Learning Together With Other Children

Sibling fun, small groups, and playdates: Often children have more fun learning if they have a partner or small group to learn with. You can make part of a “play date” with a friend a learning time. You might have them do one or two worksheets together, “helping each other,” but for the most part, try to use more of a “game approach,” in which they put concepts in practice. This is a good time to read a “how-to” and put it into action, or play a “learning game.” However, if one child already knows the concept well and would easily “win,” look for cooperative games (in which they work together to solve a puzzle or build something, etc.) or “games of luck” (such as rolling the dice in Snakes and Ladders) rather than competitive games.

Children teaching children: Is your child disliking her learning time? Often, children will respond much better if their learning time is shared with another child. If both children are having the same difficulty with a concept, they will feel better than they aren’t “the only one.” On the other hand, if one child already understands the concept, she can “teach” it to the other child–this works especially well if the “teacher” child is slightly older than the “learner” so the learner does not feel she is “behind.” Children sometimes actually learn better from another child, and teaching a “just-learned” concept to another child really enforces the concept in long-term memory.

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