or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › How does your child learn things?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How does your child learn things?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I don't know if this is how everyone learns, maybe it is (I'm a first time mom and don't have much for comparision), but my 19 month old learns in pieces. Her favorite thing to do is count...It's interesting. She does it in segments like she can count (rote counting) 1,2,3. or 5,6,7,8,9,10 or 9,10,11,12,13,14, but not all together at once. Is that normal? She did the same thing with the alphabet. Not going in any sort of order of which she learned first.

 

I'd love to hear about how your child learns!

post #2 of 16

That's an interesting observation. It will be neat to see where that goes. So much can change, and your little one is *so* little.

 

My kids are older, and I've seen a lot of changes in their learning patterns and styles over the years. But looking at the long-term trends ... all four of mine are fairly visual in their learning style preferences, but they also have good auditory memories. Ds has a slow visual processing speed, but his visual perceptiveness is unsurpassed: he excels at 3D computer mapping, for instance. All of my kids need to see the big-picture context of something before they have the interest and motivation to tackle the smaller pieces. Often they seem to vault right past the piece-by-piece learning. They are perfectionistic and introverted, and prefer to observe and intellectualize, learning privately and internally before trying something new, so it can look from the outside like they learned some big thing instantly, with no learning curve at all. Two of mine didn't count aloud at all, not a peep, until they could count into the hundreds, for example. That may be quite different from what you're currently seeing with your dd, but it might be more temperament than learning style: perhaps mine were learning piece by piece internally -- but I couldn't see their learning until they had already synthesized it. My three younger ones hate repetition and review. The eldest finds some comfort in it at times, as a way to warm up or get into the zone, but only in very specific situations. The older two in particular tend not to like being evaluated -- especially when they are likely to do very well very easily. They have fairly extreme needs for autonomy over their learning: having someone tell them they're doing well with their output judged as worthy by someone else's standards feels like their ownership of the learning is being threatened. Quirky. 

 

Miranda

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACuriousMom View Post

I don't know if this is how everyone learns, maybe it is (I'm a first time mom and don't have much for comparision), but my 19 month old learns in pieces. Her favorite thing to do is count...It's interesting. She does it in segments like she can count (rote counting) 1,2,3. or 5,6,7,8,9,10 or 9,10,11,12,13,14, but not all together at once. Is that normal? She did the same thing with the alphabet. Not going in any sort of order of which she learned first.

 

I'd love to hear about how your child learns!

 

Same here. nod.gif

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACuriousMom View Post

She does it in segments like she can count (rote counting) 1,2,3. or 5,6,7,8,9,10 or 9,10,11,12,13,14, but not all together at once. Is that normal? She did the same thing with the alphabet. Not going in any sort of order of which she learned first.

 

 

This is very normal. Little ones will often learn strings of information like they are singular words. "1,2,3" or "l,m,n,o,p" aren't separate entities for them yet... just another word like "tomato." Once they attach value to individual numbers, they start getting the counting thing down.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

This is very normal. Little ones will often learn strings of information like they are singular words. "1,2,3" or "l,m,n,o,p" aren't separate entities for them yet... just another word like "tomato." Once they attach value to individual numbers, they start getting the counting thing down.

 

That's really interesting.  My son learned all his letters as separate entities (with sounds) by 18-20 months, and knew both the upper & lowercase versions of any letter.  Backwards & forwards, kid really got his letters.  But he has yet to string them together in order (beyond fragments, like "l, m, n, o, p" - which is actually more recent) or in a song.  Numbers, on the other hand, started in counting segments.  He really gets "one-ness," "two-ness" and sometimes "three-ness", as a concept, but not the rest (though he can count in order).  If that made any sense.  I think he is learning letters and numbers very differently.  I had heard that many children learn their "ABCs" in song/order long before they know what they refer to.  He did the opposite with letters, but it seems somewhat true for numbers.

post #6 of 16

How does your child learn?

 

By magic.

 

Seriously, I have no clue. At least with my oldest. My youngest is much more sequential and had to actually work to learn how to read, count, etc. My older child seriously just seemed to one day know this stuff out of the blue.


Edited by JollyGG - 4/22/13 at 5:11pm
post #7 of 16

Mine learns by magic too.  :)

I'll never forget the first moment I really knew she could read--she toddled over to me with my giant library book and announced, "Here's your book, Mommy--Every Man Dies Alone."  Obviously, I hadn't told my baby the title to my book.  She could just read it.  Magic.

post #8 of 16

I wish I knew - I guess I could say by magic too.  The thing that really blew my mind was when she started writing letters.  How can you learn to write letters without being taught, or at least practicing - right?  But overnight she jumped straight from barely being able to write her name to knowing how to write - in a legible if not standard way - all of the letters.

post #9 of 16

My eldest 16 is sort of the opposite of Miranda's kids. She's a very traditional learner... just fast. For example, for reading, she asked a lot of questions, learned all the phonics rules before attempting to read and then jumped 5 grade levels in a few weeks. Same with math. She didn't even count much until it was presented in school. She learned the basic rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication, ect and then progressed rapidly through the curriculum. This has served her very well as she's aged, particularly in higher maths, new languages and sciences. She's a fantastic builder of information. She absolutely requires discussion as a learning tool... thrives in a Socratic learning environment (which is tough to find.) Because of this, her learning and trajectory is rather public. The big pro in this is that it was rather easy to get her accommodated in elementary and middle school.... everyone understood her style and could see progress in a manner they approved of. Of course, now the material is complex enough and she's matured to the point that even finding adults who can truly challenge her discussion wise is difficult.

 

My youngest 12 is more the big picture kid. He has to wrap his head around the whole concept before he'll break it down and learn how to work with it. He prefers to learn independently and doesn't admit to knowledge until mastery. This can make him seem like a "magic" learner but there certainly is a path and style in there. He started as a sight reader memorizing words before he knew anything about phonics. He'd be able to glance at a dozen eggs and immediately tell you how many were subtracted before he was able to count to 10. He's highly visual but pretty strong auditory too. There are pros and cons with his style.... he doesn't fit in so nicely within the school environment. As he ages, and the concepts get broader and more complex he'll sit with it longer... sometimes not seeming to progress much in geometry, for example, until the end of the year when it all snaps in place and he's mastered it. He's been tougher to accommodate.

post #10 of 16

My gifted 5 yr old learns by reading. He doesnt need hands on, if he reads it once it's in there forever.

post #11 of 16
My eldest learns aurally. She was slightly echolalic as a toddler which I think goes a long way to explain her precociously early, clear speech. At nearly seven she still learns best by listening. Listening to read alouds, audio books, lectures and watching videos (it's the commentary, not the visuals that stick instantly). She enjoys reading but she remembers what she reads far better if she reads it aloud. Better still of someone reads it to her. She has excellent pitch and has remarked upon differences of less than a semitone between version of pieces she has heard months apart.
My youngest is far more stereotypically visual spatial. He learns by taking things apart and he loves puzzles.
post #12 of 16

My oldest learns in secret, too...you notice the signs he is preoccupied with something because he keeps asking questions about stuff or asking to read up about stuff on the web (so repetitive that after a while we have to stop ourselves from telling him he should know by now, but there appears to be a complex fact-  and process-checking process behind this), then he'll suddenly show what he knows or can do. He is a very self-directed learner and much prefers finding stuff out by himself, and he has a hard time coping with the frustration of conforming to someone else's practicing schedule (we may have to stop violin lessons because the practicing just makes him scream). At least school still works, no idea how his teacher does it...

DD, on the other hand, is very methodical in her autodidactic learning and a much more "obvious" learner.

post #13 of 16

This is a really good question. I've tried to figure this out for my son. He's 6 now and just kind of absorbs information, I think? I haven't really nailed down exactly how he learns yet. He just kind of... does ? I have been trying because it would be helpful when we do enrichment stuff.

post #14 of 16
My son learned when I wasn't realizing he was learning. Especially in the early years. When he was a bit older, and up to now, he learns best when on the move. If he really wants to understand something, he paces while we discuss it.
post #15 of 16

When he was a toddler, the age of your child, he used to practice things. That wasn't anything to make anyone think he was gifted, it was just... his temperament. I remember him imitating the radio when he was trying to learn to speak, saying harder words to himself.  Kids around that age sometimes develop little obsessions, like with dinosaurs or cars. My kid liked penguins and he learned everything he could about them. 

 

As he became more verbal, he began integrating every new bit of information into his play. He still does this at 10, wandering around the house muttering under his breath, creating little science fiction stories that are a stew of science facts and daydreaming and other bits and pieces. Or he'll actually include me, telling me about a superhero he's creating, and the story integrates all kinds of stuff he's picked up here and there--apparently brain science is interesting to him. (He also went through a preschool phase of making me do arithmetic because HE found it calming. Um. I didn't.) 

 

As far as letters and numbers--he was fascinated by letters, but not an early reader. He used to make drawings in preschool that were maps, featuring letters and numbers as decoration, a sort of kabbalistic sense of them as characters. As an older child he was fascinated by secret codes. Every so often I find a notebook from earlier than I remember the code thing starting, with the beginnings of a code in it. 

 

This, right here, is my favorite part of being a mom. 

post #16 of 16
I like the "by magic!" responses. 😊

Mine definitely had the letters and numbers - backwards, forwards, upside-down, capital, lowercase - as single entities and could use them in strings by 18 months, counting into the hundreds, one-to-one correspondence, some reading and "writing."

I don't really know how they did it. We had a print-rich environment and letters and numbers to play with (window clings, blocks, bath letters/numbers, dozens of library books, magazines...), and I answered their questions, but they "just started" reading signs and then books. We played a lot of games, went places, talked about stuff, made things together...

Now, I have one who is a bit of a secret learner and one who is more overt, but they both just kind of "get stuff." The secret one watches very intently. The more overt one is also more willing to take learning risks. They both love to experiment and create. And they read A LOT, so they learn tons from reading.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting the Gifted Child
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › How does your child learn things?