My 8 year old child attends a local Martial arts class where he has many good friends, and enjoys going.

He is quite talented and works hard in the class, but receives little guidance and praise from teacher; maybe because the teacher expects them to practice at home, and he can clearly see that my son doesn't.

His friends respect him, and that appears to be enough for him, but the crux of the problem, is that, whilst he is talented, he will only practice at home for 2 to 3 Min a week; even though i'm more than happy to practice with him.

1) Is 10 min of practice a day, too much to expect an 8 year old to do?

I don't care what level he achieves, all I care about is that he tries outside the class to improve, little and often.

  • 1) is there some reason you could not practice with him? 2) If it doesn't matter what level he achieves, and he is enjoying the activity why change it? 3) Did you ever tell your child that he must meet your expectations if you are paying for a class or activity?
    – WRX
    Jan 21 '17 at 21:49
  • 1
    Does the teacher expect the students to practice, or is this a household guideline? Also: "am I being unreasonable" is pretty opinion-based question, which you're not likely to get good answers to. Can you rephrase so it's more objective (perhaps "what is a reasonable expectation for at-home practice at this age")
    – Acire
    Jan 22 '17 at 11:18

As so often, time is a bad way to measure things like this. 10 minutes of simple calculations are nothing, 10 minutes above a very hard question can be easily too much.

You should definitely change the idea of learning for a defined amount of time, to learning to reach a goal.

As an example, if he has to learn multiplication, don't go for 30min, he will be more focused on getting through the 30 minutes than learning how to do multiplication. Instead give him a small set of multiplications that he has to do. If he does it in 5 minutes, then he is done if he takes 40min than so be it. (of course if you see that he isn't making any progress and just gets frustrated, you should abort the task)

Important is that tasks are really that, tasks not tedious work, better let him do the task again on another day to make sure he remembers than letting him repeat the same thing over and over again.

  • 1
    For math, this works, but as it is a physical activity, things work differently. If you want to learn to do push-ups, you cannot say "today I will try until I do 1 push-up!", you have to train the right muscle-groups regularly. For example, 10 minutes day.
    – Layna
    Jan 23 '17 at 9:51
  • I agree with both of you Etaila and Layne,perhaps the goal focused learning should be to try hard for a time period on a regular basis. I've tried breaking the task down into the smallest most manageable steps, but he just doesn't try, because doing it incorrectly is good enough for him. For example, a presup is arching ones back, bobbing one's head, and consequently not improving one's muscles! better to do one per day properly than 20 badly, but will one per day make you more able to do 20 properly probably not! maybe there isn't an answer to my question?
    – reggie
    Jan 23 '17 at 10:57
  • @Layna Well mostly yes. I focused here on learning and maybe chores, around that there are certainly times when a defined time-scale does well. Even though I had the experience that I perform horribly if I just say, I am going running for 30 min. But if I say I am running now this distance, I perform better. Even stronger I had no Problem to go hiking in the Austrian mountains for more than 6 hours, including walking from 600m over sea to over 1400m over sea, walking about 30km and get a very fast improvement in overall fitness, while just 3km running with many stops is giving me troubles
    – Etaila
    Jan 24 '17 at 13:09
  • @reggie Well, there is the answer I gave, that as much as I know should give an idea of the goal. But it is just the goal, as unsatisfying it is, the most part will had tedious work, for him and for you by getting him there. Sadly I don't know any short way there.
    – Etaila
    Jan 26 '17 at 12:16
  • "You should definitely change the idea of learning for a defined amount of time, to learning to reach a goal." This. So much. Although I loved playing the piano at some point as a child I loathed the "20 minutes a day" practice requirement my parents put up. As soon as they dropped it, some days I would not practice but others I would be stuck to the piano happily for hours. And I am sure that amounted to more than 20 minutes on average.
    – skymningen
    Feb 15 '17 at 16:03

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