Monday, April 11, 2011

5 Ways to Stop Blocking in Learning

Every homeschooling parent runs into "blocking" at some point or another. For some of us, it's a daily run-in.
Here are some Mediated Learning methods you can use to stop a "blocking attitude" in learning. Whether Blocking takes on the form of "I hate this. I don't want to do this", pretend ignorance or silent refusal to move forward, here are 5 ways to get past a Block.

1. Why are you saying that?
Ask questions.
I know, I know. It's redundant of me to say it, because I say this all the time on my blog. But really, it is the foundation.
Ask questions.
Find out why they think they can't accomplish the task. Learn why they are so adamantly opposed to it.
Asking questions let's you get to the heart of the issue.

Sample questions:
Why are you saying that you hate this assignment?
What is the biggest challenge to this task?
Tell me what you understand about this? Can you tell me what doesn't make sense to you?

2. Be a Rapper
That is...break it down.
Ask the question, "Do you think that we could break this problem down into smaller parts?"
Rather than tackling the issue all at once, try grouping or chunking information together. Once the problem is in smaller pieces, tackle one piece at a time.

3. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.- African Proverb
Offer an Optimistic Alternative. Moving forward is so much easier when someone is beside you.
Find a way to move forward together.

Let's solve the biggest part of the problem together, and then you can handle the rest of it
How about I write for the first two minutes while you talk out loud?
This seems to be a challenge. Tell you what, let's go get something to drink and brainstorm some ideas to solve it.

4. If you can't take the Heat, Get out of the Kitchen...or the Living Room
Change your scenery.
Sometimes a change of scene, a deep breath of fresh air, or a visual vacation that lasts for two minutes is enough to calm the nerves and give new perspective.
Come back to the "ol' drawing board" and start again. Only this time, follow rule #1, and get to the heart of the issue.

5. Don't Keep it a Secret
Talk to your kids about Blocking. Tell them what blocking is. Ask them if they know how they typically block when they come to a crisis or problem.
Share with them what happens what Blocking looks like for you.

ie. A while back whenever I came to a problem or needed to make a decision, I would "block" by running around getting everyone's advice and tell everyone my problems. And while getting advice is good, I actually used this to delay making decisions and felt that if I made the wrong decision I could blame others for it. I had to learn to turn to God, and to trust His word to lead me and guide me. I also had to learn who I actually let speak into my life.

Be transparent about the ways you Block and handle stress or problems. Tell them about the skills that you've had to acquire to overcome blocking.
God doesn't expect perfection from us, but He does expects sincerity. Your children will be blessed to have the same.

There you have it. 5 ways you can get unstuck in your learning.
Add that to your toolbox!

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