How can your child do better in the homeschooling curriculum that you have chosen for him? Find out more about it in this article. Let’s start with this fairly interesting story:
The three workers were willing to do the job set before them. They were told by management to put one each of 30 items into one of each of 30 bottles. Each worker sat at a table. Thirty small buttons were piled on the right side of the table, and 30 small, open bottles stood to the left.
The managers asked if the workers understood their job. The workers nodded that they did. A simple task anyone could do: pick up a button and drop it into an open bottle. The workers were told they must complete the task in 30 seconds—still, not a problem for any of these three.
If they could complete the task, management said they would be promoted. If only part of the task was completed, they would be put on probation. If none of the task was completed, their jobs would be in serious jeopardy.
A reasonable time limit. No problem, each worker thought. Buttons into bottles. Simple!
The timer was set. The workers began. Worker One picked up a button and dropped it into a bottle. Kerplunk! Worker Two and Three followed suit. Success! Each worker had only 29 buttons left. This was easy, clearly a no brainer! Visions of promotions danced in their heads.
Ten seconds passed. Each worker had placed one button into 10 of their 30 bottles. They were happy and very encouraged. Only 20 buttons and 20 bottles to go!
Then the unthinkable happened.
No matter how hard the three willing workers turned or forced or tried to bend them, the remaining buttons would not fit into the small openings of the bottles.
The workers looked pleadingly at their managers, who watched with disapproving looks. “Try harder!” they said. “You can do it if you try! Come on, you are not doing what we know you can do!”
But trying as hard as they could, and pleading as they might, the workers could not change the outcome. The buttons simply would not go into the bottles. Disappointment gave way to frustration, and then to anger and defeat. The workers gave up, filled with sadness and feelings of mistrust toward their managers.
How to Improve Your Child’s Study Skills for Any Homeschooling Curriculum
We can see from this scenario that a faulty process with the wrong component parts will yield faulty results. The workers were not given the proper parts to complete the job successfully.
In contrast, good results come from sound processes. And these processes include the necessary parts to do the job well.
We also can see in this example that zeal without knowledge set our workers up for disappointment. They had the enthusiasm to complete the task, but they lacked knowledge about the size of the buttons and their bottles. They tried harder, but to no avail.
Zeal without knowledge is not good. Trying harder and giving our best efforts do not necessarily make something better.
Do we teach our students faulty processes or give them faulty tools? Do we expect them to have better results by trying harder? Or is there something in their homeschooling curriculum that we fail to understand? Let’s think about these three questions:
- Who was responsible for the failure of these willing workers?
- Who put the process in place?
- Who could have changed it?
You would never come to me to perform brain surgery. And telling me just to try harder to perform this task would make absolutely no difference. In fact, it probably would just make it worse!
As an educator for over 40 years, I have found that most students are like the willing workers. They want to do a good job. But they need processes that work. They don’t learn these processes with a hit-or-miss strategy. They learn them by being taught the necessary steps.
Study skills often are “hit-or-miss” for students, and therefore ineffective. Research has shown that students who learn effective study skills are more confident and experience more academic success. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Successful students learn and use sound processes that bring good results. The only way we can do better is when we have a better way! Be sure to match your child’s talents and abilities to the homeschooling curriculum that you give him. Or at least try to make it work for him.