I'm sure many families feel the same as I do. But how can we support and encourage our kids while they learn?
To get some advice I turned to LEGO Education's president, Esben Jørgensen, who I met during a new product launch event. More on that later. But during that event, I learned that Esben has a strong belief in building confidence in students.
As an expert in STEAM education and a parent himself to two sons, he has found ways to help parents understood how to build confidence in their children this school year.
And here are Esben "Tips to Help Kids Build Confidence in Learning"
1. Stay connected and involved
This looks different for every family, but there are many ways parents can be involved in their child’s learning. Whether you volunteer and help out, attend PTA meetings or ask your child open-ended questions about what they’re learning, parent engagement can play a key role in supporting learning inside and outside the classroom.
While it’s easy to focus on the grade or result, it’s important to help kids feel confident regardless of the outcome, knowing they will be equipped with the skills they need for lifelong success.
2. Help them find the freedom in failure
Failure is essential to learning – without failure no one would ever learn what doesn’t work to know what does. The idea of “failing fast” to innovate has become popular in the business world, but in education we often still hear failure as a negative word – in fact, 47% of students avoid subjects where they have failed before.
Yet 90% of teachers agree that students need to learn to fail to become more confident and succeed in school. Confidence is having the belief in your ability to learn, to accomplish something with what you know. It’s being comfortable trying something you’ve never done before without worrying about a right answer.
Make sure you’re teaching your kids it’s okay to not get it right the first time. Try sharing an experience with your student of a time you failed and how your confidence helped you overcome a challenge.
3. Sign up for STEAM and robotics teams
Similar to team sports, after-school STEAM or robotic programs can be a great way to help students build confidence and camaraderie, while also developing their skills for the jobs of the future. There are various STEAM and robotics teams around the world that give kids from kindergarten through high school the opportunity to work in teams, learn to code and even compete in national competitions.
With a real-world STEAM problem to solve, these after-school programs teach technical and academic skills, as well as critical soft skills that kids will need throughout their lives. Find a program near you or get involved and start your own team as a coach or mentor.
4. Get them hands-on
Over 90% of teachers agree that hands-on learning builds students’ confidence and encourages them to learn new things, and students say they tend to remember topics longer when they learn through hands-on projects. Yet few schools make time for it regularly.
Use your voice to advocate for more hands-on learning in your child’s school. With a variety of hands-on learning solutions and lesson plans that are designed and aligned with standards, your student can get the best of both.
5. Don’t be a fixer for everything
When kids face a roadblock, such as a math problem they can’t solve, parents naturally want to jump in and find a solution. Only 57% of parents globally say they let their child fail before intervening.
Instead, use these moments to help them develop real-world skills such as creative thinking and effective communications, in addition to new academic skills. These are crucial learning that will follow them beyond childhood and set them up for lifelong success.
I hope these tips help you find various ways to build confidence in your kids so they can enjoy learning.
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