Here’s the vicious circle, few people like to do things they do very poorly, but it takes practice to get good which they don’t want to do because they are bad at math/ English/ violin/ whatever.
It’s amazing that anyone learns anything, isn’t it?
We can learn a lot about teaching from sports and games. Whether it’s youth soccer or a best-selling video game, both tend to start out easy and fun. While some people are appalled that soccer for kids under 7 years old does not keep score, those people are idiots. The kid is 6. Please spare me the, “They have to learn in real life you keep score .” Maybe they can learn how to read first.
In the tiny tots soccer, kids run around and try to kick the ball in the net. Around age 9 or 10, if they like soccer, they can try out for extra teams. Things like a goalie and keeping score are added along the way. (This is how it works where I live).
World of Warcraft works the same way. It’s almost impossible to die in the first 10 levels. You wander around, you learn some skills , how to move your character , how to use your weapons.
What both games and sports have in common is they build skills and fun before judging you
So here’s the problem we have in school – by third or fourth grade, we have a substantial number of kids who are behind academically. They don’t know what 8 x 6 equals. They don’t know what a homonym is or the difference between “they’re” and “their”. No one likes to feel dumb and they feel dumb at school .
The best part of school for them? Lunch. Recess. Friends. Anything that doesn’t involve academics.
When you get an answer wrong, it should be obvious, but a little funny, too. Drag the egg with a synonym into the nest and a baby bird hatches. Make the wrong choice and you get a broken egg.
We know teachers don’t have time to make a video for every lesson, so we made videos for you that explain things like long division, step by step. (I should mention here that there are nearly 200 videos on our youtube channel, all free).
It’s fun. It’s not hard. You can play it for a few minutes at a time, or for half an hour. There are videos explaining the words you don’t know and the chance to practice .
Once kids get better at school, they decide that school isn’t that bad after all.
Now, there is a life lesson worth learning.