Monday 9 August 2010


How to make learning fun for a young child? How to prevent pushing a child too hard? How do you know how much to stimulate a child?

• According to "How to Raise a Brighter Child" by Joan Beck (Ch. 2), the most important thing an infant needs is at least 1 person who is crazy about him – willing to interact with him, respond to him, talk to him, return his smile, and share his delight at each new discovery and cheer each new milestone. Each time a baby gets such feedback, his neural circuits register happiness and pleasure, reinforcing his desire to learn and interact again.

• Children seem to have considerable built-in protection that should prevent mental overloading: they fuss, they look away, they go to sleep, they run off, or they simply say “No more book” or refuse to cooperate. You need to go along with them. If he is interested, if he enjoys learning, if he is responsive and if he seems generally happy, you are doing him good. But if he resists your efforts, squims away or won’t pay attention for even a few seconds, you should stop and reconsider whether the learning opportunities are age appropriate, too difficult or too easy for him.

• Learning can be intrinsically enjoyable, and small children learn voluntarily when their efforts are not distorted by pressure, competition, extrinsic rewards, punishments or fear. The more things your child has seen and heard, the more new things he wants to experience. Play or learning activities should be appropriate – aren’t too immature or too advanced, too easy or too difficult. The purpose of these activities is not to push the child or pressure him or make him compete with the neighbour’s child or perform like a puppet to show off, but to make the child happy himself.

- How to Raise a Brighter Child - Kindle Edition - Kindle Book (Feb. 21, 2001) by Joan Beck

- How to Raise a Brighter Child - Paperback (Sept. 1, 1999) by Joan Beck

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