From the title of this article, you may assume that it will be a boring research project on the way children learn. Well, you are WRONG! Today, I am going to talk about kids like my brother Kailon, age 6, who are just beginning their schooling careers and how I perceive their capability of learning.
My brother is in the first grade at an all-year-round school in North Carolina. He does 9 weeks (about 2 months) of learning and 3 weeks off, of course longer for certain holidays. Now you may think this is a ridiculous idea to send your child to an all-year-round school, but in fact I believe it is quite a smart choice. When I was still in grade school, hearing the chance that our schools may go longer than 2:30pm was a dreadful idea. However, now that I am graduated and in college with a better understanding of the education system, it makes sense.
You see, my brother was having difficulty learning at first. When he was maybe 3 or 4 years old, his speech was “silly” and full of slang. I remember my family and I trying to teach him the alphabet and how to write. Most kids at this age range usually struggle with learning comprehension especially when having little exposure to “real life” situations involving a specific curriculum. The idea of going to school where it is year round especially makes it easier for these young children to remember course content, due to the fact that they have great memory.
I have two younger siblings, a sister and brother, and I was less mature than I am now when they were growing up. Do not get me wrong, I was their “mom” figure alongside my mother and was very helpful, yet I did not care as much about how they learned different things such as using the “potty” for the first time or sitting up by themselves. Now that I am college aged and taking courses related to communications, I am beyond intrigued on how school aged children learn.
When I call my brother on the phone now, I can hear that his vocabulary has expanded brilliantly. He uses big words such as “intelligent”, “mind-blowing”, and “confident”. He is starting to read and using the phonetics of words to sound out the syllables. His mathematical skills have improved and better yet, he asks lots of questions like Sid the Science Kid imposes.
How do kids do it? What makes our brain “click” that suddenly we can read and understand words? I look at these young kids and am speechless by their knowledge and passion for learning. School is an important part of this, of course, but it all starts with the home life. I truly believe that if parents/guardians did not encourage learning at home before their children started school, it would be ten times harder for them to learn in the classroom. Kids are more likely to be excited to go to school when their family encourages them to learn.
With that being said, it is most important to encourage all children to attend school if able. Education should be free in certain cases, but I’ll save that for another article! I am beyond proud of all that my siblings have been accomplishing in school. They inspire me to keep being the best I can be. I try to set an example for them, such as working towards my diploma and taking part in sports and extracurricular activities. The point is, make sure you set a positive and impactful example for your children, your siblings, your cousins and so on. They learn in school, yes, but like I said, it starts at home.
Finally, no, I am not telling you to sign your child up for an all-year-round school. I am encouraging you to take part in their early stages and help them grow mentally. You make the biggest impact on these kids as a family member. It’s okay to be hard on them sometimes, but remember, we reflect what we see! So, encourage learning at home, ask your little brother or cousin how school is occasionally and remember to “ask lots of questions” like Sid the Science Kid!