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We have that happy mania of comparing. And to demand what others are capable of achieving. But we do not realize that in learning, each one follows his own rhythm, and that the important thing in the end is not the beginning, not even the path, but the final goal.
An important philologist and neuroscientist, Francisco Mora, warns parents of the mistake they make when demanding a certain 'speed' in their development. In the end, forcing your child to learn only causes suffering.
Everything that the child learns remains there, it is not lost, even when it seems that the learning has not paid off. 'No one who learns something new now will have the same brain tomorrow', says Francisco Mora, a famous neuroscientist and professor in philology.
The brain is made up of different areas. And not all learn in the same way. Not all children have the same learning pace. Science has managed to find out that not all areas of the brain are prepared to learn at the same time and that no child has the same maturation rate. It has shown, for example, that the brain is not really ready to learn to read and write before the age of 7.
The worst of all is when at school or at home, a child is required to learn a rhythm that he cannot reach. It's like when you try to start a vehicle without fuel ... a waste of time.
Francisco Mora assures us that the only thing we achieve by 'squeezing' a child to learn when his brain is not yet ready is suffering. These are the dire consequences of trying to force learning of a child:
- Frustration. There is nothing more frustrating than what you try over and over and don't get. Imagine being required to do a somersault in one day. You are not ready for it, and you should also get in shape first. But they don't give you that time ... it has to be, now ... It is what a child feels when a goal is demanded of him that he is unable to reach in the time allowed.
- Low self-esteem. When seeing himself 'unable' to go where other children are capable of going, the child will think that it is his problem, that he is 'not as skilled as the rest', and will finally end up feeling inferior to others, which represents a real bomb for your self esteem.
- Disappointment. The key to learning may be in curiosity. If a teacher is able to arouse curiosity about something new in his students, he will get their attention. The philologist and neuroscientist gives a curious example: 'if a giraffe suddenly passes behind a teacher in a class, everyone will pay attention to the giraffe, because it is a novelty that will immediately awaken curiosity and therefore, it will become the owner of all the children's attention. ' When a child is not prepared to receive certain information, or do a certain task, he will not be able to pay attention, and little by little, he will lose the illusion of learning.
- Emotional problems. Although we tend to think that the brain is rational, that is not true. In fact, the brain is also the home of all emotions. The brain needs to get excited to learn. Without emotions, there is no learning. If you force your child and demand a maturity for which he is not yet ready, he will be unable to manage certain emotions that will be implicit and will surely arrive like a torrent that cannot stop.
- Behavioral problems. Sometimes kids with behavior problems in class are just unmotivated. They are not interested in the class, they do not pay attention because they have already assumed that they will not reach the objective that they require.
Not the children who learn earlier are the smartest in the class, nor are those who learn the slowest the dumbest. Nor is he smarter who starts talking earlier or walks at just 10 months. The pace of learning does not matter: it matters if the learning is achieved at the end, how the tools learned at the end of the journey are used.
The solution is through a radical change in the conception of education, in not treating an individual as a whole, but each child individually, paying special attention to each of their potentials and their particular maturation rate. And of course, use the tools that motivate and bring the brain out of its 'lethargy':
1. Pictures. Neuroscience has shown that the brain, when faced with a talk by a teacher, no matter how interesting, ends up disconnecting. However, images capture a child's interest much more easily. Learning should be based on pictures, not so much on words.
2. Seek to excite students. Motivation comes from the hand of emotions. Curiosity, too, and with it, attention. To learn you have to get excited and it is something that all teachers should take into account on a daily basis.
3. More team work. Not only because of the benefits they bring at the level of values, but because teamwork stimulates the brain and all areas of learning.
4. Use new technologies as allies. New technologies are not enemies of learning. In fact, they can be great allies. Children love the visual and interactive language of new technologies. Let's use them!
5. More sports and more games. Play is an engine for learning. Sports, too. You know why? Because they keep a child excited, excited, fun and most of all, attentive.
6. More contact with Nature. In Japan, students have a compulsory subject called 'Nature Observation'. The children go out to the field with their notebook and observe everything they see. It helps them think, draw conclusions and develop their deductive capacity. Nothing like field work to learn certain knowledge first hand.
7. Get plenty of rest. The brain needs to rest. If a child is overstimulated and in the end does not rest the hours he should, he will not be able to perform the next day. Logical.
Don't force your child to read or ascribe ahead of time if he is not prepared. Do not demand certain psychomotor skills from him if he still does not show the necessary dexterity. Skills are acquired slowly, but safely. Trust your child and you will see how in the end, in time, the seeds will bear fruit.
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