A child’s mind works very differently to ours. During these sensitive periods, a child’s needs will vary from day to day, but Whilst we are learning from home, what are the 11 most important things that we as adults need to understand, before we can even think about helping our children reach their full potential?
Order: For a child it means s/he has the need for predictable events in her/his life; for example, an ordered environment where everything has a certain place. We should always empathises the importance of leaving the environment just as we found it.
Orientation: For a child it means that s/he needs to know where and how s/he fits into a particular time or environment and how to adapt. A timetable, plan or diary helps children to understand this clearly.
Exploration: For children it is the curiosity leading to explore and the desire to understand. we can easily see that children are the best explorers and they must have the freedom to explore as rich an environment as possible. Leave some of the day for uninterrupted exploration and free play. Sit back and watch their imagination run wild.
Communication: This takes the three forms of speaking, writing and reading. As educators, freedom of speech, listening, and story telling help enable these to grow. Try to include these into a daily routine as much as you can. Activities such as writing a letter, making a phone call and listening to a documentary all count as work.
Activity: A child is restless and needs constant activity which seems purposeless to the adult. Give the child the freedom to move around. Have a practical life list available at all times: children can access this and choose items they would like to complete. (Below)
Manipulation: A child has the need to touch, feel and to experience the physical world. Have tactile items that can be used without having to ask permission. Give the child the freedom to choose and move:
Work: It is the ability to put into reality what the imagination suggests, we must therefore never judge or stop a child’s work, realizing that his/her goals are different than ours. If the child is focussed and engaged we must not interrupt them. This must be important to the child and to disturb them whilst they are working would not be very good leadership in your part.
Repetition: This tendency is the ability to do over and over again an exercise in order to reach perfection and to experience the joy of increased control and understanding of one’s world. This is something not to overlook. We have all done it and we will continue to, you didn’t learn how to drive on the first day, and your child doesn’t learn how to build a tower from LEGO in his either. Let’s allow them to become masters at their craft.
Exactness: We give the child the freedom to repeat an activity until it reaches a point of exactness. He/she is shown exactly how to properly use the materials. Precision is key and can be modelled when baking, telling the time or planning a trip. Numbers matter and if we demonstrate this, our children will follow.
Abstraction: We must allow concrete experiences through the materials in order for these to provide a solid understanding of the concepts intended. If they tell you they can do it in their head, it’s time to trust them.
Self-perfection: It is the aim of every adult to teach the children so that they can control themselves and this is done through the environment itself. Plan your house in way that allows children to have control, a voice and an opinion. Allow them to control their destiny and confidence, independence and self appreciation will follow.
Set up your household, your classroom and your mind to incorporate and understand these human tendencies and you will see, with time, great results.
Good luck everyone. ❤️
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