A question often raised is ,”Why do some kids perform better than the others considering similar preparation, levels of capability ,interests and environment?” While all external factors may appear similar , one must ascertain the child’s personal style of learning, the interactions with peers and adults, the activities in school and at home.You will realise that simple everyday interactions have helped your child realise her/his fullest potential I am fortunate to have the luxury of observing thousands of kids everyday of my life for the past 28 years and learning each day of my life about them ,for them and from them . I will take you with me on this beautiful journey of understanding and being understood.
What a child learns in his early days has an indelible mark on his ability to learn. During middle school and high-school it impacts his academic scores, his performance in sports ,his ability to socialise, his interests in co-curricular activities and his personality as a whole.A couple of examples from our own lives prove this point. Our tastes in food is developed during our early years. Our life-style may have undergone a huge change with all the world-wide travel but at 60 , the dhall -baath that may have been the favourite in our school days remains on the top despite newer likes. A grand parent at 70 is eager to learn to use a smart phone smartly. They try and pick up every lesson on technology from their grand -kids or from anyone who is willing to share.They observe, understand question and clarify till they have mastered it.Their quest fro learning , their oral, aural abilities developed in their early childhood comes in handy.
In a similar manner,all experiences of early years will help parents and teachers (if shared with them ) provide such learning experiences that will contribute to maximising his ability to perform.I was watching a Kids’Show where a kid recited some rhymes and the ” R” pronounced as “L” for e.g” Roll was LOLL”Rock was LOCK” The audience was was laughing and perhaps enjoying the cuteness. The kid was terribly embarrassed because his peers were also laughing at him. In the third attempt ,the host made the child pronounce correctly. I was surprised that the parents had chosen to ignore the correction till so late (5 years) ,whereas the host in the show managed it in 5 minutes.The approach was different.Interactions with the child must help to build skills in language , communication ,social skills and conceptual skills.
So , how do we go about it ?Observe the baby in its infancy when no external influence played a role. When music is on , the baby would made movements with hands and legs , with gurgling sounds to express joy. A cartoon is on for the elder sibling and this infant turns towards the TV and “watches” in rapt attention. Try reading to your infant .You may be holding on to the infant’s attention for a long spell. The infant can’t read but shows interest. These examples can lead parents to understand the innate learning style of your child. When he enters school , he has other influences. The play-way , the audio, the visual -treats, the reading , the phonics, the incidental learning, peer experiences….all of them become a part of the teacher’s lesson -plan.When the parent shares the inborn learning style of their child with the teacher ,they will help the child perceive newer ways of learning.Ideally , children must have the right balance of all learning styles.
The general observation is that today’s children are digital natives and are inclined to be only visual learners.Parents share their concern about their children.Here are a few – “I told him this was important” “.Where does he listen?” The minute I speak ,he shuts the door I know he is not at all listening ,”…he does not communicate at all ” Do not blame them for that .I have seen parents giving their I pads and I Phones to play to silence the child , to feed him , to cajole him ,is used as a lollipop for homework completion, even at times when parents need to have a peaceful conversation each other !!! So we are consciously driving them to a virtual visual world of learning.As the child grows older , one realises the need to sharpen our abilities which have been relegated to the background . Is it possible to reinforce newer skills when the child is already inclined to a particular style from his infancy?Yes.. ..if we very consciously and gradually sharpen their abilities in other styles by introducing newer multi-sensory approaches. The going may be slow initially but will make the child a happy ,willing and well-adjusting person.Thus strengthening the overall personality.
Where do i begin …..? My next blog tells you that.