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Provide Appropriate Level of Parental Support

Tags

Writing Reading K-8 Strategy

Skills

Flexible Thinking Organization Verbal Reasoning

Provide Appropriate Level of Parental Support

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

While parents need to support their children when they ask for help, it is important to strike the balance between being supportive but not interfering, especially in creative areas, such as writing and projects.

How To Apply It!

When your child is writing or creating, try to give only quick bits of help. Limit yourself to a comment or two and then encourage your child to continue on his own.

Alternatively, ask leading questions that will help your child think through the paper or project but will foster their own creative ideas.

For children who have difficulty with initiation, it is important to help them get started, perhaps by modeling or working with them on an overall plan, but allow them to continue on their own once they are started.

Most important is that when the piece is complete, the child feels that the ideas and final output are his own creation. Here are some suggestions for thought provoking questions:

- What's the main idea you want the reader or viewer to know after he's finished?

- What's the most important detail? How can you make it stand out to the reader?

- Show me the teacher's instructions? Show me how you addressed each specific requirement.

- Your writing reminds me of (insert favorite author’s name) because ________.

- You worked very hard on this. What aspect are you most proud of?

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Learning happens when the student does the work, not when they watch a parent do the work. And when the parent does the work, they are inadvertently communicating that they do not have enough confidence in the student's abilities. If you want to develop an independent, self-confident learner, you want to give them as much independence as possible. If you are uncertain how much support to give your child, discuss it with the teacher. If the child is asking for more support than the teacher suggests, that is a conversation worth having with the teacher to determine if the child needs additional help that the teacher should be aware of or if the teacher can offer additional suggestions for how to work with your child.