Have you ever stopped to look at how your child learns? Well, as a mom of five children, ages ranging from thirteen years to thirteen months, I have. I noticed there are two kinds of thought processes. There is the hands-on (common sense) child, and there is the book-smart child. My oldest is dyslexic and ADHD, and two of my other sons have been diagnosed with speech delays.
The oldest here is hands-on. He learns by physically doing things. He is great with puzzles and anything to do with using his hands (physical manipulation of things). But he also has common sense. He doesn’t trip over his own two feet, and looks ahead when walking. He is sensitive and thoughtful. If you need to know something, he remembers it from years ago, or can remember where he last saw something for you to find, even if it has been a year or more. He can retrieve memory of certain events done in the past, and just has a memory that is amazing. If it was something he physically did, he will remember it for years to come. But if it was a book he read a week ago, he can’t recall even the lead character’s name.
Then the other two boys here are the book-smart ones. They have always absorbed knowledge and love to learn. Their favorite thing at age three was learning books. (One of these two still has unwrapped Christmas toys from last year and the year before in his room.) They have no common sense though. They walk with their heads down and trip over their own two feet constantly. If you ask them for a simple item off a desk, they are clueless as to where it is, looking all around and still not finding it. Even if you give specific instructions and tell them what it has all around it, they can’t find it.
Our two-and-a-half-year-old daughter (the only girl) seems to be the book-smart child. But the littlest one, he is just thirteen months old. So far, he seems to be the hands-on kind. He has at this age figured out, by observing his siblings, how to open the pantry door by standing on his tiptoes and pulling the handle open. He is very verbal already, like his oldest brother was at his age. And the other three, seem to have all lagged in speech. I don’t know if this is a contributing factor in this equation, but it seems to just have dawned on me. I know that my husband and I are the common sense, hands-on learners also.
I have always worked around people and observed behavior and traits that just seem to affirm my thoughts on this. I wonder what others think on this, or observe and see from reading this.