When it comes to sitting down and learning, many children get unstuck just the same way that many adults do. There’s always a hundred other things they would rather be doing and for sure they can come up with fifty million excuses as to why they’ll put it off until later. However, as we all know learning, whether it be homework or studying at school, is one of the mainstream objectives of a large part of childhood and adolescence (and beyond) and forming the skills necessary to get the task done is all part of the parcel. But how to do it is another matter!
Focus, motivation and determination seem to be the precursors of future success and helping a child/teenager develop this triage of intent will extend past the classroom and homework environment into many other areas of life as well. To this end we have used our own LEARN model over the years with considerable success:
L Limber Up for Learning
Part of learning is being ready to learn, to have a clear mind, nothing hanging over our heads and able to focus on the task at hand. From making sure that we’ve had a glass of water to hydrate the brain and a snack if necessary to preparing a suitable environment in which to learn is all part of this. If outstanding tasks need to be done, prepare a list that can be attempted later or knock a few of the smaller items on the head before to give a feeling of being in control of them. Clear an area to work in. Consider switching off the phone, television, radio or whatever distractions may crop up and in total limber up body, mind and spirit to maximise the learning experience that will follow.
E Evaluate what needs to be done
Set a goal or an aim. Knowing the end point before starting helps promote focus. Look at the reality of achieving that goal; what is standing in the way and what can be done to remove these obstacles. Assess the options available and make the necessary preparations. Read, listen and prepare to learn.
What is practically required from pens to pencils, rulers to calculators, books, computing equipment and get everything at hand.
Reminding ourselves again why we’re going what we’re doing, what we are going to get out of this session and rationalizing that we can do it is all part of the motivation process. Remember to look back to see how far we have come promotes an “I can” attitude. Focus on what you can do and get on with it.
N NOW Act.
With our minds focussed and motivated, goals set and everything in place, the time is ready to crack on! It might not have taken a lot of time to get to the “N” or it may have taken a little longer but once there don’t let anything stop you.
Helping our children use the above “model” or check-list at the start of each “learning” session has been shown to improve their performance significantly. Why not give it a try today?