The buzzword, “growth mindset”, has been around in the field of education for several years now and I think it is worth considering when you are teaching your daughter/son. It can also help you as a teacher and a student.
What is it? According to an article that I was reading at Mindsetworks.com, “Dr. Carol Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.”
Did you know our brains are able to be rewired? The connections can be strengthened, changed, and reinforced depending upon the actions we take. You can do that for your child as you homeschool.
Praise your son/ daughter in the areas where s/he is strong and encourage in the areas where there are weaknesses. For instance, if your daughter is a great speller but is having difficulty with more complex words, praise her and show her all the words she can spell with ease. Show her what she has done with single-syllable words and help her break those longer words down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Praise her efforts and come alongside her.
Does your son struggle in math? Perhaps long division is a difficult concept. Try pointing out the concept that he knows, “Wow! You did a fantastic job on this short division problem (16/4). Now let’s try 168/4. Work on the problem together and do several more. You can encourage him by saying, “I know you can do this; I will help you.” give lots of high fives and fist bumps along the way.
It is important to come alongside your student and show her you are supporting her and that she can do it. Think about when you were learning to ride a bicycle. You had someone else run alongside you, holding the bike up so that it wouldn’t tip over. You needed this until you had the confidence to balance and do it yourself. That process and the mastery of a new concept or idea is what having an, “I can do it.” mindset is all about.
Here is a book that I believe will help your child to understand the power of thinking, the power of their brain. You can click on the image to read about the book.
Everyone makes mistakes. That can be hard for a child to understand and give themselves grace to learn or grow from that experience. I have to remind myself of this quite often as well. 🙂 Here are some books to read and discuss:
Beautiful Oops! is a quick read, but there are so many things you can talk about with your son as you read it. Don’t see mistakes as failures, but as possibilities.
I have a confession, when I was a little girl I said’, “I can’t!” A Lot. I remember my mom saying, “Can’t never did anything.” She didn’t let me quit on things and I wasn’t all that happy with her at the time, but I have come to realize that she was teaching me a life lesson that I try to apply in my life when things get tough. I can’t do it by myself, but with God’s help, I can. The title of this next book is a sentence that I want to adopt in my own thinking.:)
I want to encourage you today; you can teach your child. You can help them because you are a good tutor. Your son/ daughter will get the difficult concepts that at first may seem monumental. Keep praising them, walking alongside them, and pretty soon that tough thing will be added to the growing list of things they can do.
Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~