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44

I'm probably going to experience this situation pretty soon, too. One very interesting idea I've picked up a long time ago is not to accept a short "why" but encourage a full-sentence question. Requiring a full sentence forces the child to actually think about the topic before asking. What is the topic? What do I want to know? How can I phrase that? This ...


31

I usually respond to endless 'why's with questions that focus on critical thinking. "Do you want french toast or pancakes for breakfast?" "Why?" "Well, which do you think would make your tummy happier?" "Why?" "We eat because we want happy bodies and happy tummies..." and at least with my two, it eventually winds down. Or maybe my questions overload their ...


27

If she's asking you which bits need work and why, that's a sign she's open to criticism, and that she trusts you to provide it. The thing about criticizing creative work is you want to be as specific as possible. "This part needs rewriting" is a completely useless criticism. If she knew how to rewrite it better, chances are she would have already done it. ...


24

You should also consider that 2-year-olds often don't react as expected when quizzed. My son (almost 3) is pretty intelligent for his age, but if I ask him what he did today, no matter what we did, he "played cars and trains". If I ask him what he had for lunch, it was "macaroni and cheese". He seems to find an answer that is a valid answer sometimes, and ...


24

The key to getting a reluctant practiser to practise anything (a musical instrument, reading, physical exercise, whatever) is to change from: Time for you to go practise X! to OK, time for us to do your X! I don't mean stand over him with a timer and glare to ensure he doesn't stop at 9 minutes 30 seconds. I mean you show your enthusiasm for the ...


22

I love the answers I've gotten so far, but I thought I might as well chime in and describe what I have been doing, since its a little... different. Generally, I try to answer his questions as best I can... within reason. Many of his questions I can answer fairly clearly, and do so (e.g. Q:"why [is the kitty afraid of me]?" A:"because you're much bigger ...


22

First off, in terms of helping the child learn: Many/most schools have computer clubs. Encourage the child to inquire from other students, or ask the school professionals yourself. This will place the child with his peers developmentally, which is the biggest encouragement you can give. Talk to a computer teacher in the school if one exists. They may agree ...


19

I think perhaps you should re-assess what your expectations should be for an 8 year old both in writing quality and in capacity for taking criticism. I know few, if any 8 year olds who can take criticism in the way some adults can, and fewer still who have any self-criticism at all. There can be a significant difference in quality between what kids produce ...


18

I meet people at local meetups. Where I live there are about three Python meetups a month. My experiences have been great: excellent programmers who just like to talk shop. While you will likely meet others at your skill level, you won't meet people at your age level. It will mostly be older people (e.g. college age or higher), but if the goal is to talk ...


14

As a programmer i would propose to you the following: Abstract thinking, Pragmatic Thinking, Higher problem solving. Design Patterns ( Not programming in general but building. Building in sense of building, construction. Did you know that design patterns come from designing buildings and problem solving in engineering? ) Also i would recommend starting ...


14

I started when I was 6 or so—I didn't have any particular pre-requisites, I just liked exploring (especially on the computer!). I actually found QBASIC on the computer myself, had no idea what it did or how to work it, and asked my father—I had no idea it was to do with "programming" or what that was—but he just showed me how you could tell the computer to ...


13

Although I have no personal experience with the 'why' phase yet, I imagine that the occasional: "What do you think?" thrown back at him would give you a few seconds to catch your breath. More importantly, it could give you a lot of insight into how your child perceives the world, and what type of answer from you would be meaningful for him. However, I don't ...


13

I'm 15, and I had this same problem about a year ago. There's an awesome community called HS Hackers on Facebook. To call it lifechanging would be a gross understatement. Hackathons are the best way to meet other talented (and often young) programmers. Hackathons are basically coding marathons. The best event to go to would be a CodeDay. It's a 24 hour ...


12

If you are asking the question, then that's all that matters. The act of asking the question implies that you care how you are doing as a parent and that means you're likely the best parent you can be already. So don't sweat it. Enjoy the kids.


12

Color is a difficult thing to teach . . . they don't know that you're talking about a quality rather than an object. Kid: "Hey, just a moment ago, they told me that was an elephant, and now it's a grey. I'm so confused." My daughter got it all at once when we were driving at night. The traffic lights had no visible structure beyond a circle of light. ...


12

A few years ago, a study was done on students that observed student response to how they were praised about their school work. The study found that students who were praised with phrases like, "You're so smart!" or "Look how clever you are!" were more likely to give up when confronted with a problem that they found difficult. Students who were praised ...


12

A couple of things to add to user3143's excellent answer: Tools. Tools are not a substitute for experience or knowledge, but every craftsman/woman appreciates good tools, and they are something that you as a non-programming parent can help with. Some of the best are free, but if the kid wants an IDE, library, program, etc that costs any reasonable amount of ...


11

It's normal, and you're expecting too much. Colors are hard, for a variety of reasons explained in this article: Colors are not a thing like a "ball" or a "dog", but a property of a thing Colors are societal construct interpreted differently in different languages, with lots of gray areas even within a language (is that particular shade red or orange?) ...


11

Giving up is not necessarily a bad thing, providing you are giving up on a certain approach to a problem, and not the problem altogether. Knowing when to give up, and figuring out what to try next instead are important problem solving skills. In other words, if you've been sitting there staring at a math problem for 10 minutes without success, chances are ...


11

Insisting, forcing him to do something will most likely not work in the long term. Yes, he may improve, but it'd be much much better if he wanted to improve. You should talk to your son, ask him whether he wants to learn to play well or not. If he doesn't - I think you shouldn't force him. I admit that he will eventually learn, but it'll cost him much and ...


10

No, a child will not teach themselves to develop a new "language" to express themselves, at least not by any generally accepted definition of the term "language". Language is a complex tool used by multiple people or a community. A single child who is never exposed to verbal language does not make up their own... what would be the point if no one ...


10

I do not want to say that you are out-of-luck, but you are pretty much out-of-luck. The issue is that most people around your age do not know those languages. In fact, most people around your age likely do not even know what most of them are. If you asked most 14-year olds what Vim or LaTeX is, many of them would have no clue at all. Some might know what ...


10

I would get him to play more on days when he is does not have sport or late finishes, and get him just to do a couple of scales or something on days when he has more on. As he starts playing for longer he'll also start enjoying it more as he'll start becoming more creative.


10

Without exception, every adult I know who took piano as a kid but no longer plays, including some who were quite talented, had it turned into a chore by their parents. It is absolutely essential to find a way to keep it fun. So I would make your busiest days fun days, where you still expect him to play, but let him play whatever he wants. It might ...


9

I am not a pedagogue, but I've been told children in their early years can comprehend numbers which are the same of their age. Two year old's can comprehend two, Three year old's can comprehend three, and so on... Counting to ten is not the same. That is more like reciting a nursery rhyme. My daughter of two and a half can count to ten, in that manner. She ...


9

As Erin's answer mentioned, there are different types of learners, with different strengths. It was focused on the book-based learning - I will try to give a broader perspective. Hope you will find some useful bits in it :-) There are different types of intelligence, according to Howard Gardner. And traditional schools only focus on visual and verbal ...


9

Part of it is curiosity, but kids also take a lot of pleasure in controlling their parents. It's only fair, I guess. After a certain point, they're just pushing their boundaries to see how far they can take it, and it becomes a game rather than a learning opportunity. After you recognize it has turned into a game, you can either play along or just say ...


8

Maybe it would be easier for him to grasp the basic concepts, through some programming/educational games. Some of them are: Kodu A visual programming language made specifically for creating games. Accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone." Kinderlogo Kinderlogo is an adaptation of Logo for young children, offering Logo's stimulating ...


8

The distinction here, as you've noticed, is between setting goals and applying pressure. The difference is whether the focus is on the behaviour of your child or of the centre towards your child. From the centre's perspective, I suspect they're simply trying to figure out what you, their clients, want from them. For example, I would like my daughter to be ...



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