Years ago, I was able to receive both Supervisor and Administrator training through Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). In their manual, they share their “Five Laws of Learning:”
- The pupil must be placed on a level of curriculum where he can best perform.
- The pupil must set reasonable and appropriate goals which he can be expected to achieve in a reasonable and prescribed period of time.
- The pupil must receive motivation through encouragement and support and achieve control through guidance and discipline in order to assimilate, use, and experience the educational material.
- The pupil’s learning must have appropriate measurement applied to the results.
- The pupil’s learning must receive recognition and reward for its value, effort, and significance.
These are very good points, and I have seen the need for these.
The pupil, whether a student in a school or a child at home, must work on something that is on their level. If the work is too easy, they will fly through it and become bored. If the work is too hard, they won’t understand and will tend to give up. It should be challenging, but should clearly be the next step of learning in that particular subject.
Goals are essential. Without goals being clearly defined, the student works aimlessly, and will tend to fall behind. When goals are set, it is usually done by the teacher/parent. This is good for younger students, but, as the student grows, they need to learn to be able to set goals for themselves. Are we going to set goals for them when they’re 30?
Motivation to do school work? Is that possible? It definitely is, but it is different for each person. There are some that seem to be naturally drawn to doing school work – always wanting to learn and do more. My son is like this – always asking for school work during free/play time. It is like pulling teeth for others. They don’t see the need or importance of adding numbers and letters together. One thing is always true – the results will match the motivation. Low motivation = low results; high motivation = high results.
There needs to be some way of measuring the work that is done. They may or may not have fun, but all they are doing is spending valuable currency – time. The work being done is meaningless. Meaningless work leads to a decrease in motivation, etc. Standards need to be set regarding what is acceptable work and what is not.
Rewards and recognition for a work being done well are also necessary. This doesn’t mean that every piece of homework should result in a pizza party (sounds nice, though). The reward should parallel the work being done. Homework would have some small reward (maybe a “Good Job” sticker or something), while a good grade on a test would be a little bigger (maybe a nicer snack).
There are many things that we can learn about helping our children learn – and love learning. Each child is different, so this multiplies the time and effort needed. But the results are multiplied as well.