3 Constants Regarding Children & How They Learn
It’s 2017. Uncertainty and change are a way of life. Many of us are in a “wait and see” holding pattern regarding our children’s education; one anxious eye on Washington and the other on our kids. Running in a loop through our minds is, “What will they do, and how will it impact my child?”
In the midst of uncertainty, we will derive strength by focusing on things we know won’t change. Keeping our goals and priorities clearly in view will ground us and keep us moving forward in a positive, productive way for the benefit of our children.
Because I work and advocate for young learners, three constants rise to the surface for me:
- Children and their unique learning strengths
- Basic skills content in reading and math
- The need for resources that teach basic skills successfully
Children’s unique learning strengths
Children have differing learning strengths and always will. A visual learner in 1950 closely resembles the visual learner in 2017. A kinesthetic learner in 1922 would recognize a soul mate in a kinesthetic learner today.
When a child struggles, it is not that they are incapable of learning, it is that we are not targeting their learning strengths. No matter how often I repeat the lesson, no matter how much I drill, no matter how slowly I speak or how short I make the lesson, if a child didn’t learn it the first time the way I taught it, he/she will not learn it in subsequent repetitions.
The bottom line, then, is that our children have specific learning strengths, and we need to know what they are. This is the critical starting point. This is our baseline.
Basic skills in reading and math
2+2 will always = 4. Words will always be made of sounds arranged in specific patterns. It doesn’t matter if we are under No Child Left Behind and if our schools are required to use Common Core. It doesn’t matter if we have new tests, earlier testing, more frequent tests. None of these external factors will have any impact on the constants of how children learn, or the basic skills they need to master.
The bottom line, then, is that when our kids successfully learn basic skills, the foundation is laid for all other learning - and those basic skills will never change.
The need for resources that deliver basic skills to children’s learning strengths
My life work consists of learning as much as I can from children about how they perceive, take in, and remember information. It consists of taking this information and fashioning learning resources that are consistent in their design with how children learn.
Ideas in education come into favor and fall out of favor again. We, at Child1st, have stayed the course in deepening our knowledge of the child and in broadening the array of resources we publish that make many types of learners successful.
The way we meet the needs of many types of learners at one time is that in every resource, we incorporate the elements that work for all of them. Some elements are most critical to visual learners, other elements reach kinesthetic learners more strongly, but all the elements help all learners succeed. By incorporating ALL these strategies in our product design, we cast a wide net and help all children.
How we can help
Child1st resources are designed to make your child rise far above expectations
Here are some of the strategies we use as we design our resources. As you read the list, identify the elements that would appeal the most to your child:
- The need for images to show, to explain, to permanently store learning in their brains and bodies. Images are important to all learners, and especially visual and kinesthetic learners.
- The need for body movements that mirror what the child is learning. These are critical especially for kinesthetic learners.
- The need for stories to carry the details of basic skills and make sense of them. Stories show how things work and cement for the child the details they are supposed to learn.
- The need for a global map containing the content a child is supposed to learn. For instance, a “map” showing all the facts to 10 for addition and subtraction. When a child can see where the detail falls within the global map, that location becomes an important part of why a child can suddenly remember the facts.
- The need for pattern identification in the material being learned. Patterns aid in memory, they help a child predict “what’s next.”
- The need for rhythm, jingle, metaphor – all additional hooks for learning and remembering.
Where is your child today in terms of learning needs? Which skills is he/she struggling with? Are there skills you believe are completely missing for your child?
We want to help. Together we can make your child succeed beyond your wildest dreams. We have done this for thousands of children already! Please click a category below to find resources that will help your unique learner learn the skills he/she needs.
If you are not sure what you need for your child, call us at 800-881-0912, email email@example.com, or chat on our website.