I came across a helpful article in January 2012 issue of Austin Family magazine that offered some suggestions as to how to help our children grow cognitively.
The author, a former science teacher, for example, suggested finding real-life applications to help explain a problem your child is having difficulty conceptualizing.
Recently, I used that strategy with my seven year old boy. He was having a hard time understanding fractions. The interesting thing was that he could describe distance or value in decimal and percentage format, but couldn't grasp fractions.
Recognizing that he understood decimals and percentages, I decided to work backwards and explain to him the concept of decimals and percentages and show its relationship with fractions.
I wrote ".5" on a whiteboard I took from work and asked him what this means in terms of the whole number "1." He replied correctly, "half of one." I then wrote "1/2" on the board and asked what this represents in decimal format. He responded, ".5." I continued on with several other examples, until he saw the Maxtrix and understood how it all worked.
The article also talks about the importance of sleep. I've written recently of my son waking up at odd hours of the night to play video games or watch TV. We've been struggling with his lack of sleep. Sleep helps the brain learn. I can attest to that by watching my son's behavior and performance in school diminishing when he didn't get enough rest and sleep.
You can read the complete article HERE.
Source: VanBuren, Jennifer, "Inside the Brain: How research is improving your child's success in school," Austin Family, January 2012, Pg. 24-25.
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