If you and I sat down to chat about intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts, I am guessing you already know where your child naturally shines.
Each of us know there are things we just learn easily, and the same is true for your child. Intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts can enrich the quality of your homeschooling.
There are 3 key reasons why intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts is important.
1) Intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts allows the natural curiosity in your child to keep growing and increases your child’s learning. Your child will want to learn more because they are naturally curious about this area of knowledge.
When we are curious, we have more questions. We are thinking to understand more. We are connecting the new things we learn to what we already know. Naturally, we will start thinking of how to use what we have learned in new ways.
2) Intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts makes learning more fun.
When you teach in areas where your children learn easily, your child will naturally be more motivated to want to learn more. It makes us happy when we are successful, so we want to repeat that success.
3) Areas in which we are strong learners become our career choices. Areas where we struggle, we typically avoid as adults.
Personally, I am a good task manager, so I had a fun job as a personal assistant. However, I am terrible at keeping plants alive, so it never crossed my mind to consider a career as a landscape architect. It definitely would not bring me joy.
When you intentionally teach to your child’s gifts, you give them a head start to become experts at an earlier age. Anyone have a preschooler who is a dinosaur expert? Or maybe a future engineer who creates fabulous Lego structures? Maybe you have a history buff, or an artist/designer in your family?
By intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts, you are giving him or her the opportunity to excel where they were created to be strong. This early success can build confidence in both the child and his/her learning abilities no matter where area of expertise they decide to pursue in the future.
How exactly do you intentionally teach to your child’s gifts? Here are 7 quick and easy ways to get started:
- Ask your child what they enjoyed learning the most
- Give your child a variety of books on various topics and see which ones interest him/her the most.
- Observe what subjects your child prefers to do
- Ask your child what topics s/he would like to study more
- Observe what type of activities hold your child’s attention the longest
- Ask your child what questions they would like to research answers
- Invite your child to work ahead in these areas.
By using the information you find from these observations and conversations, you can gently shift your homeschool focus to intentionally teach to your child’s gifts. Make sure to offer activities in areas where your child shows strength as often as you can.
Realistically speaking, we know you can’t only focus on intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts. In those other areas, get the basics covered. Keep the lessons short and sweet, and move on. Your child may develop a strength in that area later, but for now, it is ok to just teach them the basic concepts.
Keeping in mind that your child’s interest and motivation may change, you can allow them to become experts in more than one area. By keeping the focus in areas where your child is motivated to learn, you are intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts and setting them up to be lifelong learners who use their gifts well.
My favorite reason for intentionally teaching to your child’s gifts is the connection parents and children enjoy learning together in fun ways. To me, that connection of enjoying learning together is priceless!
In what areas does your child learn easily? Tell me in the comments!
Amy Michaels is a certified teacher with 11 years of elementary classroom experience who is actively homeschooling her own children. Her mission is sharing resources to keep homeschooling simple and fun. She enjoys showing parents how to use curriculum in new ways to meet the needs of their children. Amy works with kids and parents through her online coaching programs. Connect with her on her website http://www.thrivehomeschooling.com.