How to Give Feedback to Homeschool Students with Special Needs
Providing the Best Kind of Support for Success!
Not all little ones learn in the same way! Every experienced educator knows this, and as your little one’s homeschool preschool teacher, it’s important for you to keep this in mind, too. You’re probably already familiar; think about your time in school — maybe math was your strong suit, while history presented challenges for you. No matter what the subject, it’s easy to feel stuck when you’re outside of your comfort zone, and little ones, especially those with special learning needs, feel the same way. Luckily, there are many tools you can use to engage your special learning needs students, the most important being the feedback you provide.
When discussing how to provide feedback for your little one with special learning needs, it’s important to consider approaching it from two perspectives: quantity and quality. Not all feedback is created equal, and it’s crucial to look into both how much feedback you give your little one, as well as what kind of feedback you give them, in homeschool preschool and throughout their growth in general.
Quantity can be difficult to assess; too much feedback can make your little one feel overwhelmed and over-monitored, but too little can leave them feeling unmotivated or unsure of their own progress. So how can you find a balance? Try these three tips for providing the right amount of feedback in your homeschool preschool classroom.
- Progress check ins: Nothing is more frustrating than feeling the accomplishment of having completed a task only to learn that a step was completed incorrectly. In order to ensure this doesn’t happen to your student with special learning needs, doing consistent progress check-ins, especially with larger projects, is the perfect way to ensure that they understand each step as it comes and can complete it appropriately.
- Don’t overwhelm with constructive criticism: Being overly criticized, even if you have approached it with the best of intentions, can leave your little one feeling dejected. It’s easiest to take it step by step and to focus on a few specific areas of improvement. You can make small checklists that will help your little one improve without feeling down about their hard work.
- Avoid too much praise: Most parents want to be super supportive of their child, and love to tell them when they’ve done something right. However, in an attempt to encourage, sometimes parents can over-praise, and it may become hard for that child to do their work without needing extensive praise. Instead of simply repeating “good job”, try asking your little one to explain why their work is correct, which will help them feel self motivated and good about their own performance.
The quality of the feedback you present to your little one is just as important! Not all praise is created equal, and it’s crucial to give your little one feedback that will help them grow in their homeschool preschool experience. There are some methods that can be incredibly useful when it comes to quality feedback, especially for your little one with special learning needs.
- Be specific: “Good job” can be nice to hear, but without specificity behind it, it does not help your little one learn, and may even begin to lose its meaning depending on how often it’s used. Instead, tell your little one exactly what they did that was good or correct. By being specific, your little one will be able to repeat their successes and learn from them!
- Focus on the task, not the individual: Taking feedback can be hard, especially if your little one feels as if their efforts — or even themselves — are being attacked. If your little one hasn’t completed a task correctly, focus on the task or decision itself rather than saying your little one is “wrong” or “naughty” for not finishing the task appropriately. This will help your little one grow while not denigrating them as an individual!
- Balance between positives and negatives: Most of the time, work is neither 100% good or bad! It’s really important when providing feedback to give your little one a comprehensive look at the work they’ve done — both the stronger and weaker elements. This tool is useful for helping your little one continue growing while retaining a sense of pride and accomplishment in the work they do.
Helping your little one with special learning needs can feel like a giant task sometimes, and finding a balance that will help your child grow in a constructive way isn’t always easy. However, by using these tips as a starting point, you will be able to be the best educational advocate for your little one’s homeschool preschool success, as well as prepare them for future educational experiences! Try Our Online Preschool for FREE! Playgarden Prep offers educational videos from real teachers, and numerous DIY projects that support early learning and development.
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Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!
Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!