As Kathryn Haydon states in the article, “What to do when they say your kindergartener needs a tutor”, outside testing or private tutoring doesn’t automatically suggest that your child is developmentally not on par. If you have a child that is an independent, imaginative, free thinking type, then she or he is definitely not the problem; she or he may be bored with traditional methods of teaching that are being practiced in class.
In fact, if your child is an imaginative, hands-on learner, this is an amazing quality, not something to worry about because they do not fit a particular learning mold. However, what this does mean, is that when you interact with your child and are teaching them, you have to do so in a more creative way than the traditional methods of handouts and worksheets.
How can you accomplish this? As a parent, it can take a few “sessions” to learn what your child responds to the most. If your child is having a hard time learning letters and words, you can use three dimensional letters at home when you play with your child. A small white board, markers, crayons and paint can do wonders for your child’s ability to grasp new concepts.
While learning is of the utmost importance, teachers and parents both forget that play also is an important part of learning for a child. Children are built to question, run around, expend energy physically… as well as be engaged mentally.
Kathryn states in the article, “The bottom line is that if your child is not engaging with the academic work as it is being approached in his kindergarten class, it’s important to see if creative thinking has to do with it.” Kathryn brings up the important point that there is a difference between a child being “behind” academically versus him or her being a creative thinker and not being taught in a style that engages them.
One factor that is extremely important in all of this is the learning style of the child. Is your child a creative? Does he or she express more artistically? Does she or he love math naturally or are they more into art or science? Do they have a hard time focusing on one particular subject or all subjects?
If you take away the fun from learning and don’t allow children to be… well, children, an important piece of the learning puzzle is being stripped away. If a child is having fun learning, they will be engaged, and they will remember and learn. If they are bored with the method of teaching, they will not be engaged, they will NOT remember, and they definitely will not learn.
Parents, keep in mind that private tutoring outside of class or at home doesn’t automatically suggest that your child is behind the learning curve. Investing time in learning which learning methods your child responds to is a long term investment and one worthy of your child and your time.