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The Emotional Side of Learning

In this session, you’ll consider the emotions  your child experiences when learning. You’ll also work through scenarios so that you are prepared to support common learner emotions.

Skill Segments

Skill Support

1.

Introduction

In this segment, find out why we should understand and support the emotions a child experiences when learning.

Video Transcript
00:02
Hi parents, in this session we’re going to breakdown the
00:05
emotions your child goes through when they’re learning and how
00:08
you can support those emotions. In our first segment, we’re
00:11
going to talk about why learning is an emotional experience. Then
00:14
we’ll look at a few common emotions your child will
00:17
experience at various points in the learning process and how you
00:21
can coach them through those emotions will also explore
00:24
effective ways to give your child feedback. So we want to be
00:27
sure that we’re giving feedback that motivates them to keep
00:30
going and to learn more.
00:32
Our final segment will be your opportunity to apply these tips
00:35
and will give you 2 learner emotions scenarios to work
00:38
through. So put on your learning coach hat and let’s get started.

2.

Learning Is An Emotional Experience

The process of learning keeps children in and out of the phases of change. We want to help them through these phases easier and faster.

Video Transcript
00:02
Learning is an emotional experience for the most part,
00:05
learners are in a constant state of vulnerability. Think about it
00:09
there. Processing new information all the time and
00:12
then being asked to produce or perform knowing they’ll be
00:15
critiqued. Their expressions of knowledge and work are
00:18
constantly being judged. The process of learning also keeps
00:21
our children in and out of the phases of change. They move from
00:25
not knowing what they don’t know, which is what we call
00:29
being unconsciously unskilled to all of a sudden, realizing that
00:32
they don’t know something.
00:34
Or being consciously unskilled, this shift from being blissfully
00:37
unaware to suddenly realizing that we don’t know something can
00:40
drum up a lot of emotions. What we want is for our child to move
00:45
through that phase of knowing they don’t know something to
00:49
actually knowing it or being consciously skilled. They will
00:52
do this easier and faster when they receive proper emotional
00:55
support when learning. They will also learn to recognize these
00:59
phases and the feelings that go along with them. The more
01:02
support our children get from us
01:04
as parents. To process these emotions, the faster they
01:08
mature as learners.

3.

Fear, Insecurity and Frustration

Fear, insecurity, and frustration are common emotions learners experience as they move from not knowing to knowing. This segment offers several tips for supporting these learner emotions.

Video Transcript
00:02
Excitement, joy, confidence. These are positive emotions are
00:05
children often experience when learning, though we prefer for
00:09
our child to only ever feel these positive emotions, they
00:13
will inevitably have to process negative emotions that can occur
00:17
when learning feelings of fear, insecurity and frustration are
00:21
all emotions that children experience when they’re working
00:24
through that phase of knowing that they don’t know. And let’s
00:29
face it, most adults have these same insecurities and fears.
00:33
Especially when we feel like we’re going to fail in front of
00:37
others. When your child is consciously unskilled and knows
00:40
that they don’t know what other children in the class know or
00:45
can do, it can quickly bring on these negative emotions which
00:49
can cause procrastination, slowed progress or can even
00:51
cause your child to completely shut down. When it comes to
00:55
schoolwork, first recognize your child’s emotions and help them
00:58
to recognize them as well using an emotion chart can be a very
01:03
helpful tool. These charts have a variety of emotion faces, and
01:07
you can. Your child to point to the face that represents the
01:11
emotion they are experiencing.
01:13
This validates what your child is feeling and also gives him a
01:17
chance to recognize an own their own emotions. You can buy or
01:21
make an emotion chart. Just get a piece of paper and brainstorm
01:25
a list of common emotions and then draw faces to represent
01:28
each emotion. And when you’re done, Hang the chart in your
01:32
child’s learning space or even in the kitchen. In addition to
01:35
recognizing you also want to talk about emotions. Talk about
01:39
your own emotions with your child the next time you feel
01:42
insecure, you might model recognizing and talking through
01:45
the emotion. By saying things like, I’m feeling a little
01:48
unsure about this recipe. I’ve never tried this before and I
01:52
don’t want to mess up because I don’t want to run out of the
01:57
ingredients. This makes your emotion and thinking visible to
02:00
your child, which helps them to realize that these emotional
02:03
experiences are normal and it also begins to teach them how to
02:07
appropriately respond to their emotions. The next tip for
02:10
coaching learner emotions is to coach your child to be mindful.
02:14
Being mindful means that we are acknowledging what is happening
02:17
and how we’re feeling.
02:19
But we’re also intentionally shifting negative emotions to
02:22
positive ones when negative emotions arise, coach your child
02:26
to be mindful by breathing, questioning, and concentrating
02:29
teacher child to take slow and even breaths in and out.
02:33
Encourage your child to create and store a Bank of mindfulness
02:37
questions that reduce fear. These are questions like what is
02:41
1 good thing about the situation. What is one small
02:45
step I can take to move forward? What can I learn from this
02:50
situation? What am I grateful for? Your child can store these
02:55
questions in the front of a binder or maybe even on their
03:00
desk for easy access when negative emotions arise.
03:03
Concentrating on something soothing for one to two minutes
03:06
is another effective mindfulness technique. This might mean
03:09
holding something soothing, like a favorite object or drawing a
03:13
picture or getting up and moving during that time, concentrating
03:16
on something positive gives your child’s brain a chance to reset
03:21
during that negative moment.
03:22
We all experience emotions like fear, insecurity and
03:25
frustration. Teaching your child how to move through those
03:29
emotions will grow their maturity and help them get back
03:32
on track for learning.

4.

Feedback That Motivates

The way we give our children feedback will either lower confidence or motivate them to learn more. This segment offers two tips for giving feedback about learning.

Video Transcript
0:02
A child’s emotions are highest when they’re receiving feedback
00:05
and feedback about school work is either going to come from a
00:09
home based teacher in virtual or school building environments, or
00:13
you as the parent in other virtual or homeschool settings.
00:16
The way we give our children feedback will either deflate
00:19
their confidence or motivate them to continue on an learn
00:23
more. There are two tips for giving your child feedback about
00:26
their learning. The first tip is to praise your child. Often we
00:30
call this building up the emotional bank account.
00:33
By pointing out the positive, often your child trust that you
00:37
care about them and want them to be successful. Aim to maintain a
00:41
3 to one ratio of positive to negative comments beyond the
00:45
lookout for when your child follows a procedure or rule or
00:48
does something nice for somebody else. Call your child’s positive
00:52
actions out in the moment and be specific about what they did
00:56
that was so great an example of this might be. I appreciate how
01:00
helpful you were by bringing in the grocery bag from the car.
01:04
Or you summarize that story so well that I could actually
01:08
imagine it as you were talking. The other thing to keep in mind
01:12
when giving your child feedback is to strive to give them
01:16
balanced feedback. This means that you’re pointing out what
01:18
your child got right or is doing well while also directing them
01:22
on how to improve. This might sound like you did a great job
01:27
describing the character. Can you tell me more about this
01:30
story or you did the first step very well? Let’s review the
01:34
second step together. Maintaining a balanced
01:36
approach to giving your child feedback. Highlighting the
01:39
positives often and then being specific about the feedback
01:43
you offer will help your child stay motivated when learning.

5.

Learner Emotions Scenarios

In this segment, you’ll apply the ideas and tips from this session as you work through a few learner emotions scenarios.

Video Transcript
00:02
Hi parents, well we’ve shed some light on the emotional side of
00:06
learning which isn’t always top of mind when we’re coaching our
00:10
children to academic success. The emotions are children
00:13
experience when learning are important to acknowledge and to
00:16
help them work through so they don’t get stuck in the negative
00:20
space. Now it’s time to apply the ideas we’ve explored in this
00:24
session. In your the emotional side of Learning Resource Guide,
00:27
you’ll find space to brainstorm your response to two learner
00:30
emotion scenarios. I’ll review
00:32
the scenario. You’ll take time to brainstorm and then we’re
00:35
going to talk through some of the ways to coach your child
00:39
through the situation. OK, first scenario, your child sits down
00:43
in their learning space after school. Afew minutes later, you
00:46
think you hear a few whimpers. You walk over and ask, is
00:50
everything OK? Anna, full on meltdown begins in between
00:54
breathy sobs your child says I don’t know how to do this. I’m
00:58
completely lossed. How do you respond now? Take a few minutes
01:02
to think through how you would respond to your child.
01:06
Push, pause and then push. Play again once you’ve had time to
01:10
brainstorm your response.
01:17
Welcome back, it’s clear your child is experiencing fear,
01:19
insecurity and frustration. There are a number of steps you
01:23
can take to disrupt this meltdown. You can use and
01:26
emotions chart to ask your child to identify how they’re feeling,
01:29
and this step disrupts the meltdown because it gets him to
01:33
focus on something else. You could also rely on some of the
01:37
mindfulness techniques you might ask your child to practice some
01:40
calm breaths in and out, which would bring them out of the
01:44
hysterical state if the situation escalated to that,
01:47
then. You can use one of two techniques. You might ask them
01:50
to concentrate on something soothing for a minute, or you
01:53
could ask them one of the mindfulness questions. In this
01:56
case the question what is 1 good thing about this situation? Or
02:00
what is one small step I can take to move forward? Those
02:04
would make sense all right now for the second scenario, your
02:07
child has been assigned to classic. Create a diorama
02:10
project. The diorama is supposed to reflect the setting of the
02:13
book. Your child just finished. You notice your child is
02:16
spending a lot of time on the characters in this story and
02:20
hasn’t included many details of
02:21
the setting. After two hours working on the project, your
02:24
child asks, am I doing this right? How do you respond? Now
02:28
take a few minutes to think about how you would respond to
02:32
your child and keep in mind, you would want to provide
02:35
feedback that motivates in this situation. OK, push pause
02:38
and then play again. Once you’ve had a chance to jot
02:42
down your response.
02:48
Welcome back in your brainstorming. You might have
02:50
referred back to the tips on providing balance feedback. In
02:53
this scenario, you want to first point out the positive. So you
02:57
might say you have done a great job making your characters
03:00
detailed and I’m impressed by how well you drew each of them.
03:04
Then you will want to shift to redirecting her child pretty
03:07
quickly, so you might say.
03:10
Let’s look back over the assignment. It says the diorama
03:13
should reflect the setting of the story. What details do you
03:16
need to create or add that would show more of the setting if your
03:20
child gets frustrated or upset about not getting it right, you
03:24
might suggest at that point that they take a 5 minute break to
03:28
just think about the elements of the setting that they could
03:31
include and start on next. I sure hope these scenarios and
03:35
tips were helpful. Remember, learning is an emotional
03:37
experience for our children and your child is looking to you to
03:41
help coach them through those
03:42
emotions. So that they can grow more mature as
03:45
they continue to learn.

Tools and Support

Emotional Side of Learning Resource Guide

Download the Resource Guide PDF to get the tools mentioned in this Skill Session.

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