Bargain and boost. It may seem a little redundant from past attempts at teaching, but it is a method that works. When sitting with younger kids at a desk and trying to help them with their homework, they may feel a little sad and frustrated that they didn’t understand it the first or second time. It is important to remember that younger kids have a brain full of wonder, and it is best to use that to your advantage. When trying to teach a fundamental skill such as addition or subtraction, try using examples from their favorite T.V. show or their favorite game. Using these examples will get kids engaged and will show them how the skills they are trying to learn are applied in the real world.
One example would be using race cars and a number line to demonstrate subtraction. Another way to help younger kids would be to introduce them to a show that involves learning basic skills such as Sesame Street or a learning program like ABC Mouse. These sources of entertainment utilize various friendly characters to grab the child’s attention, entertain, and encourage them to learn. Also, boosting up the child’s confidence is a great way to show them you are there to help them. Since they are already frustrated, it serves as a great way to show you are there to boost them up!
This confidence they will gain will also impact their future attitude in matters of learning and trying new things. When all else fails, sometimes bargaining with the child will work. Children, like almost everybody else, love sweets, staying up late, getting a new toy, or spending time watching TV. This method is not nearly as productive as the others, but when all else fails it is an alternative that works. Bargaining with the kids will encourage them to work harder, for a prize. As listed before, the price could be candy, extra TV time, or anything the kids like. However, it is not as productive as the rest and sets expectations that every good thing the child does will be rewarded. It is best to only use this as a last resort, but it will most often work.
All of these methods are encouraging when it comes to getting children to learn. It could make learning fun for them, and possibly something they will love to continue doing in the future!