And I sucked. She wasn't very motivated to learn more about variables and I wasn't able to help.
Soon though, when having evening snack, I decided to try a little game. We had a kettle and a potholder on the table. I told her that the potholder is a variable. Then we agreed that the value of a spoon is 1. I put the spoon on the potholder and asked what was the value of the potholder variable. She knew it. Then we named the variable and agreed that the kettle is also a variable. By adding a spoon, we assign its value to 1 too. Then I asked here what is kettle + spoon. And there is was. She said 2.
So maybe that's how you should teach variables.
Then we went back to the computer again and she got quickly demotivated again. And so did I. I was sure there's no way to get her to play with variables anymore. Then I left the room with the younger sister to was her teeth.
What followed was surprising. Not only did my wife manage to motivate her to play like 10 minutes with variables by asking a lot of questions and being positive. They also made a cool drawing with Turtle Roy.
Not sure what to deduce from this, but I'll try.
- If you're ever going to teach anything to a child, you've got to have a positive attitude yourself.
- Don't set expectations too high
- Setbacks happen. It doesn't matter. What matters is how you react.
- If something doesn't work, try something different. Maybe your wife/husband should teach instead.
- Use analogues with stuff from the real world. A kettle is a nice variable. If your drawing with turtle roy, consider playing it in the real world. You're the turtle.
Always remember, you're the turtle.