The school journey is different for each student. All parents understand that it’s crucial for their children to keep up in the classroom, but it’s also important that students learn at their own pace.
Why? Students who receive the time and support needed to fully understand concepts as they move throughout a subject are less likely to have knowledge gaps that come back to haunt them later. We refer to this as skill mastery, but it’s a well-known concept in the world of education.
Mastery of skills is essential for deeper learning. Students who are encouraged to master knowledge before moving on to the next concept are inherently taught to persevere and approach learning with a growth mindset. They also build confidence.
THE CHALLENGE: SKILL MASTERY REQUIRES INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTION
In concept, skill mastery makes a lot of sense. But in a classroom of 20 or more students, teachers can’t always personalize instruction and give each student the attention he or she needs when a concept or unit doesn’t click.
Many students will keep up with instructors as they teach to the entire class. However, some students will struggle and miss important knowledge that is required to understand subsequent topics.
When this happens, those students might perform poorly on homework and tests, but the class continues onward. Often, these students must simply carry on and do their best to continue grasping the successive lessons. But as school advances from elementary to middle and high school and classes become harder, small skill gaps can get bigger and bigger.
TAKING A TIME OUT TO CATCH UP
If you notice your child—no matter his or her age—struggling with the following problems, it’s important to address them:
- low or inconsistent grades (e.g., poor grades on some homework, mediocre grades on other homework, often in the same subject)
- lack of confidence
- diminished self-esteem
- poor time management due to getting stuck on certain homework
SKILL MASTERY IS IMPORTANT
No two students learn exactly alike or at the same pace, which makes 100 percent mastery of skills with 100 percent of students very difficult to achieve in any classroom. Your child needs help bridging the gap between what they need to know in one or more subjects and what they actually know. If those gaps go uncorrected, the problems will worsen.
Students who master topics before moving on to new ones are shown to have higher levels of achievement in school, greater confidence, better comprehension and long-term retention, and a greater commitment to lifelong learning, among many other benefits.
The Huntington Learning Center Gulfport is located at 8950 Lorraine Road, Unit E, Gulfport. Contact the center at (228) 206- 2353.