How To Help Your Child Learn
Just as every snowflake is unique, so is every child. The way that your child learns depends a number of different factors, which combined together, create his unique learning style. By helping your child discover how he learns the best, you will set him up for life time success in learning, and reduce the frustrations that come through trying to learn in a way that does not use his particular strengths and to him seems uncomfortable.
Every parent has been through the school system and hopefully discovered ways that facilitated a style of learning that worked for them. However it is a fallacy to presume that a parent's style is necessarily going to be the best way for their child, in fact it could have a detrimental effect to insist that they learn in that way.
For example the traditionally accepted environment to do homework is to sit at a desk in a quiet spot to help concentration. However this is only likely to help learning for a percentage of students. If this is not a comfortable way of learning for a child it can actually inhibit the flow of ideas and create a learning vacuum where the mind becomes a blank. Some may need to spread out on the floor, sit cross-legged on the bed or even in front of the TV to find an environment where their best learning can take place. Some students need music or background noise, food or drink and to feel comfortable before real learning can take place. Some remember best when they can move about or learn by doing, some need to visualize or see pictures, write or read the information for themselves, and others need to hear the information and speak it back in order to remember it. Using a combination of two of these modes may work best for some students.
Another important factor that comes in play is the way a child perceives and orders information in their mind. The conventional method is for information to be structured in a logical step by step process, which leads in a linear form from the beginning to its logical end. This method works for many students, however some may have learning styles which in take information and put it into meaningful bits or chunks, which are stored in the mind in a more random way. Such a student will reach the desired result, but will not use a sequential logical format in the learning process.
There are two main ways the brain makes sense of the information it receives, and although we all use both ways there will be a leaning towards one way or the other. The first way can be termed the 'analytical style'. The analytical style has a preference to focus on the details, and fit them together to make sense of information. The 'global style' however needs to see the bigger picture and fit in the information within it so it makes sense in the wider scope of things. A global style sees all the parts are related to each other to make up the big picture, but may have difficulty in separating the parts within the bigger picture. The analytical style has no problem focusing in on the parts, but may have difficulty seeing the bigger picture and how the details fit together in the wider sense. An example of this can be seen in the approach to doing a jigsaw. The analytical style preference will focus in the jigsaw pieces and how they fit together.
A person operating strongly in this style may fit together several sections before looking at the picture to see where they go. The global style, on the other hand will probably do the edges pieces first, and frequently refer to the picture to see where a piece would go.
By observing your child in natural normal situations you will be able to pick up clues as to the innate strategies he/she uses to understand the world, to concentrate, and remember. By giving your child opportunities to try a variety of methods of learning you can help them discover and encourage their unique style of learning. The earlier a child discovers what works best for them, the more success and self confidence will be attached to their learning experiences in life. As a parent you are in an ideal position to help them in the process of discovery.
Barbara White, a former Principal and teacher, is now president of Beyond Better Development. As a speaker and author, Barbara brings her experience and expertise in personality and learning styles to improve learning, communication skills and relationships. Subscribe to the complimentary Growing Beyond Better newsletter
What Are Reasonable Expectations of a Child?
To have reasonable expectations of our children is an important aspect of wise parenting. Reasonable expectations leave room for a child to be a child but understand they are on the road to learning to be a mature adult.
Toilet Terrors And Other Potty Training Fears
Potty training fears, often called toilet terrors, are common among toddlers and small children. Look at things from your child's perspective.
5 Ways To Help Your Kids Do Math
Uh oh.Your kids arrive home with their school reports and it's poor marks from the math department.
Family Meetings 101
Family meetings provide opportunities for feelings to be aired and validated. They also allow younger children to feel they are an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to family vacations and other major and minor family functions.
Book Review: The Ring Bear Depicts Turmoil of Becoming A Stepchild
In "The Ring Bear," a picture book by Tigard resident David Michael Slater (Flashlight Press, 2004), a single mother and her son, Westley, love to play rascally pirates. Like many single parents and their kids, it's clear the mom and her son are incredibly close: They've created their own fantasy world about Westley the Wicked and Mom the Mean.
Parents --- Homeschooling Can Take a Lot Less Time Than You Think
The time you will need to teach your children the essentials - reading, writing, and arithmetic - is much less than you think. Let me quote author and former public-school teacher John Gatto from his wonderful book, Dumbing Us Down:"Were the colonists geniuses? [i.
Simple Living in a Materialistic World
We were sitting in the family room. My kids had finished their first day back at school after the holiday break, and my wife was working late.
Getting through the School Daze
It's back to school time again. Does the thought of having to get everyone organized and out the door make you want to send for boarding school brochures? Here are a few tips to help get through that back to school daze.
The Courage to Be a Loving Parent
Most of us really don't like it when someone is angry at us. We don't like it when people go into resistance to helping us when we need help, instead of caring about us.
Four Tips For Alleviating Back To School Anxiety
Back to school preparations are in full-swing. Soon, the first bell of the year will ring and the sounds of summer will be replaced by the voices of school-aged children bemoaning the end of their summer and trying to sort out their new school routines: What building am I in? Who's my teacher this year? Do I really have to take calculus?For most children, going back to school signifies a move from the lazy, hazy days of summer to a regimented school routine and poses unique challenges that must be overcome.
Introduction to the Medications Used in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder
There are several treatment options available to help improve the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Since there is no prescription medicine that can "cure" for ADHD, the various medical interventions seek to improve symptoms.
MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part II
Handing Down Malignancy.Children may begin bright and eager to face the world, but are often inundated with the conditioning of their fear-ridden predecessors speaking of lost dreams-taken by no one in particular.
Who Wants To Date Their Mother?
Do any other reality TV junkies remember a show on TV last year called "Who Wants To Marry Our Dad?" Well, my life is starting to sound very very similar lately. All you have to do is listen to my kids for a day, and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.
After the Driving School
If you visit search engines you can find several resources to assist you on this subject. Try searching on the phrase "parents with teen drivers".
Parenting Your Teenager: How to Say NO!
Q: Whenever we tell my daughter "no," she just bugs and pesters until we give in. I know it's wrong to give in, but she makes things so unpleasant that we give in just to make peace.
Is There Any Real Use For A Fun Quiz?
Q. I don't like my children spending so much time on the computer and playing video games.
Are Your Kids Driving You Crazy? How Character Building Charts Keep You Sane
Who lives in your house? Are they driving you "crazy?" Do you have a Winnie the Whiner, a Sammy the Slacker, or a Bubba the Bully? Perhaps you've yelled, you've lectured, and you've even spanked to get your Winnie to stop whining, your Sammy to do his chores, and your Bubba to stop hurting his little brother. How can you get your Peter the Cheater to play fair, your Larry the Liar to tell the truth or your Tilly the Tattle to mind her own business? Our greatest task as parents is to raise children with strong healthy characters.
What do you mean average? Not good? Just doing good enough?That's what came out in Joshua's report card recently. Looking back, I wasn't too bright a child either.
CPR: Why You Should Know It
I never dreamed that I would be in a position to use CPR on someone. But I was wrong.
The POWER of Reading
Reading to your child at a young age is one of the most effective tools for expanding his mind and instilling a lifelong love of learning. Reading a good book allows your child to travel to places she has never been, to meet people she has never met, and to develop an understanding of how to deal with a variety of physical and emotional situations.
|home | site map|