This blog was created, in order to better share the information in which I have composed, compiled, collected over my 20+ years of working with children. My goal is to share information, ideas, and strategies that can support parents through their journey. I appreciate feedback and ideas, as your comments will shape this blog and its contents. Thanks for reading!
A wonderful example of engaging a child at their level.
SIX EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE LEARNING
You are your child’s most important teacher. Children learn
from every interaction with you and those in his/her world. Learning small ways
to make the most of each moment you share with your child, can build stronger
communication and language learning.
The strategies below can be implemented throughout daily
activities such as bath time, cooking activities, on walks, and even riding in
the car. Also, these strategies can be applied to learning at varied ages and stages. Young children learn best when
adults get down on the floor and engage at their level.This allows the adult to better see and
interpret the world through the child’s eyes.Older children learn best when they are allowed to explore and learn in
a safe and supportive environment.
6 STEPS IN A NUTSHELL
1. Just Right Level: Children learn best when they are
exposed to language, play, and activities that are a ‘just right level’ for
their learning.Too hard can make kids
(and adults) frustrated, and too easy or uninteresting can make them bored or
walk away.Stay engaged, match their
play, and work at a level that is slightly challenging, yet extremely
***Change it up! If you are too hard, make it easier.If you are being too easy, make it
2. Share control: No one wants to play with a bossy Betty,
well neither do our children.Allow your
child to lead play.Try imitating your
child’s play while adding the ‘just right level’ narration.When you child sees you imitating them, they
will be more willing to imitate you and your play. Just take one turn, say one
thing, or share one idea. Then wait.
***Think of your interaction as a game of tennis, not darts!
3. Provide choices: Children naturally learn about ways they
can control what is around them. Some can be bossy and demanding!But when they experience control, they learn
self-confidence and the value of decision making.Even when the adult provides the options, it
is still a choice.They cannot wear a
swimsuit, but they can choose from two pants.They cannot paint right now, but can choose between books or a puzzle.
It’s not time for computer, but we can do play-doh or color together.Making choices empowers children, increases
ownership and buy-in to the activity, and can help alleviates power struggles.
***Give them choices with no wrong answer, whenever
4. Wait: Allow time for your child to respond.It may seem like a lifetime, but count to 10
following a language model or question.Following, if your child does not respond, provide them with a response
(i.e., either model the words again and/or give them the answer to your
question).This allows them to hear,
process, and generate an idea for output.
***“Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!”
5. More Comments Than Questions:Many adults naturally try to engage with
children by asking them 1,000 questions.This is with good intention, but from the child’s perspective, it might
start to feel like an oral exam!This
can make a child simply stop responding.I like the 20% rule: for every one question asked, make five
balance the interaction and children tend to be more open to sharing a
***For every question you ask, also share 5 comments or
observations to keep the tennis-game going!
6. Keep it Positive: In your time with kids, it is so
important to stay positive and supportive.Ignore behaviors you don’t want, and reinforce the behaviors you want.
Tell children exactly what you DO like about what they are doing. Remind them
what they are doing RIGHT, as we want the words and input to echo what we would
like to see again.