I just ordered 2 books from Amazon. One of the books is written by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D, an internationally recognized authority on brain development & children in crisis. Can’t wait to read them because I’m interested to learn how children think and learn. In the article, “The Developmental Hotzone”, by Dr. Bruce Perry, he said, “In order for a child, or any of us, to learn, mature, or master a new skill, something has to change. That something is the brain. ……If the brain does not change, we will not learn. By understanding how a child’s brain changes, therefore, we can understand how a child learns.” The article also explain how our brain is dependent upon experience that contains sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. It’s important to provide the right opportunities at the right time and in the proper sequence for optimal teaching. Many of the parents that I came across are worried that their child doesn’t know the numbers, letter or how to read. From my experience, children will know their numbers and their letters accidentally; given that children learn in a safe and loving environment like Little People! Children need to feel safe before they enter into their developmental hot zone and their curiosity will help them to learn. Often we push them too fast out of their comfort zone. I love the way Dr. Bruce Perry illustrated, ” If it is unreasonable to expect the 4-year-old to learn calculus or to drive a car. He will fail if asked to do these things……It is as much a mismatch to ask the 4-year-old with poor fine-motor control to write his name “neatly” as it is to ask him to drive a car.” This reminds us that it’s important for teachers and parents not to push our children too far beyond their comfort zone. This would lead to sense of failure on the child. Furthermore, Dr. Perry mentioned that learning requires focus, sustained attention and the capacity to tolerate frustration. If a child learns too much and too soon, the child will become too overwhelming and discouraged.
The books that I ordered are: The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. And, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing, by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz.
If you are a teacher, caregiver, or parent, you might be interest to read some of Dr. Bruce Perry’s article. Here’s a link with many articles written by Dr. Bruce Perry on Scholastic.com.