a step, but when working with a 5 or 6 year old, I often find myself repeating the first three steps multiple times.
What’s great about this process is that, while it works great when teaching a new math concept or a science procedure, it also works very well when teaching your kids to do chores around the house, for example, making their bed or cleaning their room. Remembering to keep these steps fun and drawing them out over several sessions or days will help to keep their interest and curiosity piqued.
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Here’s to a wonderful new school year!