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Light bulb moments: Helping your child 'get it' with tutoring

aftb lightbulb balloon 6b

Is your child feeling anxious about starting school? Do you know why? It could be because of a new class, new school or feeling overwhelmed. It’s seldom about lack of intelligence. More often than not, it’s because something just hasn’t clicked into place. The ‘aha’ moment didn’t happen.

Maybe your child missed a few school days at school last year at a crucial time. Or maybe the teacher didn’t explain a new concept in a way your child could understand. Or perhaps there wasn’t enough time to practice a new piece of learning.

We find that missing a foundation concept can start a domino effect, particularly in maths.

How the brain works to solve problems

Children’s brains are still developing while they’re learning basic facts and concepts. As a result, they solve problems differently to adults. Using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), scientists studied the difference between how adults and children solve problems. They found that adults already have encoded and stored information, so retrieval of facts is easy and automatic. Children, on the other hand, have to focus on remembering the fact before being able to apply it to the problem.

As fact retrieval becomes instant, the brain builds a scaffold of knowledge that supports more learning. No concept or learning is an island. Everything in mathematics and English is connected to another piece of learning. For example, correct syntax is supported by being able to spell words correctly, while algebra requires basic addition and subtraction mastery.

What does this mean for your child?

The ‘aha!’ light bulb moment is when existing concepts collide with new information to form a link. Suddenly, it all makes sense. Eureka, you’ve got it!

However the eureka moment doesn’t happen if your child is missing a key concept or has an incomplete scaffold of facts. You can’t build a house without foundations and you can’t learn multiplication without knowing addition.

Luckily, once  missing facts or concepts have been identified and addressed, the child can quickly catch up with their peers.

Tutoring can fix the scaffold

A good tutor starts by backtracking to find where the child’s learning was derailed. Once the problem is exposed, a fun learning program can be designed to install the basic knowledge that’s missing. From there, new concepts can be introduced.

Tutors love their work, because they get to see the light bulb moments happen. The penny drops. The eyes fly open. The concept snaps into place.

At a NumberWorks’nWorks after-school tuition centre, light bulb moments are frequent enough to return energy to the national grid!

Do you want your child to be a switched on learner? Call us to arrange a no-obligation assessment and introductory lesson. An assessment takes 20-30 minutes. When it is complete we'll discuss the results with you and make recommendations for the next steps.

 

 

References:

http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/missing-classes-in-primary-school-adds-up-to-poor-maths-skills-20131030-2whcu.html

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2014/08/new-research-sheds-light-on-how-childrens-brains-memorize-facts.html

 

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