Learning to read in their own pace helps to accelerate children’s learning.
Children are natural learners. They take their own time to crawl, to walk and to talk. Some walk early, some talk late. And if given suitable autonomy and guidance, children will easily explore their world on their own and pursue the things they are interested in.
Let us examine some methods to adapt and parameters to observe in order to nurture this natural learning process.
Step by step approach
We all have different talents, and the pace at which each child grasps things is fundamentally different. Right from learning to speak to picking a new language, to exploring and showing curiosity, reaching out to someone for assistance, each of these activities indicates children’s diverse levels of preparedness. Hence, be patient when your child is learning and allow her to work at her own pace.
Focus on your own goal
In a world that thrives on competitiveness, it’s always easy to fall into the trap of comparisons. However, the fact is some may find learning to read easier than others. At the same time, others may be great in social communication at an early age but take longer to read and write. Some may have a flair for writing from the beginning and race ahead with this one aspect of their learning but struggle to count. Some may be very comfortable with picking rules of a sport they love but may take their own time understating the rules of arithmetic. Each one has a place in their own developmental continuum. Be patient and focus on their steady progress.
Diverse learning styles in children
Children not only learn at different rates, but they also have different strengths and weaknesses. That’s why one’s progress can differ by weeks or even months among peers of the same age. Hence, instead of viewing every child through the same lens, we can appreciate their individuality. I have known parents who became quite stressed when their children didn’t start to speak in speculated time; however, showed good progress once they started to speak.
Everybody is different
Accepting and appreciating the individual’s differences begins at home, followed by classrooms and surroundings. Educators play a big role in nurturing students, given the diverse and fragmented education landscape. By focusing on developing a child’s strengths instead of fixing her deficiencies, we can celebrate her unique personality.
On the other hand, back at home and in society, while children go through major physical and mental changes, and hit roadblocks or obstacles, parents must help them with complex tasks, while encouraging them to run their own race. This will go a long way in finding out their keen interests by valuing and nurturing their individuality.
Role of Technology in self-paced learning
Adding tech in learning models: blended learning, a combination of online and traditional classroom instruction helps students to progress at their own pace. A study says that this model is even more effective for students from very different backgrounds with varying levels of knowledge and English-speaking abilities.
Meanwhile, several online learning portals have the potential to re-individualise the education experience. Supporting children as they learn at their own pace is important for development at their young age. Machine Learning (ML) can play a big role in personalising the learning experience for individual students and redesigning assessments. While it (algorithms) can predict the strengths and weakness of a student in a particular subject, her learning pace and understanding level, Artificial intelligence (AI) can track students’ mental steps and modify the feedback, lessons and explanations to promote self-regulation and self-monitoring.
Children develop at their own pace. Learning to read is one the most fascinating experience that every parent would like to see. And given the flexibility, motivation, and liberty to read and learn in their own style can bring 360-degree growth in children’s learning.
Pragyan Parimita Barik
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