How your pre-schooler learns
Your child is a sponge for learning; by being exposed to a wide range of stimulating experiences, he will soak up an enormous amount of information which, with guidance, he will process to form a view of his world that is unique to him.
Kids learn from:
- Watching. By watching what is happening around him, he will learn the sequence of events, cause and effect, and how to problem-solve.
- Listening. It is by listening that children learn the vast majority of their language skills. They also learn how to participate in a conversation and how to find meaning in language.
- Asking. He asks and you show. Always take the time to answer your pre-schooler’s questions – no matter how many there are, or how often he asks – because by giving him the information he’s requested, you’re giving him the tools to order his world.
- Trying new things. Encourage him to take a leap of faith occasionally – he’ll only acquire new skills if he’s willing to take a risk. Sometimes he’ll make a mistake, but to err is human, remember?
- Practising the skills he learns. Whether he’s learning to drink from a cup properly, or ride a bike, every new skill takes practice, practice, practice. So give him plenty of time and space (and guidance if he needs it) to master each new skill.
The best learning environment for your child is one in which he feels secure, loved and supported. It takes confidence to try something new, and so it is in this type of environment – rather than one full of pressure and expectation – that your child will be most willing to take the steps to learn new things.
Learning a new skill is tiring work, so if your child has had a busy and productive morning, don’t push him further. Try something more gentle and nurturing – perhaps a familiar puzzle or game, or a run in the local park.
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