Learning skills by thinking & problem-solving! A quiz for children with DCD

Learning skills by thinking & problem-solving! A quiz for children with DCD

This blog is based on a column originally published in Balans Kids, a Dutch magazine for children with DCD and written by Dutch CO-OP instructor Jolien van den Houten in collaboration with Joli Luijckx, Balans Manager. 



Take the Quiz! Do you know the BEST answer?

You would like to learn something new that is also a bit difficult. What is the best thing to do?

  1. You grab the stuff you need and just start trying something out.
  2. You first think carefully about what you are going to do so that you better understand what you need to do and how you're going to do that.
  3. You ask someone else to make a plan for you. Nice and easy!

Number 2, is the best answer, if you understand how to do something then it is easier to learn it. With number 1 it may be that what you are doing fails over and over again. Well, that is not a nice experience, is it? And with number 3, someone else may make a plan for you that might not work for you, because you are you and not that person. Making your own plan therefore works better, because it is YOUR plan! You can of course ask for help in making your plan. For instance, you might like someone else to help you think of possibilities and give you some suggestions.

You did something and it worked out super well. You're happy! You get compliments and you don't think about it any longer.

  1. Yes, that's a good plan. The compliments are nice, and you don’t have to think about it anymore.
  2. I don't need compliments. Nothing to worry about.
  3. You're happy because it worked out. But you also want to figure out how you did it and to know why it worked out so well.

Number 3, is the best answer. If you know why something worked out so well for you, you can probably do it the same successful way again next time. With numbers 1 and 2, you will learn less from all your hard work. And you know learning from how you did something is handy for the next time. And those compliments are of course very nice to receive, so yes put those in your pocket 😉!

I understand how to do something and now I don't have to practice anymore!

  1. Indeed, I don’t have to practice since now I understand!
  2. Oh well if I feel like it, I practice a little, but not too much!
  3. No, I get it, but I'm going to practice a lot to do it well or get even better.

Number 3, is the best answer, because by practicing you learn to do something really well. It's getting easier. Or you need less and less help. Or it can not only be done at home, but also at school and at grandma and grandpa's house where it might be slightly different. How cool is that?! With numbers 1 and 2 it is great that you understand how you can do something, but it is also too bad that you can’t learn further from this doing. Practicing with a plan really helps! And…. how nice is it to become really skilled, an expert hero in your own doing! Practice makes perfect, doesn’t it?

Now that you have taken the quiz, let’s see from whom you can learn a lot! Let’s have a look at a magician practicing a new trick. 

Yes, how does a magician actually do that, learning a new trick?

Well, the magician thinks “I can’t do the trick yet, but I will start to look closely at the trick and different parts of the trick until I understand them”.

Then they make a plan about how to make that trick very exciting in their own way. And then they practice a lot to be able to do the trick. And they will change how they practice, like practicing with small balls, use large balls, and try different magic hats, and they will do it also in different positions like standing and sitting. And they will always check to see if they are doing it in the best way. When they know a bit about how to do the trick, they will also ask an experienced magician to tell them what they are already doing well and what they can improve. Until they are an expert hero.


Practice and make a plan

So…. What about you….do you want to learn something that is difficult for you? For example, tying your shoelaces? Do you think "I have to be able to do it right away!" and are you getting angry if it doesn't work out well right away? Then think about the magician, who says to himself, "I can’t do it yet, but if I practice and look closely at what I can do better, can do it! "

So be like the magician, practicing all the different parts of the trick over and over again. And when the parts don’t work, you always can make a new plan to see if that is easier for you. And remember like the magician, you can always ask someone to look at how you are doing it and to support you in doing it more smoothly. To also become an expert hero!


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