Teaching Tips - General

Concept By Concept Teaching

This method of teaching is usually quite obvious to parents, but sometimes as we parents get into "school" mode, we start doing things the way they were done to us when we went to an institutional school, and we forget this method.

Concept by concept teaching means:

Teach one concept, until they get it.

We don't move on until they get it. It could be a concept, a skill, a fact, etc. but we keep teaching them, day after day until they get it, and we don't move on to the next concept until they get the first one.

For example, parents teach language to their children this way. If a child doesn't know how to pronounce a word, we keep teaching them until they get it. If they seem unable to get it now, we might wait a while, maybe even a month or two, but sooner or later we come back to that word. We never give up on them, until they get that word.

We must be patient, and sometimes, as I mentioned, we may have to wait a while for them to become more ready, but we never give up on them. We are gentle and patient, but we are persistent. To do anything else would be unloving.

And we would never go on to a more complex thing that needs the first thing, until after they get the first thing.

For example, if we are teaching them 2 + 2 = 4. We may be teaching them a few other addition math facts that same day, but we don't go on and try to teach them multiplication or advanced addition, until they have these basic facts down.

In group classes, the teacher can't do this for every student, there are just too many students in a class. But as home schoolers, this is a luxury we can easily do.

It's one of the great features of apprenticeship training and home schooling, and any form of one-on-one teaching or tutoring.


As I mentioned, most parents tend to do this automatically, but it's worth reminding ourselves to take our time, and not rush our children on to the next concept on a predetermined schedule, just because that's how it was done to us in school. It's much faster, and causes much higher quality learning, if the student gets the first concept down well, before moving on to the next concept.

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