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Archive for April, 2017

LEARN…PLAYFULLY!

Learn…Playfully!
Excerpt from Me, Myself and I
by Dr. Kyle Pruett

With all the current focus on accelerated learning, parents may be tempted to do too much of a good thing, jettisoning playful games and enjoyable family events in favor of boring early learning programs. As with adults, too much input from the outside can cause children to tune out.

Young children have a fierce drive to learn, and they are thrilled with their new discoveries. This is a wonderful time to strengthen the foundation for a child’s lifelong love of learning. They key is to do it in a way that respects and responds to each child’s interests, pace and temperament, and not to some external need to keep up with the Joneses or their kids.

One well-documented trait of children who do well in school is that they love to learn. Activities that build love of learning are money in the bank for a child’s educational success. You don’t want to squelch that drive to learn by substituting joyless, skill-pushing memory activities for real exploration, discovery and learning.

So what do you do? Follow your child’s cues. Other than fatigue, cues are all emotional. Children show interest or disinterest, curiosity or frustration, boredom or enjoyment, impatience or pleasure, anger or delight. Pay attention to your child’s moods and heed his cues. Sometimes parents find this hard to do. If you are engaged in some activity you think is really worthwhile, it’s easy to push the envelope until your child seriously wants out. There is no gain in this. Much better to move on to something else or just give things a rest when your child begins to show disinterest or fatigue. You know all the signs. No one is as expert as you at reading your child.

For young children, the best learning is filled with a blend of wonder, giggles, excitement, interest, concentration, a touch of manageable frustration, concerted effort and laughter – all signs of the most positive emotional states. Lessons learned and achievements mastered in these states are gilt-edged in three ways:

• The child learns something new.
• The child learns more about how to learn.
• The child enjoys learning.