What to do When Your Child Has Given Up, Part 3
Ensure his success:
If we can get a child who has failed repeatedly to try one more time, it is supremely important that he achieve success with the new approaches to learning you are using. What follows are some suggestions for ensuring success for your discouraged child.
Choose tasks carefully:
Choose a book very carefully when you have a child read so that the language in the book is familiar to him. If the books contains sight words, teach the sight words first using the SnapWords®. Then when it is time to read the book, lay the necessary sight words on the table in front of the child and let him begin to read. If he comes to a word he does not recognize on sight, just point to the correct stylized sight word on the table. Don't make him wait. During subsequent readings of the same book, the child will know to refer to the stylized cards if needed. Let him initiate turning over the cards to the plain side once he's sure he's not going to need the picture again.
Be absolutely certain he understands the task:
I recall being in graduate school, sitting in class, and the prof quickly giving verbal directions - comprised of words I recognized, but the combination of those "known" words made no sense to me. I am not an auditory learner. I would scan the room and note that most people set right to work and this knowledge increased my sense of panic and frustration. I had heard the words, but did not make any sense out of them. As an adult, I knew enough to ask a neighbor or ask the prof for clarification. A child, however, will not necessarily know how to help himself. Some children absolutely must have a visual (chart, diagram, words written, etc.), the goal stated clearly, and time to clarify before they can proceed with assurance with the task.
- Teach with visuals and graphics
- Teach with stories
- Teach with patterns
- Teach with movement
- Teach by relating lesson elements to known objects
Do all of the above in each lesson.
When you teach a child the meaning of a fraction, even a young child can understand this concept if you use graphics. Use known objects as well. Draw a horizontal line. Say, "This is a table." Draw two legs. Draw a box under the "table" and say, this is the drawer where I keep my tools. Inside my tool drawer, I have six tools: a hammer, a saw, a screwdriver, nails, a glue bottle, and sandpaper. I am going to build a birdhouse. I will put the tools I need on the table. To build a birdhouse, I will use the saw, the hammer, the nails, and the sandpaper. I have six tools, but I will only use four today." As you are talking, write a 6 under the table and a 4 on the table.
To summarize, the best way to ensure your child's success is to first of all get to know his or her learning strengths, and then to make sure that you include teaching strategies that have the strongest impact on his/her mind.
Specifically teach each needed concept before turning your child loose to do new work.
What to do When Your Child Has Given Up, Part 1
What to do When Your Child Has Given Up, Part 2