How Well Do You Know Your Child?

In U.S.A we often hear that parenting does matters. In China, we all know if the child is not well educated, everybody blames his or her parents. In Japan, we also hear that a child wins because his or her parents’ power. There is no doubt that family education acts a crucial role on children’s education. Parents are the most important teachers in a child’s life.

While we all know that by children’s developmental milestones, they were born as successful learners, they have incredible eagerness and ability to learn. However, as they grow, some are doing well in school, some are not. Each child has unique gifts to contribute to the learning process. It is our responsibility, as parents and teachers, to help children know what their gifts are and how to nurture them.

How parents help the child identify and respect his or her talents, learning strengths, and needs? How parents help the child discover his or her interests, dreams, passions, and goals? How parents help the child become an eager, self-directed learner? How parents help the child to maximize his or her learning ability and potential? In the next several posts, we are going to discuss these questions.

To learn more parenting skills, please refer to great parenting books.

Guide Kids by Their IQ

As parents, we want to know our children, what ability they have, are they normal kids? Some parents want to know whether their kids are gifted kids. However, the measurement of ability is a really difficult problem, although many researchers and scientists have been working on it more than a century. In addition, measure of intelligence is really controversial topic among parents, educators and scientists.

While the research efforts still keep going on, so far IQ(Intelligence Quotient ) is the most accepted by leading educational psychologists as a single measuring stick for determining cognitive competence.

What is an IQ?

What is Intelligence?
The ability to learn, reason and problem solve. It is a combination of an innate quality and developed results of interacting with the environment.

IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient, which is a numerical representation of intelligence, derived from dividing mental age (result from an intelligence test) by the chronological age times 100. The IQ is a number that ranges from 0 to 200 (plus), 100 is usually considered average.

Is there a need to measure it?

Although IQ level can not present ones’ creativity, it does measure the speed of thinking. Since IQ is still one of the main ways to measure someone’s intelligence so far, why do not you have a try and know better yourself and your kids? Relax and enjoy!

What does an IQ mean?

Score achieved on an intelligence test identifies learning potential, namely, the ability to learn from books, classes, environment and experience, and the ability to apply what have learned to solve problems and make decisions.

How parents guide a kid by his IQ?

There are many types of intelligence, and maintain that one type is not necessarily better than another. Since some of intelligence is so difficult to measure, IQ can not represent it at all, like creativity, common sense, IQ score only can be used as a reference when come to a kid’s education.

In addition, IQ tests come in many forms, for example, some tests use a single type of question, while others use several different subtests. A typical IQ tests include items from various domains, such as short-term memory, verbal knowledge, spatial visualization, logic thinking and perceptual speed with time limit. Therefore, the score you got just by taking one IQ test is not necessarily true.

If your child gets a score around average or even above average
In order to not give your child the implication that intelligence is innate and fixed, do not overemphasis on intellect or talent because it may leave him or her vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and not willing to pay effort, even lead to him or her be unmotivated to learn. Encourage effort and stress growth by learning, in this way parents will help the kid to do better in school and in life.

If your child gets a score under average
Since IQ tests come in many forms, they may come to different results. If you found that you child may have some problem on learning in the same time, I suggest you to take a professional IQ test and consult with specialist if necessary.

In fact the IQ test is still a test that mainly focuses on two aspects, which are Language and Math skills. One can be intelligent in many fields such as music, painting, art, and sports without having strong Math and/or Language skills.

Parents should praise the kid for his or her passion on learning, effort and persistence, tell him or her successful stories that emphasize love to learn and hard working, and teach them about the brain as a learning machine. One can be more intelligent by continuous learning, and IQ score actually can be improved.

How to Find out a Child’s Learning Style

A child’s learning style is how he or she gets and processes new information. All children learn in different ways.

Why Are Learning Styles Important?

As the child’s first teacher, parents should identify and accommodate for the child’s preferred learning style. Understanding how the child learns is very important in his or her attitude toward learning and success.

Parents will help the child better by knowing his or her learning styles. Otherwise, may get really bad teaching results, although the patents were trying hard to “help the child”. For example, most parents assume unintentionally that their child learns exactly like they do, however it is not true. Children often have different learning styles than their parents, and have different learning styles than their siblings. The sooner parents understand learning styles and the child’s preferred learning styles, the sooner parents will be able to help the child effectively.

Three Typical Learning Styles

Everyone learns differently. However, we can categorize learning styles into three typical ones, which are learning by hearing or auditory, learning by seeing or visual, and learning by doing or kinetic.

Hearing or Auditory

If a child learns best by hearing, people call him or her an auditory learner. He or she will be very sensitive to voice. He or she can sense speakers’ emotion by the voice, such as happy, angry, and frustrated. Voice has big impact on him or her. The child enjoys the lessons on podcasts, MP3 players, CDs, radios and tapes. He or she has weak tolerance to noise.

Seeing or Visual

If a child learns best by seeing, people call him or her a visual learner. He or she will be very sensitive to facial expressions in terms of understanding emotions. He or she prefers to see pictures, charts, graphs, diagrams, video and TV to get information. Other visual images can distract him or her from concentrating on studying.

Doing or Kinetic

If a child learns best by doing, called a kinesthetic learner, he or she prefers to touch and manipulate objects. His or her body moves frequently. Therefore, it is very hard to let the child sit for a long time listening or watching, like in the traditional classroom, where a teacher is talking, the students are listening and watching the teacher. The child’s learning style is his or her distraction from concentrating on listening or seeing. Lab time may be his or her favorite time.

Understanding a Child’s Learning Style

Almost every child is capable of learning in any of these styles. As the child gets older, he or she may use each of these styles. However, he or she may have a preferred learning style.

In order to identify the child’s preferred learning style, parents can look for clues in three ways, which are to listen to the words the child uses, to watch how he or she teaches others, to pay attention to the way he or she plays.

What are the words or phrases the child often uses?

  • Relate to hearing or listening such as talk, listen, hear, sound, etc. This suggests an auditory approach.
  • Related to seeing, showing a picture of the information, these words or phrases might include see, look, observe, etc. This suggests a visual approach.
  • Related to doing such as sit, jump, go, try, act, get, etc. This suggests a kinetic approach.

Asking the child to teach someone else how to do something

This is a valuable way to identify the child’s learning style, because people usually teach using their preferred learning style.

  • auditory learner will explain the process using words in mouth.
  • A visual learner will draw a picture may even use different colors to demonstrate it.
  • A kinetic learner will “walk” through the process while doing it.

By the theory of multiple intelligence, human beings possess a lot of different types of intelligence, and most of time, they function together. Therefore, every individual has the ability to use every learning style. However, everybody has one or two styles that work better for him or her when learn.

As the child’s first teacher, parents’ job is to help the child enjoy learning. If the child is struggling with a task, it is likely he or she is not using his or her preferred learning style. Help the child by incorporating his or her learning style into the task, and then he or she will enjoy the learning process.