Every day this month, blog posts have looked at the question of IQ/intelligence and kindergarten readiness. Each area of multiple intelligence was outlined and support activities included. Then, the role of the 5 senses as well as tips on how to promote growth in those areas was explored. More suggestions followed for individual learning styles. Finally, I touched on the question of children’s mindset, not just their minds. Are kids willing to be wrong and make mistakes? Is learning a safe place to take a chance and try? But it was hard to think of what to do that would wrap up the discussion on developing children’s minds and brainpower.
As I searched and wondered, I found an article on Web MD by Laurie Barclay called What Makes Kids Intelligent? Dr. S. J. Schoenthaler, a Cal State professor of behavior and nutrition at Long Beach, is quoted as saying “A better indicator than IQ score is whether the child is curious, enjoys role playing and learning, and is happy.” How does that read to you, maybe that attitude is more important than IQ?? That could be controversial and a topic for discussion, for sure!!
Fortunately, I was able to have a conversation with Dr. Peter Julian of The Whole Brain Learning Institute to give some perspective. “Think of the brain as a learning muscle,” he advised. That would mean that like all muscles, the brain needs exercise. Exercise for the brain isn’t just practice and repetition, it’s wonder and questioning. “We need to stimulate children’s curiosity.”
No matter their brain power, kids need a positive attitude and a love of learning. When it comes to kindergarten readiness, which one do you think is more important, IQ or attitude? How do you encourage your child’s curiosity and mental muscles?
Developing kindergarten readiness includes supporting different ways to learn. Even now, are some things easier for you to learn than others? Brains have different ways to learn, a sort of learning personality. These preferences and individual strengths in the way we learn are called learning styles. Generally, there are 3 basic learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
While all children are hands-on, kinesthetic learners like to move as they learn. These children are doers, often wiggling or tapping at the same time. As they talk, their hands and the rest of their bodies may be “talking”, too. They like to touch and feel and move their bodies. These children like to take things apart and put them back together, smoosh play dough and move their bodies. Often, these are the kids that like to go faster and higher in the swings and especially enjoy places like community gyms and pools.
Support for kinesthetic learners needs to be two fold, that is providing ways to move, touch, and do, and encouraging different ways to learn. Songs that have actions will be more appealing, as well as books that have textures in addition to words and pictures. Puppets are a toy that combines hands-on and talking. Exploring different ways to learn promotes kindergarten readiness and increases brain connections. Do you think your child has a kinesthetic learning style?
Supporting different ways of learning is part of kindergarten readiness. Even as a grown-up, do you find that some things are eady to learn and some quite difficult? The same thing happens for children because our brains have different ways to learn. This brain personality is called learning styles. Learning styles are our individual preferences and strengths in the way we learn. The 3 basic learning styles are: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
Generally, children that are strong auditory learners like songs and stories. They may prefer toys such as small people or characters. As they play, the child may pretend conversations between the people. They enjoy listening to books. These children are often early talkers which may indicate an auditory learning preference. They may find puzzles hard to figure out; drawing and painting may not be favorite activities.
Support for this type of learner is both encouraging the activities that your child is good at and including activities that are more challenging. When sharing a book with your child, spend some time just looking at the pictures. Guide your child to also play with paper, crayons and chalk as well as puzzles and construction toys. This will help your child explore different ways to learn and promote his/her kindergarten readiness as well as expanding brain connections. Do you think your child has an auditory learning style?
Part of kindergarten readiness includes supporting different ways of learning. Do you, even as a grown-up, find learning some things easy and some very hard? That happens for children, not just adults. In a way, brains have personalities and different ways that they learn. Learning styles are individual preferences and ways to learn that are stronger … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Brains and Visual Learning Style
Do you sometimes wonder where to start when it comes to kindergarten readiness? how to decide what to do and when to do it? For kindergarten, I sometimes recommend the 3 R’s: relationships, routine and repetition. In their new book, The Whole-Brain Child, parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson and Dan Siegel write “…we are hardwired for … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – R is for Relationships & Brains
So far, this month’s kindergarten readiness blog posts have been lots of fun for me to do and, I hope, for you to read. The topic has been all about brains: 9 multiple intelligences, 5 senses +2 whole body senses, and now some whole brain activities. It was sure easy to feel overwhelmed though and that … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Brains Are For Growing
While doing recent blog posts on using the 5 senses for kindergarten readiness and brain development, I learned that we can add 2 more. Besides taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing we have the senses of movement and of our body position in space. This sense of movement is tremendously important for all learning. At … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Brains Are For Moving
In doing this month’s series of blog posts on brain development and kindergarten readiness, I learned that we have more than 5 senses. Apparently, we have 7. In addition to taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing we have the sense of movement and of our body position in space. In a way, would that mean … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Body Position in Space Sense
Exploring and discovering are kindergarten readiness activities and promote brain development. The brain connections that children make when they are young help them later on. Some of these brain connections start even before children are born. I was amazed to learn that babies can “taste” in the womb and prefer foods that are familiar. Food … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Brain Development/Sense of Taste
Because the early years are so critical for brain development, it’s important for parents and caregivers to promote children’s learning and support their kindergarten readiness. The sense of touch begins before babies are born and young kids seem to touch everything so why do we need to encourage them to touch? Touching, and being touched, forms all kinds … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Brain Development/Sense of Touch