When they use only their ears to learn and remember reading, spelling, Mathematics skills, children learn and remember very slowly.
Unfortunately we adults often talk too much when teaching our children reading, spelling, and Maths skills.We often use a lot more than three simple sentences to explain something and our children’s minds go somewhere else, and they stop listening to us. Pay attention when you are explaining something to your child and notice when they switch off and stop listening. It is probably sooner than you think!
The more the brain makes new connections with sensory information, the more easily your child will learn and remember reading, spelling, Mathematics information and skills.
How to use your child’s senses when helping them learn and remember
Brief talking (they listen) combined with showing how (they see) is a more powerful combination than just talking. Your child will learn and remember reading, writing, and Mathematics skills and information even faster when you ask them to show you how (they do it) while explaining to you what they are doing (they talk).
When you actively encourage your child to use their senses they will learn new reading, spelling, maths information and skills faster. When your child is seeing, hearing, talking, and doing as they learn, there is intense activity happening in the brain as more brain pathways connect with each other. Their brain becomes very busy making connections with what they are seeing, doing, hearing, and saying. The more connections, the easier and faster your child can learn and also remember.
Deliberately help your child connect with two or more of their senses: For example they can see it, smell it, hear it, talk it, do it, taste it. Getting your child to see, talk, and do is a nice sequence you can use for most learning.
Keep your explanations brief and combine the explanation with your child using another sense. For example ‘seeing’ something (a drawing, words to read, demonstration of something) or get them to ‘do it’ as you talk so that you give the next instruction as they complete the last one.
At first you might find it difficult to use more than one sense when teaching them an idea or skill. I encourage you to to talk to them as you show them, then get them to show you – all in quick succession. Then repeat as necessary. Encourage them to talk about what they are doing and ask questions too. The more interactively you work with them, the faster they will learn and the more that they will remember.
Check out my posts on helping your child learn to read and write to give you more ideas how to help your child accelerate their learning.