Children’s development is complex, and all children develop and learn in different ways and at different speeds. Understanding this and being able to identify how your child learns and develops is important to inform how you and your child’s teachers interact with and instruct your child. It might also identify areas that may need more focus than others and areas where your child excels. There are a few things you can do to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses in school and at home. Let’s have a look at some of these ways.
- Determine How Your Child Learns
Being able to tell how your child learns best and the environments in which they thrive, or other tasks with which they struggle will give you a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses while learning new academic concepts. Some children are very independent and can learn from a textbook or video while others are more collaborative and need the help of teachers, parents or peers to learn or simply to be reassured they are working correctly and doing what is expected of them. You can also use this time to determine skills that your child picks up quickly and those that might take them a bit longer, both in the classroom and outside. As an example, some kids might quickly pick up sports skills and have great hand eye co-ordination right off the bat while others might need some extra time.
- Consider Social Behaviors
It’s not just academics that are vital to your child’s development. Social skills and the ability to interact with others and work in groups or pairs are also vital. Look out for tell-tale signs of good social skills like the ability and willingness to share with others and take turns. Instill the value of good listening skills and watch if your child can be an active and respectful participant in a conversation and take real interest in others and what they have to say.
Social skills envelop a huge part of your child’s personality and seeing weaknesses in the way they interact with others can be difficult. Does your child have good coping mechanisms and is able to deal with being frustrated without throwing a tantrum or hitting? Does your child listen to adults and obey them when they give instructions? Does your child tell the truth or lie and if caught out in a lie, do they apologize? Keep an eye out for these and other tell-tale social behaviors in your child.
Do Some Tests
One of the most popular and well used tests is the CAT (or Cognitive Abilities Test). Schools will often use it to highlight and better understand their children’s abilities as they currently stand, as well as where they could go to academically. Being aware of this highlights the importance of the CAT4 Test because it can better help teachers and those involved in the child’s development to get the best result from the child. CAT4 is the latest edition of this test and comprises of three different sections – verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. It’s a test delivered in a multiple-choice format and each question has 5 possible answers.
It’s important that you give your child the nurturing and support they need to develop themselves and the way they take on new information and learn new skills, realizing that not all children can be good at everything they do. Some things, particularly the most obvious and standout strengths and weaknesses are easy to spot, but others are less so. Positive reinforcement and communicating with your child about these things and the challenges they face is important to their development.
For more articles, visit OD Blog.