from the desk of Miss Harmon, Learning Edge Director
The pendulum of educational techniques and philosophies swings so drastically that it is often difficult to keep up. Every few years the educational world changes its mind about something or the other. Despite the ever-changing nature of American education, several things have stood the test of time. The idea of wait time is one of them. Wait time is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the time provided to a student after a question is asked or problem is posed before the teacher speaks. Three seconds is the standard. We’re talking three actual seconds. It can seem like an eternity, and teachers work hard to allow their students the time necessary to think. It’s not always easy.
We all need time to think. Good thinking is essential to learning and application. It can’t be rushed and shouldn’t be interfered with. So often we ask a question of someone or try to work through a problem with him and then we continue to talk. We may ask more questions, give hints, or reminders. All of this interferes with the thinking process. It’s verbal clutter and it’s distracting. Have you ever tried to think through something while someone is talking to you? Frustrating, isn’t it?
Allowing your child time to think without distraction is important. It allows him time to process the question or problem, sift through and categorize the information in his memory, and produce an answer or solution. We all have busy lives and hectic schedules. Rushing has become second nature. Be careful to set aside time to allow your child the freedom to think through what he’s learned in school. Be mindful of allowing for think time while working on homework and projects. This will make for a less stressful work time and allow for better life-long learning.