PARENTS ARE OUR GREATEST TEACHERS.
This seems like a cliche, but from what I have seen in my practice these many years, parents make such a big difference in children's learning that not being involved in that process would mean one either did not care, or did not know how important that involvement is.
Many parents would like to give their children the best of health care, education, nutrition and material things. Different families will have different ways of doing this. Many times, their agenda will depend on how the parents themselves were raised as children, and how they perceived they did with their own parents' techniques of running a household.
As varied as there are cultures, and as many as there are people -- this is how diverse the methods of raising children are. No two families are alike, so that no two children are ever exactly the same. This holds true even for children sharing the same set of genes raised in the same family. And because IQs and experiences vary, even the amount and rate of learning will not be the same among siblings or twins, or even triplets who share the same genetic characteristics.
Among children who learn well and have a positive attitude to school work or informal learning, the common factor seems to be the active interest and the apparent delight parents take in even the littlest of achievements. Buttoning a shirt, naming a color for the first time, writing a letter, shutting a door, putting away toys, trying to clean the floor, helping with the laundry -- no activity is exempt from a simple appreciative kiss, or a ''WOW!', or grandma's knowing about it from a proud parent (more effective if the child overhears). Busy parents need to look at their children as well as listen more. Children frequently have a lot to say, and they appreciate the time adults take to hear it. It is certainly frustrating for a child just learning to articulate feelings to find that no one is interested, or that no response is made to the narration of new experiences. .
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This page was last updated on: April 26, 2012
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What kind of school should a young child be in? -- here's a site with answers When should one start teaching a foreign language? - apparently, any time, as this
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Does music help in learning? - this should be interesting reading as well as this one How about remedial education, or tutoring? -- some answers may be here
Sometimes parents think they are responding appropriately when a child shows them some object and they immediately ask ''what color is that, or how many do you have, or what is it for?', seemingly testing the child's knowledge and not waiting for him to say things first about the item. It may turn out that the child has other ideas or some questions himself, and these are set aside while satisfying the parent's need to know that the child 'knows something'. If all interactions occur in this manner, one can understand why a child may lose interest in the activity.
Many parents think that learning activities are only those where they practice reading with their children, or color books, or do homework, or figure out shapes. Working parents send their children off to playschool wanting them to do academic things rather than play and learn in the process of interacting with other children and the teacher-facilitators. They may get impatient with the school when they find out that their children are not taught numbers or letters.
I have always had the impression that children learn better with their parents or people who love them enough to talk about life and things with them, focusing on the story rather than the form. It may happen, therefore, that a young child starts to read because of enjoyable stories read to him while sitting in an adult's lap. The repetition of these stories make the letters familiar and actual reading follows. The pleasure a child gets from all the attention and the human warmth is a major instrument in learning not just then but in the years to come..