Brain-based Teaching Tips for Your Homeschool
Brain-based Teaching Tip #1
Help your child have a vision that he or she can succeed.
Side note: I am not talking about children with learning disabilities in this post. I’m not qualified to know how much this topic could influence a child who learns differently. If you are a mom of a differently-abled child, please know that I don’t want to sound as if I am minimizing your child’s issues.
So how can you help your students believe they can be academically successful?
There are a couple of parts to this:
- Believe in them and demonstrate that through your positive, specific praise and encouragement
- Help them set academic goals that are a little beyond their reach and give them the tools to reach them
- Make your homeschool a safe place where your students are free to learn and make mistakes — even if they don’t always live up to your and their expectations
- When there are issues with motivation and getting the work done, you enlist their help to deal with the issue
We’ll take these one at a time.
Believe in your children’s abilities
So how do you use affirming, confidence building words with your student? How can your words help instill confidence that he can succeed?
- Instead of just saying this: I’m so proud of you.
- Say something like this: I love the way you had such good concentration when you worked on your copywork today. I’m proud of you for working so carefully and neatly, and your copywork is excellent because of the effort you put in.
- Instead of saying: Good job reading!
- Say something like this: You’ve made such progress in reading since last year! Your diligence in reading every day and carefully sounding out words is paying off! Your reading is getting much smoother and more confident.
- Instead of saying: Great test!
- Say something like: Woohoo! Your persistence in putting in that extra work to go over your homework mistakes this week was a great strategy that helped you do much better on your Algebra test!
2. Help your students set academic goals that are a little beyond their abilities and give them the tools to reach them
By helping your students set goals a little beyond what they think they can do and helping them reach those goals, you are reinforcing that they can be successful. They are essentially proving it to themselves with what they are able to do.
3. Make your homeschool a safe place for your student to “fail” or not do as well as you and he expected. It’s okay to make mistakes, rather than an occasion for stress or any blaming or shaming.
- You know, Sam, one definition of the word “Fail” is First Attempt In Learning. I know you don’t think you are a good writer. But you don’t know how to write an essay yet; you are just learning. With this essay assignment you’ll write a few different drafts, and each draft will get better. It will take effort, but I know you can master this. I’ll help you. Before you know it, you will have this down. Writing just takes effort and practice, and I know you can do it!
- I love the way you jumped right in to do your Algebra lesson today. Yes, I know you missed several questions, but that shows us exactly what we need to work on. Your persistence in working on this until you have it figured out is going to pay off big time in college and in your future career.
- I know you worked hard on this and your score disappoints you. But that’s okay. It’s only a number. We will take it question by question over the next day or two and with regular review you’ll get this.
4. When there are problems getting the work done, involve your student in strategizing ways to work on the issue.
- I can see it is difficult for you to learn Spanish, and that makes you want to avoid it. But since avoiding it is not an option, how can we strategize so you complete your Spanish lesson more regularly?
- Okay, we’ll do a Spanish lesson every day right before lunch. We’ll set the timer and stop after 10/15/25 minutes (depending upon the age of your student). Then after lunch and our break we’ll have a short review of what you learned just before lunch. We’ll stay on that schedule for three weeks. Then see if it becomes easier to get your Spanish done.