As we move into week #4 of Virtual School, the excitement of being "at school" has started to take a hit! Now, we know virtual schooling works for some BUT it is not for everyone. The question on everyone's mind, how can I make school and learning more engaging and fun for my child, while implementing the same structure they would receive with in person instruction?
One important aspect of virtual learning to remember is INDEPENDENCE. I cannot stress enough the importance of stepping back (at times) and allowing your child to discover/learn on their own. Every child learns at their own pace, and it's at a different pace with every subject. Just remember, no matter what pace they learn at, it's okay and they need time for their brain to adjust to new things! If you don't allow their brain to analyze and ask questions, they may end up struggling more in the long run and become dependent on their teacher/parent/classmates. Allowing your student to discover and learn independently is called Inquiry-Based Instruction.
This type of instruction is what we try to implement in our music lessons! Through studies and years of teaching, We have found that students who are given many opportunities to learn at their own pace and independently (there's that word again), advance at a much faster rate.
The objective is to provide resources and GUIDE students to find the answer/come to their own conclusion without giving them the answer. Often, students will end up asking even more questions about what they are learning, furthering their understanding of the material given.
Providing your student/child with a variety of resources is a key factor for inquiry-based instruction/independent learning. It provides a basis for conducting their own research and forming their own thoughts and questions.
****TIP: When storing and organizing extra books, worksheets, workbooks, flashcards etc. Make sure these items are stored at or below eye level. Things that are stored above eye level will be hard for children to find.
***Positivity During a Crazy Time
As 2020 slowly comes to an end, I can't help but see the rise of negativity--in students, teachers, and parents. We feel as if we have no control whatsoever in any aspect of our lives and the new year can't come soon enough!
Although, times are crazy, focus on the positives! Children are extremely observant and see/hear things we may not think they see/hear. When working with your student, positive reinforcement and confidence boosting feedback mean the world to them! So lend a hand and no matter what mistakes are made, begin by addressing what they did a great job on--how they have an amazing sense of rhythm OR I love how expressive you sounded in this section! When it comes down to it, our students need to be praised for their accomplishments--big or small!***
So we touched base on stepping back (just a little), and allowing our students/child think on their own. I mean what parent doesn't want to raise independent thinking children?! If we go even more in depth with this subject you may ask yourself, "how much is too much?"
What if your student is just not getting it? What if they're getting frustrated? There is a happy medium in which a student should be independently working and when they should be helped. Our suggestion, work through the problem with them, have them imitate the process and then review the material prior to what they are now working on. Odds are, something was missed or their little brains may not have fully understood the previous material learned. With review, you may find what was missing or even figure out why your student/child wasn't comprehending the new subject matter. They may have more questions they just weren't ready to ask, they may have misunderstood something you had said, or maybe they just needed to spend a little more time on the old stuff!
When it comes down to it, just remember you are doing the best you can for your student/child! There is no one correct way. Your support, love, and care are the most important factors in the year 2020. You CAN do this and the year 2021 is upon us!