By: Song Weijie
Scaffolding refers to the type of assistance provided to a child to complete a task.
Think about construction, where scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support the builders as they build and maintain structures. The idea of it all is that new concepts can be more readily understood if support is given to a child as they are learning. It involves teaching a child something new by utilizing things they already know or can already do.
So! How can we help to scaffold children to learn? Here are 5 ways you can help to scaffold your child to learn better!
If your child is having trouble completing a project, offering hints or partial solutions can help direct them to a solution without giving away the answer. For example, when we are coaching a child to jump we can ask them questions like “do you think you will be able to jump higher with one or two legs?”
Remember we are simply just giving them 2-3 possibilities to choose from to help them to solve a problem.
#2: Ask questions
You can encourage your child to be an independent thinker by asking questions to lead them to a solution or an answer. We help them to think and understand the causes and effects of their actions and how and what they can influence the results of their goals.
Progressions serve as important building blocks for children to reach the desired outcome of the task or skill particularly, when there are complex skills involving the coordination of movements.
We can plan progressions by deconstructing the tasks into separate parts, helping the child to focus better on one specific goal, minimize over-cluttering of information, and simplifying the movements by working on their prerequisite skills before progressing to more advanced movements.
#4: Introduce a prop or equipment
Additionally, we can make use of external props or equipment to reiterate a point or concept. This helps children to visualise better so that they can apply what they know about.
#5: Offer encouragements
Attempting to learn a new skill or a concept can be intimidating for a child, often leading to frustration for both parents and child. By having someone whom they look up to, like a parent or a coach praising them can help to increase their confidence and sense of self-competence, and when they feel that they are in a safe and loving environment, it will be much easier for them to explore new opportunities and to embrace the unknown.
All Children are different in their pace, style, and preference of learning. By understanding them better, we can offer the appropriate scaffolding techniques to help them in their learning.
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