When you’re in the business of private academic tutoring and test prep, you come face to face with a good amount of anxiety, fear, frustration, and disappointment. We are also fortunate on a daily basis to share in our families’ excitement, relief, pride, and gratitude.
This is the story of life.
As our children and students navigate these intense, often new, emotions, it is our responsibility to normalize and validate. The classroom will not be the last place a child feels discouraged that hard work in preparation for a big evaluation doesn’t yield the desired result or a sense of doubt as to whether she could have prepared differently. High school will not be the last time a teenager feels ambivalence about how best to use his time and balance multiple commitments, straddling between daunting obligations and more enjoyable escapes. It will also not be the last moment a student realizes that asking for help can be fundamental to understanding a concept better and to crossing over a large hurdle.
What we as parents, educators, counselors, and coaches can do is help our children to tolerate that the road is full of bumps, curves, hills, and smooth patches, and more importantly that our children and students can survive each turn despite the feelings of discomfort. Our words should focus on what they can control: “Yes, effort matters. Yes, you need to focus, make sacrifices, and try hard. The joys and accomplishments of life are the result of our individual labor.” When the outcome is not what was expected or desired, we must be there to frame it not as failure, but as an opportunity to learn and grow, and then stand back up. Similarly, when a student makes strides in a class with which he previously struggled, it is essential that he feels a sense of ownership and pride over his hard work and dedication. Regardless of the particular event, our message should be clear: each experience is an invaluable stepping stone in a person’s collective journey.
Private Prep is a premier tutoring and educational service company offering individually customized lessons for a wide range of K-12 and college-level subjects, standardized test prep, executive functioning, and college admissions consulting. Our Academic Coaches are experienced, passionate, and committed educators. Our mission is to support students in maximizing their academic potential and to teach lifelong skills for students to thrive in any environment. For more information, visit www.privateprep.com.
The Many Faces of Learning
Each child has qualities and skills that are natural strengths – Jonah was an early talker, Olivia is a great climber and loves the playground, Jayden could play with his Legos all day long – and inevitably areas and skills that can benefit from more encouragement.
The question is: How best does your child learn and develop, and what does that mean in terms of providing support?
We all have unique learning styles based on childhood rearing, biology, and academic experience. Our personal learning style affects how we seek information (updates on the presidential candidate’s debate) and how we store facts (our friends’ birthdays), how we understand situations (an argument with your spouse) and how we synthesize what we already know with what we learn (a different way of roasting chicken). Our learning style also influences how we can push ourselves to learn a skill, such as a new type of software at work or how to play piano.
Knowing what kind of learner your child is can help you champion him / her in terms of cognitive and socioemotional development, as well as in making informed decisions around other choices.
For example:
Will my child learn best with private weekly tutoring lessons that are tailored to his/her strengths and weaknesses and balance structure and flexibility? Does Danny need an intensive program with several lessons a week in order to stay focused? Would Anna thrive in a group lesson that encourages working with others?
What type of school would be a good fit for my child – a public setting with a large, diverse student body; a private school with more individualized teaching, a progressive environment with open-ended options; or a specialized school that helps students excel in their desired passions?
Tell me more!
There are three main types of learning: Auditory; Visual; and Kinesthetic. While most people use a combination of all three styles, many individuals gravitate to a particular approach and learn best when processing new information in that way.
Auditory Learners
Remembers songs, poems, and jingles effortlessly.
Learns best with rhymes, music, clapping / keeping a beat, and echo games.
May struggle with learning to read and reading comprehension.
Do best with dialogue and verbal instruction.
Visual / Spatial Learners
Excellent “copycats”, function best when they “see” what is expected of them.
Tend to have a vivid imagination.
Observant of details, enjoy drawing and doing puzzles.
Struggle with change to a schedule or curriculum (which can’t be seen).
Learn best when a teacher or parents demonstrates the skill to be learned.
Kinesthetic / Tactile Learners
These are the movers and shakers.
Try to touch everything they see.
Tend to show emotions demonstratively.
Have good balance and physical prowess.
Often struggle with listening; students can practice this skill with audiobooks.
If you are interested in working with a private academic coach to learn how best to support your child, contact us and schedule an in-person complimentary consultation! We work collaboratively with families in promoting confidence and skill-development across academic, cognitive, and socio-emotional development for students aged pre-Kindergarten and through college.
Check back next week to meet one of PrivatePrep’s fantastic associate directors, Paige, in our Meet-A-Mom section!
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