What was your learning experience like as a child? Was it enforced or was it too lenient? Did it work for you?
“Learning is very natural when the child is in an environment that fosters this.” Sherin Alibhai
Most adults don’t recognize the power of allowing the child freedom to have their learning moments. Each individual child perceives and analyses information in their own unique manner. When we as adults remain involved through constant talking and telling ‘how to’ do things, we take away the opportunity for the child to process information that they are receiving through their hands to the brain. Intellectual and cognitive development is enhanced when the child is allowed the freedom to engage in an activity uninterrupted.
“Children are all about the Process while Adults are all about the Results”!
How often have we heard the child say, “ME DO”? Ever wondered why? Children have a natural desire and need to be engaged and involved in activity. This is how nature meant it to be otherwise the child would not develop. For example, when an infant is ready to walk, it is the child that initiates movement by gripping, supporting and strengthening their muscles. The adult is merely the support and facilitator for a lifelong skill such as ‘walking’ to develop in the child.
In a similar manner, learning through activities occurs when the natural mechanisms in the child engage and are not distracted by the anything or people in the environment. We adults, with the best intentions often tend to become an obstacle in the child’s development. We think children need constant direction in everything they do whereas they only need to be shown how to handle materials, objects, toys etc. For example, with puzzles we need to show them how to remove one piece at a time and set it up in random fashion on the side. Then to return each piece one at a time. Once this is done, allow the child to work out the puzzle independently – right or wrong in your eyes – allow the child to assimilate the information, to analyze and to explore – this where the learning will happen!
Let us become cognisant of the child’s innate and powerful abilities so they can grow into analytical and logical individuals as opposed to information fed regurgitating individuals.
Each child and adult has their own unique abilities and they will only shine when they are allowed to explore and experiment where their interests and gifts. This is when a love for learning becomes inborn!