My daughter was studying for a test. School can be incredibly daunting, especially when first learning about time management, organizational skills, memorization and conceptualization. It’s a lot to figure out for a young person. And, I must say it was a lot easier when I was a kid. But, these children are amazing and much smarter at an earlier age than my generation. They are asked to solve more complex matters, engage in sophisticated problem solving, and tackle an abundance of information. Technology has them moving at light speed. It’s all a bit overwhelming. So, in order to make it more manageable, I suggested she break it down. Sounds pretty basic right? Well, sometimes you have to state the obvious.
I did not fully know everything in her head and what was making sense and what was not, but you have to master the basics and develop a strong working foundation. One cannot rush through the material in an effort to want to finish and move on to something more fun (her problem!).
Focusing is a challenge given the many distractions around us so we attempted to eliminate most of the distractions (iPad, TV, noise, and clutter to name a few).
Then she re-reviewed the fundamentals of the material and then built on the concepts. From there, practice, practice, practice. Digesting the material in smaller chucks versus just simply diving into the problems head on was a helpful task. In doing so, my daughter realized she needed a refresher on some of the easier stuff. Once she did that, her confidence increased and her stress level decreased. Some of the issues in her work was that she was making simple mistakes, causing her to get the wrong answer. After diligently working, she went onto more challenging aspects of the work. Every kid (and adult) struggles with different stuff and it’s imperative to identify the issues and tools to build confidence early on and along the way. Otherwise, learning seems too much of an obstacle.
The same goes for adults. We get overwhelmed thinking about how to tackle a big project. It’s only when we think about our approach, pitfalls, the support needed and begin chipping away do we make progress. Kids teach us all the time. They remind us that we adults have plenty of distractions, procrastinate, get overwhelmed and need a little reassurance. Just take a breath, break it down and know that you will get there.
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”