Variety adds “spice” to life …
and different approaches are good tools to enhanced learning!
This is especially true when a child struggles, stresses or stagnates in learning skills.
Spelling and maths tables, bonds and drills are common problem subjects in many children’s schooling, and despite diligent effort, they may still struggle to master new and difficult skills.
When this happens, look for some new tools or methods and to try to involve as many senses as possible.
Movement is often a great method to apply in Maths. We use these for tables and bonds or reviews:
- skip with a rope calling out the skip counting or times tables
- jump on a mini trampoline
- jump up a flight of stairs, one step at a time, if the answer is correct, back if incorrect
- clap hands as partners to tables
- bounce and catch a beach ball – on floor/ against a wall/ with mom or sibling
- hop on one leg
With spelling, try a variety of objects:
- Scrabble tiles
- magnetic letters on the fridge
- white board
- trace in flour/ rice/ small lentils on a tray
- trace letters on a sealed Ziploc bag filled with colored pudding (and enjoy eating it afterwards)
- play-dough letters
- foam letters – print out spelling
- physically forming the letter shape with their body and a rope or stick.
Review or re-wind previous lessons with a different approach.
Use arrows, directions and obstacle courses, play “Twister” to amplify Geography skills.
When your child starts school after a long break, try a physical, musical workout and make it energetic fun.
Music, songs and rap are excellent for spelling or learning off by heart. Add some cool moves which amplify meaning to add to the impact of the learning experience. My kids still remember their Geography Songs CD!
Do school in a different room or place or in a new environment. Sit under the table, stand on the table, go outside, or lie on the floor. Try to learn in a darkened room and encourage the child to print “mental visual images” in their minds.
Despite variety being fun, it activates different centers in the brain and facilitates neural links and connections.
When a child really continues to struggle, I encourage you to take you child to an occupational or remedial therapist. Apart from correctly assessing where the problem may lie, they have a massive repertoire of games, activities and approaches which you can use at home. They have mastered the art of using games to teach and reinforce skills.
Lastly, although iPad and Smartphone apps and computer games promote interactive learning, research has shown that screens and flashing imagery does not necessarily enhance learning as much as real life, physical, sensory experiences do.
Teach new skills in new ways to add to the impact of the lesson. Find your child’s learning style and work that into your teaching style.
Laugh and have fun.
What novel ways have you used to teach or reinforce lessons? Please share with other readers in the comments.