From the first step a child takes into their kindergarten class one sunny September morning, their journey into the world of academic achievement begins. There are those who zoom through the grades with flying colors and others who seem to be struggling no matter how hard they try. For most children, a new school year is a promise, of new friends, new learning experiences, and a new adventure in to the world of knowledge. But for some, the picture is quite different; the promise is rather of a daunting learning experiences, more disappointments and greater struggles. As school experiences differs greatly from one child to another, it is up to us as parents and educators to make it as enriching and enjoyable as possible. So let's take a step back and understand how learning happens inside our children's brains.
To talk about learning, we must talk about cognitive skills, the tools that enable the child to learn, think, process information and do every task they do, at school and outside, like playing sports, music, doing art and all other activities.
Cognitive skills such as attention skills, memory, processing speed, visual and auditory processing, as well as logic and reasoning are the foundation of all learning, at any age and any stage. They work together in coherence to make learning possible.
When reading for instance, a child uses auditory processing which is essential for decoding, visual processing, memory, speed and logic, that are essential for comprehension, not forgetting a key skill, attention, or the ability to focus for a certain duration without getting distracted or side tracked, all these skills work together to achieve reading fluency. It is therefore vital for these skills to be strong for your child to learn and think easily and efficiently. Research has shown that roughly 80% of learning difficulties are a direct result of cognitive skills weakness. Difficulties in reading, writing, comprehension, math, slow work, poor memory, lack of focus, or low motivation, are only symptoms of weak cognitive skills.