Based on the book How to Maximize Your Childs Learning Ability by Dr. Lauren Bradway and Barbara Albers Hill Parents Need Help It begins with play schools, goes on to interviews to get admission to kindergartens and school, then come the tests and examinations-These are the stepping stones in the lives of todays parents and children. The pressure is on from the day the children are born and life s
Based on the book 'How to Maximize
Your Child's Learning Ability' by Dr. Lauren Bradway and Barbara Albers
Parents Need Help
It begins with play schools, goes
on to interviews to get admission to kindergartens and school, then come
the tests and examinations-These are the stepping stones in the lives of
today's parents and children. The pressure is on from the day the children
are born and life seems to leap from one examination to the other. It's
not enough that children merely achieve academically, they have to be all-rounders
too. So you have harassed mothers and fathers ferrying their children to swimming lessons, art class, piano lessons, pottery classes, etc. Yet,
you have children that just don't seem to fall into line. Like the boy
who is an excellent tennis player, but has no interest in schoolwork. Or
the girl who does brilliantly in written examinations, but miserably in
oral presentations. Or the child that excels at creative writing, but cannot
seem to add two numbers together. Given this scenario, parents are always
looking for ways by which they could explore the full potential of their
children's abilities while trying to make learning an enjoyable experience
at the same time. The book 'How to Maximize Your Child's Learning Ability'
by Dr. Lauren Bradway and Barbara Albers Hill could furnish parents with
some valuable tips.
Dr. Bradway is a speech-language
pathologist who has written this book based on twenty years of practical
experience. Based on extensive observation, she has come to the conclusion
that children have distinctive learning styles. She believes that a child's learning style in his infancy influences his ability to socialize, and
to perform athletically and academically later in life. Every child has
a specific way of absorbing information. Some learn best through visual stimulation; others are more responsive to sound and language; while some
learn more quickly through touch and motion. Therefore, she has broadly
classified children into three categories based on their preferred learning
style: the Lookers, the Listeners, and the Movers.
A. The Looker
The lookers are children who respond
best to visual stimulation like motion, colour, shape, and size. They are
usually gifted with excellent hand-eye coordination. They are particularly
good at fine motor skills that involve both the eyes and small muscles
like the fingers. Their habit is to look at something new and then use
their hands to demonstrate what they have learned about it. These babies
are the kind that will love turning the pages of a book to stare at the
pictures without being particularly bothered about listening to the story.
In the toddler stage, they will prefer puzzles, blocks, cutting and pasting
or any other activity that enables them to use their eyes and hands. As
they grow older, parents of lookers will notice that these children are
more likely to be drawn to board games, to doing art and craft assignments,
and to display a fascination with computers, calculators and video games.
However, lookers will have to improve their language and social skills
and their full-body coordination.
B. The Listener
As expected, listeners are more inclined
to sounds and words rather than touch and visual stimuli. These children
tend to start speaking at an earlier age and usually have large vocabularies.
Listeners usually love music and singing and reciting rhymes and songs.
They speak with clarity and precision and love reading aloud. They develop
a love for reading at an early age and their play often involves making
up stories and acting them out with friends. However, since they are so
focused on aural stimuli and language, they have a tendency to lag behind
in visual and motor areas.
C. The Mover
The movers learn through touch and
movement. They prefer the hands-on approach to learning. They enjoy large-muscle
activity involving the hands, legs, arms and feet. They are restless, squirming
infants that can only be calmed by cuddling and rocking. The movers develop
the ability to walk and crawl at an early age. They enjoy physical activities
like running, jumping, climbing, etc. They excel in sport and outdoor activity.
However, their boundless, restless energy makes them fidgety and easily
distracted which can be a disadvantage in the classroom. They are impatient
and easily frustrated as a result of which they are quick to abandon difficult
tasks. Their concentration on the physical to the exclusion of visual and
aural stimuli works to their detriment in the academic field.
The book includes Learning Style
QuickChecks for both parents and children of different ages ranging from
infancy to puberty that are aimed at helping parents to identify their
own as well as their children's learning styles. Once you have done this,
the next step is to use this knowledge to chose toys and activities that
will develop your child's weaker skills and reinforce his natural strengths.
Dr. Bradway has observed that till parents recognize their own learning
style, they just assume that their children absorb information in the same
way that they do. In addition, parents have a natural tendency to expose
their children to the kind of stimulation that they enjoy themselves. A
child will react to this by either encouraging or discouraging the stimulation
depending on his particular learning style. But even if the child rebuffs
a parent's attempts at interaction, they should persist in their attempts
in order to foster the all-round development of the child.
The earlier the parents identify
their child's learning style, the more time they will have to guide his
play, activities and interaction to equip him with skills that will help
him in the classroom. The fact is that both schoolwork and socializing
rely on a combination of several abilities. It is not as if children who
have been left to their own devices have not managed to go through life.
But a child who uses all his senses is bound to be more successful. The
aim of the book is to show parents that while a child's learning style
may be inborn, parents can help them develop other ways of learning and
thus ensure a more well-rounded development.
It is common knowledge that raising children can never be subject to any kind of formula. The authors of the book make it clear that their suggestions are merely guidelines and not rules written in stone. That would defeat the purpose, as each child is
unique. In addition, parents should feel free to move beyond these suggestions
and explore other options. The goal is not to make your child top of the
class, or a candidate for the Olympics, or Prime Minister. Parents should
use these techniques to ensure that their children become happy and well-adjusted
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