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What was or were the school subjects you hated mostly when you were at school? It is not difficult to get kids hate social studies when the teaching and learning methods are boring and monotonous. Social studies with all of its components have been my enemy for fifteen years for honest. I really hated Geography, History, and Economic during my school days. They are really my pet peeves. Those smaller subjects have been putting together under the label “Social Studies” based on the national curriculum right now.
However, don't get me wrong. I made fabulous scores in the classroom most of the time. Even I got the best one in my year level during the university for English History. Isn't it weird? Based on the experience, I would like to share some warning for educators that some points below can get kids hate social studies more than you think.
How To Get Your Kids Hate Social Studies
Memorization Based Lessons
Any lesson will get bored when kids have to do a long memorization without any idea why they need to do so. When the school journal is sent home with a point to study hard for a test or quiz, it always means that students have to memorize chains of facts about things. It will end up in a very short time. Even some students might have forgotten about the questions in the test as soon as the test finishes. This is a very story of mine when I just want to get good score in Social Studies at school. All of the 100% and A scores really mean nothing at all. Social Studies has just been a burden for that purpose using the method.
Memorizing the timeline without the excitement of what happened in each of the time is really something possible, but it just will make learners think that Social Study is meaningless. When you ask me about the history of English right now, you might be disappointed that no single spot of it I can tell you what it is about. I have lost all the beauty of Social Studies. I could not comprehend how the events had influenced human life. I have missed the story.
Just Mainly Use Text Books
Using just a single book in Social Studies really kills the mood of learners. Most social studies textbooks have lists of facts in any parts of the book. There is just a little story in history chapters and it is just force information or it is not an appropriate story. The map in geography textbook might be blurry so that it makes burn the learners' mood.
Using reference, video, online interactive programs will enrich the learning process of Social Studies with your kids. They will have a chance to see the materials and resources in more various ways. Kids should be able to explore the world in geography, tell the story of the people in places and times, and analyze the wheel of economic much more enjoyable using more lively resources.
Some hands on activities would be useful for most kids. Using map, magnifying glass, globe, and encyclopaedia will make the geography lesson more alive. Reading literature of history will give kids different point of view in history.
Keep Yourselves At Home
Going to the lively world will make the Social Studies lesson more applicable so that kids will understand the topic more easily. Rather than locking yourselves at home with the textbooks, going for the real world will make the learning process more engaging. Don't forget that social studies is the study of interaction between human and human, human and places, and human and time. Therefore, the real interaction process is the real study that makes the lesson more enjoyable.
Going to the museum, bank, library, and the market to get information and experience might twist and tweak what you find in the text book at home, but that is the real world. Not everyone can learn from the abstract world mainly.
Have A Test or Quiz Mostly To Assess Kids
Too many tests and quiz with a lot of memorization will certainly kill the excitement of learning. A test is only one way to measure the knowledge and skill of learners. The result of the test itself is used to evaluate the teaching and learning process. A test should not be used to prove the intelligence of learners like you might read my post about assessment. There are many ways to measure the knowledge and skill of learners. Use various ways to do it.
Too many tests will make kids overwhelmed. They might not have been ready to do the test. Performance test will be more appealing to younger kids. There are ranges of assessment tools and levels that you can have to really know the kids' level of thinking. Bloom Taxonomy is one way to start with.
Get Kids Do A Lot Of Worksheets
Social studies is not a subject that needs learners to practice a lot like maths. It is more on humanistic knowledge. Therefore, if you give learners a lot of worksheets to practice, it will be a fatal mistake that can make the learners anti-Social Studies. Having an art project of mapping and make a map puzzle is funnier rather than fill in the blank fields in worksheets. Getting learners time to tell a story in certain time and place is much better rather than filling in the blanks of workbooks. As an educator, we need to place ourselves in the learners' shoes.
Stick To The Curriculum
There is a lot of time when kids ask some questions outside the box. They just ask thing spontaneously as soon as they feel curious about a subject when we read books. We might try to avoid discussion tweaked from the topic to catch the curriculum or planning target. Meanwhile, the abandoned question is still stuck in kids' brain.
Social studies sometimes give surprises to learners and it boosts the sense of inquiry that makes them ask questions which might be not planned. Answering and discussing their questions will let them think further and will build their interest toward the topic. In case you feel that you need to skip the questions, just tell them softly that you are going to discuss it when the time right. However, don't forget to return to the questions so that learners will not feel being neglected. Their questions might be related indirectly with the topic.
Assign Individual Reading Tasks in Lessons
It often happens to older learners or if you have older kids. As a parent, you might think that they have already been able to be responsible to their study so that you don't control their study. Kids will learn much better when parents accompany them learning. Reading and discussing things with parents will lead to a warmer atmosphere of learning. Of course, it doesn't happen all of the time. There are so many times that older kids have to do stand-alone research and reading. However, a supervision from parents in terms of methods and progress is still needed so that they won't get lost in the wrong way.
There are a lot of results might happen when kids have lost in the independent study. Here are some of them:
- They might have some problem that we don't know that it will grow worse and worse so that finally they don't want to learn
- They might do a wrong method of research that lead them to the habit of plagiarism
As a Social Studies hater, I really recommend all parents to make a supportive atmosphere of Social Studies so that kids won't lost the beauty of human development in the relationship with others, with the environment, and within himself or herself. Thus, kids will appreciate their Creator further.
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