Time with Children Is a Need

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Beth Pinyerd

By Beth Pinyerd

Happy new 2022-2023 school year to our children, families and teachers. As teachers all over the county are welcoming in their classroom of children, teachers know this first week is a time where we go over classroom rules, schedules and procedures and introduce subjects, but the most important classroom goal is to spend time getting to know our students. Whether you are a first-year teacher, seasoned teacher with many years of teaching or even a retired teacher who still desires to share and help children in the classroom, we all realize the importance of getting to know our students and how they learn to have a successful year.

 As teachers, we are delighted at the uniqueness of each young child we teach. They have different expressions of who they are and what they do. They go through the same stages of development at different rates. But because all young children are different, they approach learning in one or more of the following approaches: visual, reflective, logical, physical, relational, musical, natural and verbal. This new school year is a good time for you to assess how your child learns. As teachers, we step back, observe and share with parents what we assess by spending time with their child.

Visual learners have to see and visualize what they are learning. They love to draw, color and paint. With this kind of learner, a teacher or parent has to plan lessons with a lot of visuals, pictures and demonstrations.

A reflective learner usually is an observer and likes to work alone as he thinks through concepts. He or she likes to have their own defined space. As a teacher or parent, you will notice this child entertains himself by reading a book, working on an activity for a long time or pondering ideas on the computer.

A logical learner is a child who learns by seeing patterns and systems, and reasoning comes very easy for them. They have a sense of closure when they fit things together in proper order or complete a puzzle.

If your child is a physical learner, they use their minds and whole body as they learn reading and math.

A relational learner is a child who interacts and relates well with other children. The relational learner has many friends and usually organizes his friends into games and activities at recess, in school or playing in the neighborhood. These kinds of learners are very good listeners and know how to respond to your questions.

When I hear a student humming, whistling or singing their favorite songs to themselves, I know they are a musical learner. Their love of music expands into their expression in language, reading and more.

A natural learner is one who loves the world outside. This kind of learner loves to look for bugs, lizards, frogs, plants and more.

If your child is a verbal learner, he or she loves making up words, telling stories and telling jokes. This kind of learner loves to write stories and read them to the class.

Now, let’s go back to the importance of teachers and parents spending time with our children and students. It is a goal that we have to consciously focus on teaching children and having a learning relationship with them as we respect just how unique each child is. As we embark on a new school year, I would like to share some of the benefits of spending time with your children as parents, grandparents and caregivers.

Spending one-on-one time with children strengthens a trusted bond between you and them for a lifetime. Time spent with a young child or children is something they will always remember. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or plan so many activities in their lives to keep them happy. Walking, talking and listening to young children, singing with young children and taking a simple nature hunt with them builds bonds of happiness. A simple hug from Mom or Dad can also crown your young child with joy, happiness and security. If you have more than one child, set a day each week for you and that child to spend quality time together. Some ideas include just you and that child sharing a lunch together, a dessert together, a walk together, a story together, etc. The same can be done with your older children with activities appropriate for their age.

Spending time with your child says to them that they are so important to you as their parent or grandparent. This builds their self-esteem and affirms that they are special and unique. Parents and grandparents can embrance how God made their children unique. Psalm 139:14 states, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

 Spending time with your children offers up an opportunity to get to know how they feel. We remember the song, “Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “The King and I”. It is so important for children to be able to express themselves emotionally to their parents. This takes spending time with children of all ages. Listen to them, and let them share from their hearts and offer their perspective. We have to keep in mind as parents that our children may view the world and other people in a different way. Time spent with them offers life opportunities to talk and even roleplay difficult situations between parents and children. Also, they can share positive situations that make them happy and bring them joy.

Spending time with your children can set goals and guidelines for getting chores done, doing projects and spending family time. xplain to your children what they need to do, such as cleaning up their rooms, tap into listening skills, cognitive skills (such as when putting toys back where they belong) and following through with parental instructions.

Other ways that time can be spent with our children is in doing homework together, reading favorite books together, cooking favorite family dishes together, enjoying outside family activities together and more.

I hope this advice helps you and your child as they begin a brand new school year. It is going to be a good year.

Classroom Observer, Beth Pinyerd

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