Every Parent’s Wish: My child should learn everything easily

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If given a magic wand, what would the parent of a school-going child wish for?

“My child should learn everything easily”

It looks like a simple wish with a straightforward intention. However, no such magic wands seem to exist that can grant this wish. Unless we change our wish a little.

Let’s try wishing –  ‘My child should learn.’

One thought that keeps all the parents of school-going children worried, knowingly or unknowingly, is “I hope my child is learning like other children and is not getting left behind.” A small negative remark by a teacher in the notebook can push a parent’s anxiety and stress to another level. And if it happens multiple times in a year or continues across different grades, parents start thinking, ‘looks like my child will need help to keep up’.

Some parents may start spending more time teaching their child, others may ask a family member who is good with that particular subject or topic; some may look for tutoring help, or ask other students for hints, ideas and explanations. One thing common amongst all the above methods of help is – pushing the child to do more (practice).

While there are some children who benefit greatly from the above stated help, there are others who do not. Doing ‘more of the same’ is not their ‘thing’. They do not learn just by being taught more of ‘it’. They do not belong to ‘One Size Fits All’ approach to education.

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So, yes they do not learn the way they are taught.  They need to be taught the way they learn.

Now comes the question – How would the parents know if their child is one of them who learns, but differently? Here are some ways to find out:

1.Needs extra explanation for every concept being introduced or taught in class – be it alphabets, numbers, grammar, math operations, or any other concept; if you as a parent need to spend more time than usual with your child every time, for several topics, several subjects, be aware that your child is having problem learning the way it is being taught.

2. Tantrums at the time of homework – Most of the times, parents’ concerns are that their child does not concentrate or focus enough or ‘doesn’t want to study’. And the biggest challenge then is – getting the homework done. The whole homework situation looks like a battlefield. Like you, your child may also be dreading the homework time. You may not have a way out of this but your child definitely has figured this out. Throw temper tantrums, pick up a fight, refuse to sit down, stay out in the park or friend’s house for longer, are just some of the ideas they may discover and use. Does this really mean they don’t want to study? Think again.

3. Knows everything orally, but comes out with something else when asked to write– “When you know it so well, why aren’t you writing it correctly? Pay more attention” is what the parents say. Isn’t it? Be informed, parents! Your child may not have got the ‘art’ of putting ideas down on paper in the way it has been taught (or the way it has been expected without even being taught – how many schools teach writing skills, anyways?)

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4. A concept well understood one week seems to be a ‘new’ one the next week – While some students may remember what happened years ago, where did they go, and with whom; they may not remember the words, the science concept or math operation, they learnt a week ago in school or at home. Well, if they can recall something that they had experienced some years ago, they can definitely recall what they learn in school, provided they learn the way it is best for them.

5. Planning, Self-discipline, Organizing their time and material pose a challenge – These skills are most often ‘discovered’ as missing when some students reach high school or college level. Why suddenly now? Were these skills intact during elementary and middle school? Highly unlikely! Since most of these students eventually learn these skills as adults, either on the job or after experiencing the aftermath several times, they could have definitely learnt them if they were taught to them and not left to their own wits to ‘go figure’.

So, where is the ‘magic wand’ here? Did we lose it somewhere in the process of our understanding of our children’s learning? No, we didn’t. We found it for our children.  It’s you, parents! You are that magic wand you have been looking for and you have the power to make your own wish for your child come true!!!

Is your child struggling at school? Concerned but not sure who to ask? 

Ask your questions on our chat session on 15 Oct at 12 noon. Reena Gupta, founder of mindsera.com and an experienced clinical psychologist, will be conducting the chat. Please sign up at ZenParent.in to attend – this chat will focus specially on learning difficulties faced by children in the 5-10 year age group.

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