A very dear friend of mine, also a home-schooling mum, recently gave me a very good piece of advice. She told me to encourage my children to draw and label their own pictures and diagram. Children learn and understand more when they reproduce a diagram because they have to look at all parts of it, so they are likely to take in more information.
My son Yusef, was interested to know how steam engines worked so he started reading a book called The Mega Book of Trains. Inside was a diagram showing the internal workings of a steam engine:
I explained to him using the diagram in the book, how the steam engine works and then I asked him to reproduce the diagram for himself and label it, which he did. Afterwards he explained it to me in full detail pointing out parts of the diagram as he explained. He understood exactly how it worked simply by following his diagram. Later in the day I heard him explaining to his sister how a steam engine works and it was clear he knew what he was talking about.
It’s so simple, yet so effective. Encourage your children to draw and label their own diagrams. Not every child is an artist. You may not understand your childs drawing but remember never to criticise it because you will dent their confidence, instead ask them to explain the diagram to you and if needs be help them step by step to explain the various parts and workings. When they have explained it to you in their own words and you are sure they understand, praise your child.
If you think your childs diagram is missing any crucial details be sure to mention this to them gently. Refer back to the original diagram from the textbook and ask them if they think they may have missed anything.
Technical drawing is something that most kids will encounter sooner or later in their studies, so getting into practise from an early age will help them build confidence, learn to pay attention to detail, and help them have clearer understanding of the way things work insha’Allah.