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Top 10 Tools for Parents who find themselves teaching their kids at home (inspired by the Suzuki Method)

Top 10 Tools for Parents
who find themselves teaching their kids at home
(inspired by the Suzuki Method)

Keep this in mind:
One or two new tools are probably plenty to play around with for a week or a month or more!
(Avoid forcing too many new tools at once, which can feel overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, encourage yourself by going slowly and celebrating each little step you’ve taken!)

  • Tool #1 Adopt a large dose of self-compassion. Teaching your child won’t always be clear-cut, because each child learns differently. Allow yourself lots of room for learning, mistakes, and course-correction along the way. Also allow yourself room to celebrate the many little victories that nobody else notices but you!
  • Tool #2 Nurture your relationship with your child, first and always. Kindness, kindness, kindness. To help your child learn best, you have to woo them. In learning situations, treat your child as kindly, patiently, and generously as you would treat someone on a first date. Your delight in your child is your magic key to unlocking their trust in you.
  • Tool #3 Acknowledge your child’s hardest emotions with compassion and understanding. We’ve all gotten frustrated with learning sometimes. When your child feels frustrations and anger, show them patience and understanding. This will help them learn to give themselves patience and understanding. Slowly, they’ll grow the ability to self-regulate, and to stick with the hard stuff.
  • Tool #4 Treat your child with great respect. If you forget and act disrespectfully towards your child, apologize to them.
  • Tool #5 Know deeply that every child has great potential for learning in any area.  You have to find a way to reach them. Each child learns very differently—at their own pace, and in their own way. Go at your child’s pace (even if it is very slow) and seek out the ways they learn best. Remember, Einstein was a slow learner as a child.
  • Tool #6 Nourish your child with 4 different types of learning—mental, physical, emotional, and inspirational (mind, body, heart and soul). Nourishment in these 4 areas will help your child learn more deeply than in traditional learning, which often focuses on the mental. Of mind, body, heart and soul—each child and each parent may have one or two of these 4 areas that is strongest for them. Each may also have an area or two that is more difficult to access. Keep balancing all 4–mind, body, heart, and soul—and keep in mind that your comfortable area may be different than your child’s.
  • Tool #7 Tell your child empowering stories about practice, persistence, determination, consistent effort, and “going the extra mile” (and avoid the common disempowering stories about overnight success or effortless, inborn talent). Lift up the concept of practice by experimenting with how you speak about it. Practice is practically magic!: Take a skill you really want—but can’t do—and after learning and forgetting it many times…for a long time…miraculously, the skill gets easier! Show your child this: Sure, it’s fun when a new skill comes quickly, but it’s honorable, admirable, valuable, powerful and wonderful to practice a skill that’s not easy yet. 
  • Tool #8 Aim for both excellence and compassion—but lean toward compassion. Children learn best when they feel warmly bathed in love, acceptance, and patience. They learn more easily when they feel from you that they are “enough,” regardless of their performance, when they are reassured that you love them no matter what, and when they sense that you aren’t in a rush for them to grow. Show them that you will stay loving when they are doing hard things. From this place, the game of “aiming for excellence” can be nurtured.
  • Tool #9 Supercharge your child’s environment—it’s your “ace in the hole,” and in some ways it’s your child’s best learning tool. The environment affects your child when you aren’t even in the room!
  • Tool #10 Cultivate social experiences that excite and ignite your child’s learning.

*As you try out new tools with your child, give yourself lots of Tool #1– self-compassion—along the way! 

An easy way to use the “top 10 tools”: 

Before schoolwork, music practice, or any type of learning with your child, just take a minute to read the 10 tools, and then go about your normal work together. 

(Sometimes after reading through the tools for a few days, a tool might just pop up in your mind while you’re working with your child. If this happens, go ahead and have a little private celebration!)

As you notice a new tool bringing happy results for your child, gently avoid letting your old habits take over again. It’s very normal for a parent to forget a new tool after learning it, and to relax into old routines and old, comfortable habits! If you notice unwanted habits returning, be kind to yourself, and gently switch to the new tool. Do this again and again—gently notice and switch to the new tool. After learning and forgetting a tool many times, it will eventually become a habit for you.

Welcome to HSA

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to Heartstrings Academy! Please look around the site. We offer a variety of classes for all ages.