Back to School Learning Tips
by Terri Bonin
Walking through the mall department store, my daughter and I approached a mother, daughter, and granddaughter trio coming towards us. Bouncing on the hip of the young mother, the wee one was decked out in a pink ones-y with rhinestones and a puffy, pink tutu. A giant gauze bow crowned the child’s head and she represented one of the cutest little ballerinas I had ever seen. I smiled at the threesome as we passed, then looked at my own daughter to acknowledge that she had witnessed the same adorable family.
However, my laughing face greeted a sour expression on my daughter’s face.
Did I miss something?
“Did you see that cute baby?” I inquired.
“Did you hear the grandmother?” She retorted.
“No. I was too enthralled with the adorableness of the child and her doting mamas. Why?” I wondered aloud to my sour-faced offspring, and then she began to share that…
“The grandmother was admitting to giving the child a BAG FULL of cookies over an hour’s time to ‘SHUT UP’ her whining and the toddler’s mom was agreeing her daughter was a whiney baby. Poor child.
She was probably fussing for a nap, a story, or a swat, but a bag full of cookies?”
My offspring was incensed.
My daughter and I passed the same scene at the same time and walked away with two totally different impressions. I visually soaked up the details of the precious family, while my daughter audibly tuned into their conversation. I could not tell you ONE WORD the mom and grandmother spoke and my daughter was CLUELESS as to what any of them wore.
Once again, I was reminded of how we are each wired differently. I observe the world visually. This daughter soaks up words and sounds. We go into situations and walk away with different pieces of the puzzle. (Which would make us a great spy team…but that’s for a different article.)
As school approaches it’s important we moms know the learning styles of our children, so we can help them absorb their lessons. Understanding how our children learn will snuff out frustration for both parent and child.
When my oldest son was young, I would get so flustered because he could not retain his lessons. I remained convinced he was being hardheaded and stubborn simply to torture me.
Then I stumbled upon Cynthia Tobias’ book “The Way They Learn“ and a whole new world opened up for us. She gave me the keys to unlock my son’s ability to remember. This son was (and is) a kinesthetic learner. As a six-year-old, he needed to physically move in order to remember his lessons. We began to shape numbers and letters with clay. We used alphabet cookie cutters to form sugar cookie words. We clapped syllables and hopped up and down the stairs while reciting spelling words.
He, in turn, began to remember his lessons.
I began to understand that when one of my kids said, “ I didn’t hear you tell me to do such in such,” depending on the wiring of that child, he seriously may not have heard me. Gaining a clearer understanding of learning styles helps in school and in daily life.
Before school starts take the time to check out one of Cynthia Tobia’s books. The information she teaches may be just what you need to unlock your child’s learning potential this year.
Have a great school year!