Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Teach the whole child.

Math has a long history and it is tied into business and government and science. No one can teach effectively to just one part, it has to be a whole, it makes more sense when you know what it is good for and how it is used in real life. Teach the whole child.

The most powerful way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. At first have your child teach you, you need to make sure he has completely understood the foundational material. Find someone to be a study buddy, they can teach each other how to do the material. If you cannot find a real study buddy use a teddy bear or rubber ducky or cardboard cutout or a plant to talk to, the talking to is important. I know that sounds weird but it does work and is very effective I have used it to work through problems that were stumping me.

Keep a learning journal. Write down what you have taught and learned today and what you think about it. This also comes in very handy if someone challenges what you teach your children. A record written in your and their own hand is powerful evidence and further supports the memory the lessons.

Part of teaching the whole child is to teach them how to work. Math is mainly Knowledge Work, work of the brain. But they also need to know the physical side as well. Chores are the simplest way of doing it. Provide them with a choice of chores to do, if your children are anything like mine they will gravitate toward certain chores rather then others. Suit the chores to the abilities of your children their innate talents and physical and mental maturity, you know them far better then any stranger ever will.
At first the chores will get done slower then if you would have done them but speed is not the issue the issue is are the children learning the benefits of work and asking the question "Is this the fastest, cheapest, easiest way of doing this?" "There must be a better way!" is the engineers rallying cry.

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