DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS!
When faced with learning something new the majority of us feel uncomfortable as we are out of our comfort zone. These feelings may cause some of us to be fidgety and unfocused. Consequently, some children find when completing homework that they cannot recall what to do and this in turn can lead to feelings of frustration and anxiety.
You can support your child by remaining calm; reassuring them that finding something difficult is OK and that they should not worry about making a mistake; everybody makes mistakes. Introduce them to the acronym FAIL - First Attempt in Learning.
Share with them the times when you have felt overwhelmed by something new, so that they know that you empathise with them and that such feelings are normal. Many schools use the 'THINK, PAIR, SHARE,' strategy which encourages students to think about a task, discuss it with a partner and to share their thoughts. The following questions are useful in discussing the process of tackling new learning.
DO YOU NOTICE?
Does the task remind you
of anything you have learnt before? With
this question there can be no wrong answer.
It promotes closer study and discussion about the learning which in turn
can help to decode the task.
CAN I LOOK AT ONE SMALL PART FIRST TO START?
Read the task together and if necessary support your child in breaking the task into smaller parts. This can help to dismiss the feelings of being overwhelmed. Highlighting, underlining, circling significant words or phrases as well as jotting down thoughts and ideas can be useful strategies.
ARE THERE EXAMPLES?
Often examples are included with the task, if not, the Internet can be a good resource of examples including video clips.
Should the home learning prove tricky and your child is becoming anxious, stop; reassure them and let them know that you will communicate with their teacher. If you are concerned about your child becoming anxious about their learning you should contact their teacher. There are also many strategies to support children overcome feeling anxious, e.g. taking deep breaths, sorry boxes and toys, etc which can be researched online.