It has been my observation that children learn more when they are
having fun. Almost in any play situation, they seem to be able to
concentrate more and behave better. Some people would deny this
and be positive that more learning is taking place when children
are focused upon the teacher and not "playing" at all.
A few years ago, I came across some research that confirmed my
observations The research told about studies that were conducted
on memory. It sought to find out what types of things we remember
and what things we don't. It was found that, on the whole, we tend
to remember what we learned in pleasant situations and we tend to
forget that which was learned during unpleasant or stressful situations.
We know so little about the mind but it does seem that it operates
to protect us from bad experiences and in some extreme cases totally
blocking the experience from our conscious minds.
The point here is to learn from this research and understand that
information is retained or imprinted on the brain at a much higher
rate when the person is relaxed and enjoying the experience. It
is important that we find ways to make learning fun for children.
When you want to help your child learn colors, you could drill him
and insist he finish a page in a workbook, or you could play color
"Go Fish:. I vote for games and meaningful adventures.
Creative parents and teachers set up indirect learning situations.
They provide preschool children with dress-up clothes for dramatic
play, plastic food for grocery store or dinner play, art materials
for making cards and pictures. They never direct the play, they
merely facilitate the play by making sure their children have safe
and adequate resources.
Sometimes we are so worried that our child will not be ready for
kindergarten, we over do a bit on the forced learning. Relax, play
with your child. Look for games and activities that expose your
child to numbers, colors, shapes, and words. Read stories and expose
your child to a variety of experiences. Remember to have fun, and
be assured that your child will be learning.