Learn Together Week (29th – 5th July)
Join us for a jam-packed week of fun activities for all the family! Simply visit our website, choose a day you would like to enrol on and we’ll send you a welcome pack. All workshops are online and FREE!
There are a variety of workshops each day for different age groups – from primary school to leaving secondary education. Subjects covered include: Arts, Maths, Employability, Wellbeing, Nutrition, First Aid, building relationships, and many more.
We look forward seeing you there!
To celebrate Learn Together week – we thought we would highlight a few things for you to consider in “HOW CHILDREN LEARN”
Your child is an individual and different from all others. The way your child learns best depends on many factors: age, learning style and personality.
Make your own slime!
Children pass through different stages of learning
- A baby learns about the world through the senses
- From about two until seven years old, children start to develop the ability to reason and think, but they are still self-centred.
- After the age of about seven, a child usually becomes less self-centred and is more aware of the world around them, looking outside themselves.
- By the age of twelve most children can reason and test out their ideas about the world, often referred to as experimenting.
It is important to understand a few things about your child so you can help them learn.
- What kind of learner is your child?
- What kind of interaction does your child like?
- What motivates your child?
- How long can your child concentrate?
- Are they trying to learn something academically, socially or emotionally?
Children respond well to praise and encouragement – let your child know when they have done something well. Don’t criticise them too much when they make a mistake. It’s natural to make mistakes when learning. Don’t correct every grammatical mistake, try and understand why they made that mistake i.e. if they write 21 instead of 12, or if they have put commas instead of full stops, they may just need to go over something again, or have it presented in a different way, based on how they learn.
Children need to repeat things many times to remember them, so don’t be afraid to repeat games or do several different activities with the same topic. Children often love to repeat the same song or story as it gives them a sense of confidence and familiarity. Establishing a regular routine for work is also important. Set a regular time aside, at a time when you child is at their calmest.
There’s more than one way that children learn but one of the things that give children choice and highly motivates them is play. The evidence that play is so significant for development and learning, is now overwhelming. This encourages them to push themselves to the limit of their abilities – their proximal zone of development. They’re often highly motivated to reach their own goal. This is not a goal set out by adults but an intrinsic goal within themselves that makes them want to achieve something. It doesn’t rely on general praise from an adult, which can stunt self-regulated learning. They feel in control and can be highly involved either by themselves or with others. They can try and try again with different strategies and persevere without the feeling that they might be failing. The social side of play is motivating and plays an important role of communication in learning is at the forefront as language is a prime tool for thinking. The self-regulated learning skills fostered while playing are transferred to other learning situations.
What kind of learner is your child?
Do they like pictures and reading? If so you can encourage your child to use drawings, pictures, maps or diagrams as part of their learning.
Some children like listening to explanations and reading aloud. You could use stories to encourage this kind of child. And most children enjoy learning through songs, chants and rhymes.
Does your child like to touch things and physically move about? Some children have lots of energy! You could play games to get them moving or running around, acting out rhymes or stories or even dancing!
Quieter children may have a good vocabulary and be good readers. Word games, crosswords, word searches, anagrams and tongue twisters would be good to encourage these children.
Other children require logical, clear explanations of rules and patterns, or like to work out the rules for themselves. They may be good at maths too. For these children, activities such as puzzles, problem-solving, ordering or categorising provide ideal opportunities for learning.
Whatever age they are, use this as your guide. Podcasts or watching video clips are just as effective for revision at GCSE and A’levels as is mind-mapping.
What kind of interaction does your child like?
Some children are outgoing and sociable and can learn a language quickly because they want to communicate. They are not worried about making mistakes.
Other children are quieter and more reflective. They learn by listening and observing what is happening. They don’t like to make mistakes and will wait until they are sure.
If your child is outgoing they may prefer learning in groups with other children, whereas a quieter child may need more private, quiet time to feel more secure about learning
What motivates your child?
For a child to be motivated, learning needs to be fun and stress-free. Encourage them to follow their own interests and personal likes. For example if your child likes football he or she will probably like to read a story about football even if the level is a little difficult. Interest and motivation often allow children to cope with more difficult concepts/questions.
Try to provide as many fun activities as you can for learning songs and music, videos and DVDs, and all sorts of games are motivating for children.
Babies are motivated by several key concepts. It is thought that they have a number of innate drives: One is the need to have some control over what happens to them. When they learn that what they do has an effect on what happens in their lives they’re motivated to do things to make things happen.
They’re also motivated by challenge and will strive to find interesting things to stimulate their developing brains. Babies are also born with an explanatory drive, making us highly motivated to be curious and notice patterns in the world and search for explanations. They learn best when they are trying to make sense of things or do something that’s almost too difficult for them. (Vygotsky) This is often helped, by having just enough adult support – what Bruner called scaffolding. Knowing when to sensitively withdraw the support leads to independence.
All of us need someone to scaffold us whatever the age, baby to adult.
How long can your child concentrate?
Children can usually only concentrate for short periods of time.
Make sure that you stop or change activity when your child is bored or restless. This might be after only a few minutes.
This is relevant for all ages, even adults can only concentrate for 20 minutes at a time.
Are they trying to learn something academically, socially or emotionally?
What you are trying to teach is important to identify. Speaking thoughts out loud as children talk themselves about how they are doing things gradually leads on to internal thought processes. Early on this is not conscious but gradually children can be encouraged to be explicit about their own learning. So encourage your children to talk about what they are learning.
Socially and emotionally this is ever so important to keep having conversations, as adults we are stll learning from social interactions about how to handle our emotions and cope with different situations.
This weekend and in to our “Learning Together” week, we want you to look at what learning your child needs, academically, socially and emotionally and then bring that into the play you are doing with them.
The ACL Essex Community & Family Learning team have organised a total of 63 workshops over the course of next week, don’t forget to sign up!
If you have any ideas to share or want to keep up to date with the latest workshops/courses/or support then visit our Facebook group:
To book on these or any of the workshops/courses we have on offer then click the link: https://aclessex.com/community-family-learning-online/.
Please feel free to share with any resident of Essex.