How Your Children Think and Learn Part 1
by Debbie Tipton
Did you know that our children are in the business of learning? They attempt to store all the things that happen to them into some type of logical form.
What is learning?
Learning is to gain knowledge, understanding, or skill. (This is in accordance with the great Webster.) An even broader definition of learning is “any permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of a practice or an experience.” This makes what we teach our children even more important as it has the potential to have a lasting affect in their behavior.
How do children think?
Children are a bundle of ideas and thoughts. If you ever really look at your child you will see that these thought patterns are much different than that of an adult and can certainly be expressed in much different ways. There are four different stages of learning or development that each child goes through.
This is form the ages of birth to about two years old. During this time the child’s primary mode of learning occurs through the five senses. S/he learns to experience environment. The child touches things, holds, looks, listens, tastes, feels, bangs, and shakes everything in sight. For this child the sense of time is now and the sense of space is here. When the child adds motor skills such as creeping, crawling, and walking — watch out — his/her environment expands by leaps and bounds. The child is now exploring their environment with both senses and the ability to get around.
This just doubled your job as a parent because now you need to start dealing with such things as protection and guidance. This mode of learning actually continues through the age of twelve, but becomes less acute as the years go by.
This is the stages between ages two and seven. During this stage the child is busy gathering information or learning, and then trying to figure out ways that they can used what they have learned to begin solving problems.
During this stage of his/her life your child will be thinking in specifics and will find it very difficult to generalize anything. An example would be a ball: A ball is not something that you use to play a game, it is just something that you throw.
This is the time when a child learns by asking questions. You will begin to think that if you hear the word why just one more time that you will go crazy. The child generally will not want a real answer to his question at this point. When he asks why do we have grass — He simply wants to know that it is for him to play in. No technical answers for know.
The child in this age group judges everything the me basis How does it affect me? Do I like it? You get the idea! This child also has no ability to go back in time and reason. If you miss your opportunity to explain or punish when it happens — forget it for they have.
This is a lot of information at one time, so, tomorrow we will be
discussing the other ways in which a child can learn. We will also be talking about what we can expect out of our children during those times.