Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Children Can Learn More Than We Give Them Credit For

I have heard and read many times that children learn the fastest before they are 5 yrs old. From then on learning is at a slower rate. According to the popular womens magazines from "the old days", girls were learning how to mend clothing, cross-stitch an alphabet sampler, make a pie, could read beginner primers and had memorized songs, poems and Bible verses by the age of 4. Boys knew the same academics and were taking over some of their fathers chores by that age. It doesn't sound like they had much free time, but they seem to have gotten up much earlier then, and most chores had to be done before breakfast. It seems they would then have plenty of time to play, and get into mischief.
It's been proven in European countries that kindergarten children can learn more than 2 languages at once, and the ones that start learning different languages before they start kindergarten have an easier time learning additional languages. Teachers I have known have told me that those who are taught to memorize and do reasoning or logic problems before school starts will have an easier time passing tests and comprehending information the rest of their lives.

Those earliest years are the times when our children are constantly with us and we have the opportunity to give them more one-on-one time than they will probably ever have with us. Steve and I put some effort into teaching our kids from day one, but if I could re-do those early years I think I would claim more of that unstructured time and have them join me in my daily chores, and also set aside a little more time for academics and developing talent. This could result on less money spent on toys, less time spent on TV and a bond to family. Since teaching obedience is a "must" for keeping kids on task, an added benefit, in our case anyway, is a disciplined child with some self-control, which is not a common sight to see now-a-days.

Whatever small amount of time you devote to training your child's mind, the most important is to teach God's word and the love of the Savior, also exampled in our own life.

4 comments:

Cherdecor said...

I taught my children to read before they went to school because I wanted them to learn the phonetic approach to reading. I didn't want them guessing their way through school.

It really paid off now that they are in their thirties. They continue to read and learn and stay up with the new technology. Our oldest writes and publishes books, our second planted a church around Washington DC and our youngest is a video producer for World Vision.

There are still a lot of things I wished I had done differently. I saw a post tonight that said,"Life is about trying things to see what works." There is a whole lot of things that the Bible doesn't tell us about living. I wish each child would have come with a manual.

Mimi's Toes said...

I agree with you Linda. I wish I would have turned off the t.v. more and sat down as a family and played more board games, bible study and all. But, we were blessed with good kids and they are all serving God.

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

I'm reading a book right now... and there is a part in there about how we segregate our children from our worship... interesting...
and that it has to be something "formal".. but do we teach children to eat with forks.. nah... they learn as they live with us...and we live as a family..

Jesus loved children...so much that He wants us to look at them NOT as a distraction but as a gift.

I wished I had read this long time ago...

But we have used this approach with our son since he's the baby... and it is amazing how he is...

i'll tell you about the book if you are interested...

Blessings
Connie

ErinOrtlund said...

I'm in the thick of things and I wish I were doing some things differently! I can have great intentions, but then my energy level doesn't cooperate. ;) But it's so helpful to hear from seasoned mothers--how inspiring to see that list of what girls learned by 4! And to think, Kate will be 4 in June! I am glad we have her in French immersion preschool--I could do a lot more around the house, though, teaching her all kinds of things.

Deliverance sure is a talented woman though--you must have done a lot right!!