One of the things I don’t think I really thought much about before I had my children, is quite how much you end up teaching them over the years.
It starts with trying to teach them the difference between day and night, in the hope that they might start sleeping for more than an hour at a time when it’s dark out.
And I don’t think it ever really stops. I mean, I’m nearly 40 and I still ask my parents all sorts of questions about all sorts of things.
A lot of the skills we teach our children come quite naturally, but with others it can feel like an endless challenge to get them to get it. This little trick though can help with pretty much any skill or task you need to teach your child about.
It’s called the “see one, do one, teach one” approach.
This method of teaching is generally used in training new doctors and surgeons. When they need to learn a new skill they’ll watch it being done, then have a go at doing it themselves (while being closely supervised), and then solidify their knowledge by teaching the skill to someone else.
It’s this final step of teaching the new skill that really makes sure that they’re confident in what they’re doing and that they really understand the process.
The beauty of this approach is that you can apply it to teaching pretty much any new skill and it works really well with children who love showing off their new abilities!
So, lets say you’re trying to teach your child how to tie their shoelaces.
Here are the three steps you would take:
1. Show them how to do it.
Sit down with them and show them the different steps needed to tie their shoes. If they’re completely new to shoe-tying then just teach the first step to start with and then build on it from there.
2. Get them to have a go.
With you sitting next to them, let them have a try at doing the first step themselves.
3. Ask them to teach the skill to someone else.
Once they seem to have got the hang of it, help them solidify the knowledge by teaching it to someone else. Now, that someone else could be you if there’s no one else available. Or they could teach it to a sibling or relative. You could even let them make a little video explaining how to do it, if they love watching things like that on YouTube!
It will still take a lot of time and patience for them to learn a new skill like this, but breaking the process down into these stages will really help make sure the new knowledge sticks in their heads.
The final stage of teaching it to someone else in particular helps make sure they really understand what they’ve learnt.
What I really love about this “see one, do one, teach one” method is that you can use it with children of all ages and for all sorts of different skills.
It would work for:
- alphabet puzzles while learning letters
- maths problems for all ages
- learning to cross the road safely
- cooking skills
- first aid skills
- sorting and doing the laundry
- telling the time
- car maintenance – like checking the oil and filling up with petrol
- sewing skills
And so, so many other things.
What skill have you found hardest to try and teach your child? Do you think this see one, do one, teach one method would help them to learn?