There are times – generally 24-7 – when I struggle with being the ideal parent. I’m never satisfied that I’m doing a good job, but at least I’ve learned enough to keep my obsessive-ness to myself and away from my children as much as possible.
One of the things I’ve learned – in particular by reading Philip at Blue Sloth and recalling my days of teaching technology in the newsroom – is that incremental education seems to work best. What I have observed is this: when adults start something new, we learn a lot, amazingly fast or we fail to get it at all.
But those who “get it” quickly often fall into a few traps: 1. We decide the object of learning is too easy and become bored or cocky. 2. We become overconfident and stop trying as hard in subsequent lessons. 3. Students who are accustomed to easy learning sometimes give up when the subject matter gets more difficult and frustrating.
When students don’t get the subject material at all, the traps are even more ugly. 1. I’ve seen students get so frustrated or upset they can’t think. 2. Others give up because they erroneously judge themselves stupid.
In all the above traps, resistance to the activity builds. You have to really nudge the kids back onto the playing field or to pick up a drawing pencil again. (It’s even harder with adults.)