Transforming parents into teachers, part 2: high expectations
I felt so inspired by the book, “Teach Like a Champion” by Dave Lemov, that I wanted to use some of Lemov’s techniques to help my son achieve more at school – and to help me become a better parent at home.
I focused on three areas in which we as parents can become teachers: 1. techniques to change how we interact with our children; 2. techniques to set high expectations for our children; and 3. techniques to help our children become better readers.
It all starts with us. We need to see ourselves as teachers, not only in how we behave, but in the expectations that we set for our children.
We expect to buy our children new clothes, a backpack, school supplies, and lunch during the school year. But what about preparing their minds?
It’s not intuitive; we can’t expect children to automatically know how to learn. And teachers may assume that children already learned good study habits in another grade.
We can prepare our children for school by teaching them how to be better students. Here are 7 techniques that we as parents can use to set high expectations:
1. Teach them how to prepare for class (On Your Mark, technique #33) and homework, such as having their desks clear, their textbook or notebook out, and a pencil or pen ready.
2. Teach them how to pay attention in class (SLANT, technique #32). SLANT is an acronym for Sit up. Listen. Ask and answer questions. Nod your head. Track the speaker.
3. Teach them how to take good notes (Board = Paper, technique #14). Note-taking is a skill that they may not learn in school, so remind them to copy what’s on the board and show them how to write outlines.
4. Teach them how to participate in class (Ratio, technique #17). Giving them starter phrases will help them feel confident when they are called on to answer a question. For example: “I agree with x because…” or “That’s true because” or “That’s a good point, but…”
5. Teach them to give a correct answer (Right is Right, technique #2), instead of accepting an almost-correct answer. Tell them that they’ve made a good start, they’re closing in on the right answer, that they’re almost there.
6. Teach them to give a complete answer (Format Matters, technique #4), with correct grammar, punctuation, and units (“10 miles” instead of just “10”). Make sure they speak in an audible voice.
7. Teach them to praise others (Props, technique #35), sincerely and enthusiastically. If a friend is struggling, encourage them. If someone is helpful, thank them. If a classmate answers a difficult question or completes a difficult project, praise them (when appropriate).
How do you get your children ready for school? Are there any study habits you wished you had learned?