Learning Tip: Stay Loose
By Susan Dichter
In desperate need of substitute teachers, a Massachusetts town held a conference to attract new recruits. Most would-be subs worried about "lesson plans"—what if they could not follow them or the lesson bombed? The teachers' answer came as a big relief.
Teachers readily admit that some lessons do bomb. Kids don't always find a subject or an approach as fascinating as the teacher who planned it. Not only that, teachers report that young kids often miss the main point but are fascinated by another, equally worthwhile aspect of the subject—one that even an experienced teacher had not foreseen!
There's an important moral here for parents: stay loose! If your child absolutely ignores that ingenious game you've made up—don't push it. Kids need time and space to explore on their own. Don't be tempted to take over, solving problems for your child. The more you watch her and listen to what she says, the more you'll become familiar with her learning style. This will enable you to choose activities that are uniquely suited to her.
Susan Dichter wears many hats—mother, writer, former teacher, museum director and librarian; her books include Teachers: Straight Talk From The Trenches.
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