Partnership vs. Performance Learning

One of the great concepts of Brave Writer is their explanation of the stages of writing. That as a young writer grows so does his needs from his teacher. We don't expect essays from kindergartners.

However, these stages don't just show up in writing...learning in general is a process. In Partnership Writing, author Julie Bogart explains how we as parents have no problems helping our child with other schoolwork but feel that if we help our child with writing it then no longer becomes "theirs." This is a great thought, however, if you are anything like me, this has been an issue in areas outside of writing as well! Partnership Writing has inspired a whole new thought process in me on partnership learning!


In math, if they need your help you may wonder are they truly getting it? Do they understand it if you have to remind them of the next step or to slow down...In reading comprehension-- if I have to repeat what I read certainly they are missing something, right??? If I have to repeat the dictation 5 times, is it even effective?

We constantly question our methods and wonder if in the end our children will have truly learned. However, we often cheat them out of the learning process in a rush to have it "learned." What about if we allowed ourselves to think that it was ok to do the math page alongside our child helping each step as they needed...not being frustrated that they need our help, but understanding that our help is actually teaching them. Changing our focus from expecting immediate performance in the beginning to partnering in learning and allowing the process room to work. Perhaps by the end of the math page they can work the last few problems alone? And if they don't? You were right there alongside them to see the need for a different approach or more practice.

I know it has been a challenge for me to stretch myself in this area. Spelling words not spelled correctly? No problem! That is why it is a spelling word so we can learn it! If it was easy we wouldn't have to take time to learn it. Key word here: Learn. Sometimes I expect it to simply be understood and "learned" after the explanation or initial lesson. This just isn't realistic sometimes. We need to partner with our children to engage them in the learning process-- allow our children the freedom to "learn," not perform.

My kids have perfectionist tendencies (can't imagine where they get that from!) ;) I only serve to debilitate them when I expect perfection at the gate. I need to give them room to flounder, make mistakes . . .learn. What a blessing that I get to be a partner alongside them for this great endeavor!  The shift from performance learning to partnership learning has been eye opening and has brought much freedom to the learning adventure in our home! But oh is it still a challenge for this perfectionist mama!


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