Have you ever tried to teach something to your kids and it ended in tears and tantrums? Today I want to teach you a technique so that you can teach your kids anything.
This can be tweaked and adapted for anything that you want your kids to learn about. It’s a technique that I learned when I did teacher training, it’s used in Montessori, and I used it in ESL teaching too.
It’s a simple yet effective system using the three Ps. Once you understand the process you can apply it to whatever you’re teaching, it will also help you to help your child if they are struggling. Once you know the three P system, if your child doesn’t get it you will understand which part of the system needs reviewing.
When you know how to use the system you will see it being used all over the place. From language lessons on Duolingo to coding lessons to tutorials on how to use a new app to mastering the piano.
P1 – Presentation
The first step in how to teach your kids anything is the presentation. This doesn’t mean you have to crack open a powerpoint slide show or stand in front of the class with a whiteboard.
Presentation shows the learners what’s the final outcome will look like.
- A piano teacher will play the piece that is going to be taught.
- A computer programmer will show how the final program will work for the end-user.
- Introducing new vocabulary, a matching word and picture will be shown.
- Tackling a maths problem the problem will be shared and the working solution shown.
- Learning a new recipe, a technique will be shown with an explanation on how and why.
The point of the presentation is to give to learn a clear picture of the outcome. Often when a student doesn’t understand somethings it’s when the presentation is not clear for them. This is when we have to remember that everybody learns differently. The maths example might be straightforward to the teacher but the learning style may be different for the student. This is why it’s important to give the presentation in different ways so that the student has more of a chance to understand.
In the presentation stage the student doesn’t need to understand the process, they just need a clear picture of the outcome.
If you can tie in your lesson to something your child is currently excited about, you will have a much higher rate of success. Kid loves dinosaurs, then set it up as dino math. Ponies are the in thing, then use ponies as the topic as you introduce new vocabulary.
Kids are easily won over, even having pictures of __________ (fill in blank of current obbession) on a practice paper will make it more exciting for them!
The Montessori way of giving a presentation is often nonverbal and instead models what needs to be done. You can learn how to present Montessori 3 parts cards here.
P2 – Practice
The second step on how to teach your kids anything is practice. At this stage the student is encourage to have a go, it doesn’t matter if they make mistakes, in fact it’s better that they do make mistakes because that is part of the learning process.
They should not be scolded for mistakes but instead encouraged to practice more.
In this stage it’s a good idea to have the student practice in different ways. For example with a maths problem there is often more than one way to solve the problem. The student should be taught the various ways to find the answer. Sometimes one way will click better than another.
If the student is learning new vocabulary then find different and fun ways to use it. It could be in a card game, bingo, board game, role-playing, making silly sentences, writing a story, as many different ways as possible. If you are using 3 part cards there are lots of different ideas here.
This gives the student a lot of chance to use the new words in different situations.
For children especially making silly sentences helps them to remember, this is sometimes frowned upon but this one of the techniques that’s Jim Kwik uses when teaching how to improve memory.
How Long Should A Student Practice For?
How long is a piece of string?
There is no right answer to this, the student needs to take as long as the student needs. Sometimes a student will pick up something you very quickly and other times they will need a lot of practice.
If you notice your child picks up something quickly pay attention to the style of presentation you gave and the type of practice that you are using.
You may have tapped into your child’s learning style and once you know that preparing the next presentation and practice sessions will be much easier. You can model on what you’ve already used.
Sometimes practice might take days or even weeks, remember to follow the child and go at the child’s speed. Pushing them won’t make it happen quicker, it will result in the student digging in their heels and refusing to learn.
P3 – Production
The final step in how to teach your child anything is production. This is when they put what they have practiced into action. Using a piano lesson as a example 1st the teacher uses P1 presentation and plays the piece that the child is going to learn. Then the child uses P2 and practices. They will continue to practice the piece until they complete perfectly. Finally the child uses P3 production which would be a recital or playing the full piece by themselves in front of an audience.
For a foreign language learner the production would be using the new grammar structure in a real life situation.
For a maths problem the production would be solving real life maths problems. Or sitting a test to solve problems by themselves.
What if I follow the steps but my child doesn’t understand.
Go back to P1 and try a different presentation. What we tend to do is try and teach people in the same style that we learn. So if you learn best by auditory learning then your natural reaction is to teach in an auditory way. If your child is a visual learn then they will struggle with your auditory presentation. This is why it’s important to mix things up and try different ways. But attention to what does work and what does this and that will help you moving forward.
Sometimes when the presentation is given in a different way the penny will suddenly drop and they get it. Keep an eye out for these lightbulb moments as they are important to discovering your child’s best learning style.
Often the child just hasn’t had enough practice. Find new and fun ways to practice what it is that you’re learning about.
This might mean watching a YouTube video or building something out of Lego. Bookwork generally tends to be boring so if you can move away from pencil and paper you will have a higher rate of success. Often the student just hasn’t had enough practice. Find new and fun ways to practice what ever it is that you’re learning about.
To Wrap Up on how to teach your child anything
Before you start check that your presentation (P1) is clear and your child understands the outcome.
Give your child plenty of time to practice (P2) and in different ways.
If your child hasn’t nailed the production part then go back to P1 and try again. This time with a different presentation style and/or we’ll practice in different ways.
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