Teaching Kids to Teach

27 Dec

One of my goals on the soccer pitch is to teach my sons (and their advanced teammates) to transfer their skills to their teammates,

It’s a difficult idea to convey, since at this age the advanced kid is more likely to do the job for them than to teach them how to do it. I’ve noticed this over the last two days with my sons and Lego.

Both of my sons have become fans of building Lego over the past year or two. As you would expect, Aidan at age 8 is a more advanced builder and capable of building sets beyond his recommended age. Evan is a good builder for five years old, but can be distracted at times or fail to pick up on the subtle bits of the instructions.

When they build together, I’ve asked Aidan to model how you do some of the basics of Lego building – how you match physical pieces to what’s shown in the instructions and determining where to place a piece by counting out the grid spacing. But it’s hard for him to do this sometimes as he becomes deeply involved in the actual building and forgets about teaching.

So how do we overcome this?

I think he will become a better teacher over time and practice. It helps when I can be there to ask a few insightful questions that will trigger him to how the how or why he does something.

Our Tae Kwon Do practice has done a lot in this arena – as kids will regularly work with higher belt “Leadership Team” children who help in the instruction of forms and maneuvers. It still helps to have a person present who might be able to ask the right question to provoke one more instruction that leads to understanding.

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