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How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping

How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping

Do you have children? Would you like to give them more fun in studying? Do you want to help them in ace-ing their tests at school? If so, you should definitely continue reading, as there are amazing things your child can learn from you! After reading this article, you will be a personal mind-mapping coach for your child.

Most people know about mind-mapping already. Do you use it yourself as well? I am sure most people use or have used the technique in one form or the other. The reason it works so well is because it makes use of both sides of your brain, taking the slightly more analytical left side and using words and relationships. It also benefits from the slightly more creative or colourful right side, using images and colours.

For adults this does wonders: We normally tend to use more of the ‘left’ side of our brains, using more words than images, more relationships than colours. Children, on the other hand, tend to work the other way around. For young children who have not been exposed to the adult way of thinking, drawing pictures still comes as natural. This is very important when you want to teach them mind-mapping.

I have to correct myself immediately when I write “teach them”, as we should not teach them mind-mapping: the moment we do that, we will only try to impose our rules and limitations onto their way of thinking. I believe we should help them explore this whole brain thinking on their own. The moment children learn mind-mapping or visual mapping techniques, they will have an advantage over the people who aren’t using these tools. They will be able to summarize books more quickly, create better notes, outline ideas and stories much more easily, etc. In short, their time in school becomes a lot more fun! They will enjoy studying and get better grades.

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This Is Your Coaching Outline

You are a coach, not a teacher. You are there to assist your child in finding out about different ways to outline ideas, thoughts and books, so don’t judge. Don’t impose ideas. Let them see where this journey will take them.

Great, now we have that out of our way, we can begin.

First, you make sure your child gets a big sheet of paper and a couple of different pens. You only tell your child that the next exercise is something they should be drawing; they can be as creative as possible.

Take a piece from one of their school books, or tell a story, making sure you use enough image words (words that are easily transformed into pictures). Image words could be those such as “tree”, “house”, “car”, or “power plant” no, I am just kidding… although, your child could probably create a really cool picture of that!).

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While you tell the story or read from the book, let your child draw.

After you are done, and your child is done drawing, you ask them to tell the story again using their drawing. Can they do that? Is their story about the same as the one you told? If so, you and your child did a wonderful job. If not, what caused the difference? Were the images not powerful enough? Or perhaps did you not use enough image words? Investigate together.

When your child knows how to do this, you can even go one step further. Take a new sheet of paper, and divide it in a couple of areas (the same number as you have topics in your story). The process starts all over again. You talk, your child draws. Just make sure that each topic is drawn in a single section. You then ask your child to recall the story using the drawing, and give them a pen to draw a line from one part of the story to the other. This is your branch!

If there are parts in your story that you could add more sub branches to, ask your child to add more (small) images with even more pictures. In the end, your child creates something that is almost a real mind map (perhaps even better than any mind map you ever created before!). For the real overachieving parent, you can do one more thing: after you created the map, give your child a new piece of paper and let them re-create the entire map from memory. You can of course give hints about what to add when they are lostyou might be amazed how wonderful their memory is!

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The final step is that you step away from your child, and you let them go through a book and create the images and story themselves.

This is the moment your child knows how to outline their ideas, thoughts, books, and much more in a visual map, without your assistance! The maps may not be what traditional mind mappers feel is right, but the map helps them achieve their goal and enjoy studying again.

Don’t worry if your child doesn’t create a perfect map—it isn’t about perfect maps, remember? This is all about your child handling information in a smarter, more efficient manner, and with more fun. The entire process of your child being able to do that depends on their age, interest in the topics, and perhaps even if it is wonderful weather outside. What I can say is that you usually can expect results quickly. Children love to draw, and this is completely in line with their way of thinking.

From now on, make sure you help your child when they are stuck or need motivation.

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Action Points

Action point 1: Be a supportive coach, not a parent who says what is right and wrong.

Action point 2: Use the step-by-step outline above to teach your child mind mapping.

Action point 3: Just sit back and smile when your child shows you their work (not much action, but a great feeling!)

Enjoy!

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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