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Nurturing the Willing Child

Gretchen Mork, Author of one our NATHHAN/ CHASK favorites... “5-Minute Phonics” brings us her new book, Nurturing a Willing Student!

Chapter 6 and 7 excerpt:
Yes, children who are not prepared for school do learn more slowly, sometimes very slowly. But, then don’t we all learn slowly at times? You should understand this very well if you started a foreign language after the age of twelve. It probably went very slowly and chances are you gave up. If you didn’t give up there would come a point where you could learn faster and retain more. Eventually you would be learning words more or less automatically.
This is even more true with children. A child will actually double his rate of learning on a regular basis.
Suppose that Johnny is a little slow. It takes him two months to learn to read one word. That doesn’t look too promising does it? But he will learn at an accelerated rate. Let’s see what happens.
It takes Johnny two months to learn to read one word.
Then it takes one month to learn to read the next word.
Two weeks to learn the third word.
One week to learn the fourth word.
Four days to learn the fifth word
Two days to learn the sixth word
After that a word a day ...and even faster.
Less than four months have passed and Johnny has gone from being slow to learning at a respectable rate.
It is for this reason that we must be very patient with slow learners. If we get impatient then stress could greatly slow down these accelerations. Children who seem to learn so much faster have already accelerated a few times.
Learning begins long before a child is capable of carrying on a conversation. Answering questions is the last achievement in the long chain of development that goes on between birth and the sixth birthday.

Gretchen Mork - e-mail


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