For the Teacher Moms:

YOU GOT THIS!

A lot of us have had to don a new hat in our families; that of a teacher. This can be difficult for both parents and students. It is harder to hear that your answer is wrong from a parent than from a teacher. It is harder as a parent to provide constructive criticism to our kids, especially in subjects we may not be proficient in ourselves.

I am a parent who worked as a history teacher for four years and it was not easy to switch hats with my own child. I had to remind myself to to "teach" at him like I would to any of my students. Now, we are in this situation, where many of us need to play both roles.

My son is in 7th grade. He really struggles with math. Sometimes, he gets fixated on a single problem and we have to stop and go back to the beginning examples of a chapter in the math book and start fresh. It's hard! It takes time and patience and I am relearning a lot of math practices that I haven't used or seen in many years. I feel as if I am not the only parent facing these challenges and I wanted to share some good practices that have helped with both my son and my students in the past.

 

When you see your kids getting frustrated with a problem or question, try this:

 Good Ole Process of Elimination -

Instead of telling your child their answer is wrong, ask them to look at all the options and eliminate the ones that cannot work. Even if this only helps them get rid of one or two options, that can be a big help! Especially on standardized tests in the future. This can work for grammar and vocabulary questions, as well. Try using each option in a sentence and see which ones feel correct and which ones feel awkward or inccorect when read aloud. Mom and Dad may have to help kids come up with the sentences, here.

Explain your Answer - 

Another method is to have your child explain why they chose the answer they did. Usually during the explanation, they will locate a step they missed or realize why their answer doesn't work. Then, your child can correct themself instead of being corrected by you. Now, you are in the lovely position of praising them for finding their error on their own. They will feel proud of their work, rather than feeling frustrated or angry at being corrected by Mom or Dad. If they don't locate their mistake on their own, the explanation will usually pinpoint where the problem is in their logic, or locate the step they missed. Now, you can gently remind them about that step and let them try again.

 

Of course, these methods won't work for every situation. Sometimes, the frustration level is too much and you will see your kids shut down and give up. In this case, the best thing to do is stop, step away from that assignment, and come back to it again, later. When the going gets tough, try a BRAIN BREAK!

 

BRAIN BREAK IDEAS!

1. Random Dot-to-dot Activity - Here is a link to our video about this activity on Facebook! This is a good, quick activity that can help reset those tired brains with a little creativity. Plus, you will have these awesome drawings as keepsakes of your time with your children in "quarantine homeschool."

2. ZUMBA Dance Break! Find a clean version of a Zumba dance workout on Youtube and challenge your kids to learn the dance moves. This is a good excercise to do right at the end of a long assignment, or right before a snack/lunch break. LEarning the dance promotes memorization skills, pattern recognition, counting steps in music (math), healthy activity, the benefits are endless! If Zumba isn't your thing, try a popular line dance, instead!

3. Walk Outside - But take it to the next level. Time your walk to 10 minutes or so. Ask your kids to find three different shapes of leaves or flowers in the immediate area arounmd your house or neighborhood. Then, come back and compare what they found. You can also press the leaves and flowers between the pages of a book or have your kids trace them into a "quarantine journal." Make it a science lesson by having them look up the leaves and learning what type of plant they come from. 

These are just a few ideas that I hope will help you and your family get through the days and weeks ahead. Try to focus on the strong bonds we are forming with our children by experiencing these challenges together. 

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