What is the secret of a child’s brilliance?
After a long hiatus of almost a year, the Itinerant Blogger is back on my blog. The past year has seen a lot of changes in her life hence the absence from my blog.
But she is back with a brilliant review of a book that ALL young mothers must read.
I bring you The Itinerant Blogger
If you have time to read only one book on early child hood learning, prioritize this book
My reason for choosing
As a first-time mother who leaves her daughter in daycare for ten hours daily, I often worry about my child’s development. To understand what impacts a child mind and subsequently what I could do with my child to enhance her development and prepare her for her future, I picked up this book. Little did I know that it would not only help me understand Miss Papaya better, but also my colleagues.
The Idea in a Nutshell
The authors, both professors, present a science-based framework on what children should study today to succeed in a future that is ambiguous and most likely filled with robots, artificial intelligence etc. 2nd, their source is children, and their analysis is peppered with easy to follow examples. 3rd, they also reassure modern day parents that sticking to the old fashioned rules of boundaries and respect still work.
The framework consists of the 6Cs – Collaboration, Communication, Content, Critical Thinking, Creative Innovation and Confidence. While the 6Cs in isolation are not unique, the four levels that show progression within each “C” are unique and helped me as a parent understand the mechanics of critical thinking.
I also began to appreciate why her 18 month assessment made a huge deal of the fact that Miss Papaya uses a block as a pretend phone – she was demonstrating very rudimentary pieces of critical thinking and creativity.
What I will remember
That an education centered on the 6Cs is important, so it is not enough to drill your child in numbers and alphabets, but also ensure you child has a high emotional quotient and creative quotient.
- Communication includes listening – also if your child nails communication, then he/she can pick up content more easily.
- Critical thinking: This kicks in when it is time for your child to understand the implications of content. Teach them to think critically, to examine sources, to ask questions, and to try different approaches. This is also linked to praise. Do not praise them with a generic “good job”, but praise actions that work e.g. “I liked how you tried opening that box five different ways”. Praise grit and resilience. I found the 4 levels especially useful because I had never understood the components of Critical Thinking before. Having understood them, I can now apply them at my work place too. How often have I sat in business meetings where we don’t often have data and just say “they say”?
- Critical Thinking Level 1: Seeing is Believing
- Critical Thinking Level 2: You see that truth differs and there are multiple points of view
- Critical Thinking Level 3: We have opinions
- Critical Thinking Level 4: We discuss evidence, mastery, and the intricacies of doubt
- Build your child’s confidence early on so they can take risks. Do not hover over them and helicopter every decision. Let them take little risks, obviously ensuring that their lives are not in danger.
Each “C” has four different levels, and it is important to view the levels as a journey and not get hung up on achieving the top rung immediately.
When other parents share the numerous enrichment classes that they put their kids in, often to the detriment of their own sanity/schedules/budget, I will remember that as long as Ms. Papaya is exposed to the 6Cs, she is ok. That coveted soccer class on Saturdays is not going to ensure her success in the future. I will also not cave into pressure and buy her everything.
Finally, I will delay her exposure to screens as much as I can. I firmly believe she can always “learn” screens in the future, but she can never unlearn how to observe the world around her and socialize if she does not do it in her infancy.
What I want to work on
Remembering the four levels, applying them. I want to revisit this grid every 6 months and plot her progress on it.
I also want to see if I can apply it to new jobs/other areas of my life and learning.
Book Reviews and interviews available online:
I too have read this book ( part of my Book Reading Challenge for this year!) and strongly recommend it to everyone.
So go ahead and get yourself a copy NOW!