Speech and language are not easy skills to achieve. Before we can talk or make sense of what people are saying, our sensory foundations must be established. This explains why most kids aren’t fully conversational until around 3 years old.
For example, intelligible speech can’t happen without the cooperation of the vestibular (movement), proprioceptive (body awareness), and tactile (touch) systems who govern the fine motor movements, coordination, and motor planning of the throat, lips, and jaw. If we are to understand a conversation, our auditory (hearing) system needs to differentiate between sounds of words to not mix up what someone is communicating to us.
This all ties back to sensory integration.
We are visual beings.
How we assess our environment, learn new skills, or consume entertainment is primarily through our eyes. We rely on our visual system so heavily that many times we don’t need our additional senses (touch, taste, hear or smell our surroundings) to know what’s going on.
So, if our kids overlook important visual details (like putting on a matching pair of socks), or can’t recall what they saw (“Where did you put your backpack?”), or have trouble discriminating between numbers and letters, it can be very concerning to us as parents. About 75% of classroom activities rely on the visual system.
In our throwback post, we learned that visual perception is the total process responsible for receiving and interpreting what we see. It involves visual-receptive (how our eyes move and focus on an object) and visual-cognitive components (how we interpret visual information).
When your child’s visual processing is compromised, we’re quick to assume that they need glasses/contacts or other visual aids. Although that may be the case, other factors can play a role as to why they’re seeing things differently.
Yesterday’s post about learning styles explained that it is better to present new concepts to kids in a variety of different ways. Some new information is easier to understand using a primary modality, like teaching science using kinesthetic/hands-on experimentation rather than reading it from a book. But for other types of information, you can use a varied approach to support deeper learning.
There are a lot of identifiers that give a bit of insight into how people tick. Identifiers like our zodiac sign, what Hogwarts house we belong to, our Myers-Briggs type, and even what learning style best suits us. But when it comes to kids, does knowing their learning preference make a difference?
Recently, my husband and I were discussing how we learn best. My husband absorbs information best auditorily while I find myself to be a visual learner. This talk came as we were trying to figure out what type of learners our kids were, especially when it came to our 4-year-old who was struggling to recall and apply information (like knowing what day it is or when his baseball practices were). We were trying to determine the best way he obtains knowledge in order to help him succeed.
It’s kinda serendipitous that I picked this book this month. The Georgia PreK Lottery opens today!
In Fulton County, Georgia, incoming 4-year-olds looking for free, public PreK enter a lottery on March 1st. You apply for the public elementary school that you are zoned in, and each school has a limited number of PreK slots. If you don’t get selected, you can be waitlisted for other schools if space allows.
I have absolutely no frame of reference for the odds of getting selected. When we moved last year, I was satisfied with the elementary school we were zoned for, looking at the GreatSchools scores and stats. From reading The Family Firm, Troy and I were able to weigh our options for how we were going to tackle this very big school year. But still, some of our decisions would be null and void depending the outcome of a lottery that is in no way in our control.