Perhaps the biggest challenge in learning science and history is that young people find so many of the words and concepts unfamiliar.
Kids find these subjects boring because it’s no fun to study something you don’t understand and therefore can’t relate to.
Parents can help by having their child read her textbook at the kitchen table with an adult present.
Encourage your student to ask you about words he doesn’t know or concepts she doesn’t grasp, and discuss them together. Parents are much better than dictionaries!!
Dictionary definitions are often confusing and unsatisfying to kids, and so kids develop the bad habit of not-bothering to inquire about the meanings of words. Over time, this habit snowballs into a general lack of understanding of and disconnection from the material.
Periodically, have your child read a paragraph out loud to find out if he is comprehending.
- Does she mispronounce words? She doesn’t know the words, so teach her what they mean.
- Can he explain in his own words what he just read? It’s very common for kids to go chugging through the text on auto-pilot, not realizing that they aren’t understanding or retaining. Have him re-read and try again.
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Photo by “Caveman Chuck” Coker