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Childhood is about exploration and discovery. Here are some ways to help convert these pursuits into learning. Find out how choosing the right school and the right learning style make a difference in a child's learning process.

 
  • Each child is different and therefore learns differently. What works for one may not work for another. So, how can parents figure out what learning style their child will be most comfortable with?

    There are three main ways people learn: by listening (auditory), looking (visual), or doing (Kinesthetic).

    AUDITORY LEARNER: As your child grows older, you may notice that he is able to sing songs and recite poems verbatim by just listening to them. This means that he is an auditory learner, try turning school lessons into poems or songs. Keep on repeating these as repetition makes them remember better.

    VISUAL LEARNER: On the other hand, you may find that your child can visualize objects and situations quite easily and vividly. He is able to plan fairly complex things in his mind. Such children tend to remember more when they are taught through visual mediums such as pictures, videos, charts, and models.

    KINESTHETIC LEARNER: Such children learn through physical action and manipulation. They like movement. They like to find out about things by working with their hands. The best way to teach him would be to turn his lessons into skits and make him act in them.

    Parents not only need to know what learning style best suits their child but also the kind of environment he learns best in. Not all children learn optimally in a quiet and well-lit room. Some children thrive on chaos. They can’t function without music or noise.

    Don’t force your child to learn in the way you want him to. This will only lead to frustration and below par performance.

    We follow the Playway method of teaching, which require a low children is to teacher ratio. Because of this requirement, we are able to develop a curriculum that takes care of all the three types of learners.

 

  • Preschoolers enjoy structured routines, even if these are for free play. Going to preschool for the first time can be quite an arduous task for both the parents and the child. Children don’t like disrupting their already established routines because they are wary or even scared of the unknown. Going to preschool means going away from the mother and the familiar environment of the home. This can be upsetting for the child.

    Parents can make life easier for the child by making the transition gradual.  To make adjustment smoother, take him to his new school a day or two before he is supposed to start. Talk a lot to the child about what to expect in the new school, about new toys, new friends. Familiarize him with the premises and get him to meet his new teacher or teachers. If you know any future classmates, get your child to meet them before he starts. This will make adjusting to a class full of strangers much easier.

    Even after a few days or weeks, your child may cry and be clingy when you drop him off to school. This is because he is just worried about being separated from you. This kind of behaviour is normal and nothing to be worried about. Just remain calm, give him a hug, promise earnestly that you will be back in time to pick him up, and be on your way.

    If your child wants to talk to you about his worries, let him. Don’t be dismissive, be reassuring. Reassurance brings a lot of comfort to the child and also makes him feel secure.

    Since all children are different, they adjust to new environments also differently. Some may get past their preschool anxieties earlier, some later but they will all do so eventually. Just remember this.

 

  • All parents dream of raising polite and well-mannered children. After all, children are a reflection of them.
    Good manners are not about being able to automatically say the right words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at the right time. It is more about compassion. In other words, a person should mean it when he utters the word ‘please’ or ‘thank you.’ When parents start teaching manners to their children, they should not only teach them what to do or say but also why.
    So for example, if a child has hit another person unintentionally, his parents should not only teach him to utter the word ‘sorry’ but should also teach him the reason for uttering it. They should explain to their child that he has caused the other person pain. If a child is raised to be compassionate, he will automatically grow up to be courteous. Two-year-olds may be too young to understand the reasons behind words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ They can learn these words very easily through frequent repetition, but understanding the reasons is beyond their comprehension.
    Therefore, parents should begin by getting their children to learn etiquette by rote so that they learn what to say and do and what not to say and do. They should only start teaching them sensitivity when the children are older and understand more. Don’t go overboard in your quest to teach your child to be well behaved. Don’t force him to do or say the correct things all the time. While pressure is not appropriate, occasional reminders are. Children learn by observing. Parents should therefore try to be on their best behaviour all the time or at least in front of their children. Always be polite when you are addressing or correcting your child. Don’t rave or rant or punish him every time he forgets to use the right words or behave the right way. This will not help, as it will only make him more rebellious. Keep your voice modulated and look in his eye when correcting him. This will show that you care and thus make him listen to you. Also, let your child hear you say a lot of ‘pleases’, ‘thank you’s, and ‘excuse me’s as you interact with people throughout the day. If you listen to your toddler, he will listen to you and being a good listener is an important part of being a considerate person. Have realistic expectations of your child. Don’t expect him to learn all the social niceties in a month. Sometimes, when he is messy at meal times, let him be. Being a messy eater is a part of being a toddler. It takes years of exposure to etiquettes, for a child to become a well-mannered person. Finally, just try to raise a child you like and enjoy because if you don’t like him, nobody else will.
 

  • “Don’t touch this” and “Stop pulling your sister’s hair!” are examples of phrases repeated day in and day out by mothers to correct their children when they misbehave. It seems that unless told, toddlers don’t know how to be civil especially in front of people. Instead of correcting on a regular basis, mothers should teach their children the art of self-discipline. A child should learn to master her own impulses. In order to get to this point, the right balance between being strict and being lenient has to be struck.
    Start by praising your child when she is behaving. If she is playing by herself even for a few minutes, comment on it positively. Say how much you appreciate this sort of behaviour as it gives you time to do the laundry. By using phrases that convey how you feel and why, she will learn to link cause and effect. Just make sure that you don’t go overboard with your praises, as this will make your child overtly dependent on your opinion.
    When you ask your child to act in a certain way, explain to her clearly what you expect her to do. Don’t just say, “When you go to your friend Rina’s house, be good.” Spell out what you mean exactly when you say ‘be good.’ Do you mean she can’t pull Rina’s hair or do you mean she can’t spill cola on the sofa?
    Explain to your child why you want her to do something - for instance, say “thank you” when someone gives her a gift. Make clear to her that by saying ‘thank you’, she is showing her appreciation.
    Be consistent and continue repeating your rules. No child learns by being told just once or twice. If you are not sure if your child has been listening to you, ask her what the rule for a particular situation is and why she should obey it. Never set one rule for a particular thing one day and another the next. This will only confuse your child.
    Slip-ups are inevitable. Explain to your child calmly that she is not the only one who slips up and that the best way of learning is by making mistakes and by realizing why it is a mistake. Be sure not to blame her or yell at her when she does go off the path. For example, if she has hit a friend and the friend starts crying, ask your daughter why she thinks the friend is crying. This will make her realize on her own that what she has done is wrong. There is a better chance for a child to follow rules if she can figure out on her own the reasons behind the rules and the consequences of her actions.
    When children are allowed to have a say in the limits that are set for them, they tend to be more self-disciplined and respect the rules better. Even a three-year-old toddler can set her own limits like no hitting and no throwing a toy when playing with friends. She can also come up with the consequences if she slips up.

  • Kids tend to listen more and behave better when they are treated with respect. By getting them involved in their own disciplining, you are not only giving them a sense of ownership, but you are also giving them importance.


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