Cape Cod Gymnastics Info and Policies
Learning Styles & Developmental Stages
Stages of Learning
By Jay Grenier
In order to provide the best learning experience for the kids, it’s important to understand how they learn and develop. As children’s thought processes develop and they experience their world more and more, they find out how they learn best. That is, they find their learning strength and will always process information in that style because it affords them the greatest understanding. Some of the different ways children learn are:
- Linguistic – These children learn best verbally. They like to have everything fully described and are good listeners.
- Musical – These children learn best through music and rhythm. Music helps them to feel comfortable and the rhythm and beat can help them get excited!
- Intrapersonal – These children work best on their own, and enjoy being able to freely explore their options. If a challenge is presented to them, they prefer to try to figure it out by themselves, rather than with a group or with a teacher.
- Interpersonal – These children learn best by working with others. They are generally very social, and like to work through challenges with others. They enjoy working with teachers and peers.
- Logical/Mathematical – These children learn best by learning a skill with step-by-step instruction. Skills are broken down into progressions (steps) and they can practice and master each progression one at a time.
- Kinesthetic – These children learn best by moving through a skill and being helped physically. By physically moving their body into the correct position (spotting) and helping them through the skill, they can identify it and it helps them to learn and remember.
- Visual/Spatial – These children learn best through seeing the skill and having it demonstrated. If they can see someone do the skill the way it is suppose to be done, it will help them to do it better.
Each child has a style of learning that they will respond to best. At Cape Cod Gymnastics Center, our program structure is built around this philosophy, and we make sure that all learning styles are accommodated so all of the kids are comfortable, and can get the most out of their gymnastics experience. An important thing to remember is that having a different learning style, does not necessarily translate into having a learning disability. It only means that this child has developed a certain way of learning and remembering information. If the particular style they like best can be identified, then lesson plans can be adapted to that style, and the child will have an easier time learning. This is true for not only gymnastics, but also in their schoolwork and at home!
Developmental Stages in Children
By Jay Grenier
Between the ages of 0-6, children go through many different developmental stages. It is important to identify and understand each stage with your child in order to maximize their learning experiences at home, at school, and with any activities or sports they choose to partake in.
Levels of Thought
- Naming – Around one year of age, children enter the level of thought and verbal articulation. They can verbally name people and objects. Generally the child is only capable of naming one thing at a time, for example: “mom”, “dad”, “pike”, “straddle”. Most of these words have one syllable, or the child will reduce it to one syllable. Example: “Bottle” becomes “Ba”. When putting together an activity for a 1 year old, its important to keep the name of the theme or skill to one word. Example: “Pike”, “Straddle”, “Tuck”, “Roll”, etc.
- Describing – At two years, a child can describe a person or object to you. This is primarily self-centered, for instance they would say, “I am this big!” The child is describing himself with the word, “big”. Now is a good time to start teaching them things that change or oppose the things they can describe. For example, if the child is describing their height, teach them to stand on their tip toes! If they describe a color to you, have them spot out a different color nearby. Things of this nature will encourage them to describe their surroundings, and helps them to see and understand the differences in places and objects.
- Comparing – The comparative level of thought begins at the age of three. Comparing means they are now able to tell the major differences, (and similarities) between one thing and another. Generally, three year olds are easily distracted as they are comparing all of the objects and people in their environment. With comparing, comes the ability to concentrate for longer periods of time, but only on a small number of things at once. If you are doing an activity or game, try to make it so the child does not have to remember more than 3 new things at one time. For instance in the gymnastics setting, a new obstacle course will have no more than 3 new skills. This way, they can practice the skills they have learned previously, and are introduced to 3 new ones. Now the child can compare the difference between the new skills, and the ones they already know.
- Analyzing – At the analyzing level of thought, four and five year olds can begin to identify multiple characteristics of a skill and the differences between correct and incorrect execution. In other words, they can understand if they are doing a skill right or wrong. If one of your goals is to have your child do something correctly, (i.e. Writing, Reading, Coloring in the lines, etc.) this is a good time to start helping them understand how to do it the correct way. The older they get, the more deeply they are able to analyze things.
Understanding the way your child is learning is a great step in helping them to develop mentally, socially, and physically. If your child is having trouble understanding something you are trying to teach them, these levels may shed some light on why, and what you can do to help them understand it a little better.