There is a correct way and an incorrect way to help supplement your child’s learning progress. The mistake many parents make is they schedule time to help their young child with the basic learning skills. This is commendable on the part of parents, however this action usually includes a serious mistake which most parents aren’t even aware of.
A crucial factor that almost all teachers are concerned with is, “turning children off” from learning. Children want to please their parents and their teachers. If for some reason they aren’t able to accomplish the task of pleasing a parent or teacher, they feel bad. No matter what you say, they know when they’ve disappointed you. It’s almost as if they can feel your energy drop due to disappointment, thus, they know.
If and when this disappointment occurs, especially during a learning event, the child begins to associate learning with disappointment and would rather not be involved. They can display their dislike by acting out, or worst, by giving up and not trying.
Parents are easily disappointed when they learn their young child doesn’t really know the ABC’s past l-m-n-o-p. For example the child is 4 and a half years old and doesn’t know his/her ABC’s after the letter “m.” The parent becomes frustrated and believes maybe the child is a slow learner. Although the parent never says the words, the child “feels” the parent’s disappointment and like most children will try to live up to the expectations of the parent.
When the child bombs out on the alphabet at school, the preschool teacher understands completely, and you will too after you sing the ABC’s and realize the alphabet become a little hard to grasp during the l –m –n –o -p lyrics. The child may be having a hard time connecting with the alphabet from the song. This same disconnection may occur when the child is coloring the ABC’s. In other words, the preschool teacher understands the child’s confusion and teaches the child accordingly. Whereas parents have forgotten how hard it was to learn 26 letters.
I’m NOT saying that parents shouldn’t supplement young children’s learning experiences, because they should. I’m saying parents must be extremely careful to always be supportive no matter how dumb the child’s answers appear. I understand this may be more than some parents can handle, especially when the child takes on an attitude of not knowing anything. When you look at the child that is yours and they seem clueless, you are frighten inside. Don’t be. Their little brains are developing more and more each day. Give them time, you’ll be glad you did.
If you’re a parent who has high expectations, try to understand that the learning process is different for each child. Some children may grasp counting, ABC’s, shapes and colors much quicker than others. Each child learns at his or her own pace. There’s a lot of questions going on within the minds of children. When they feel comfortable they’ll learn what is repeatedly presented to them. This is why the preschool teacher goes over the ABC’s, counting, days of the week, colors, shapes and class rules almost each day of school. Repetition is the key, encouragement is the stimulus.