How Children Learn..


Children learn from choosing - to achieve a reliable sense of right and wrong, children must make choices.
Children learn from seeing, touching, experiencing - to interpret reality, children must experience their surroundings through imagination and discovery.

Children learn from playing - to enliven and integrate real and imaginary experiences, children participate in the process of play.

Rooted in the experiences of early childhood are the values that individuals will carve for themselves in later years, their capacity to live according to these values, and their attitudes toward themselves and the human community.

Children need unhurried periods to explore and experiment with objects, toys and materials. To understand and affirm a true idea of freedom, children must have the security of loving, thoughtful and appropriate restrictions.

Understanding the Brain

1. Over the past two decades, research in neuroscience and related areas has provided significant new knowledge about the human brain and how it works.

2. At birth the average newborn brain weights a mere 330 grams, by the age of 2 brain weight will triple, and by the age of seven its approximately 1,250 grams will represent 90% of adult weight.

3. Parents are the first and most important teacher in their child's life. Staying involved and providing children with a supportive, nurturing environment will help to strengthen the learning process.

4. Although there are optimal times for learning certain tasks, most "windows of opportunity" never close completely. However, when it appears that there is delay in the learning pathways, early intervention is the key to future learning success.

5. It is important that brain regions go through a process called myelination. Before this process is complete there is evidence that the regions of the brain will not operate efficiently. According to Dr. Jane Healy, "trying to make children master academic skills for which they do not have the requisite maturation may result in mixed-up patterns for learning.

6. The brain needs to be stimulated and challenged; however, activities and curriculum need to be considered in terms of what is "brain appropriate" or developmentally appropriate for this age level. No one knows if we can make "maturation" happen, but we do know that impoverished environments and inadequate intake of protein may stunt the development of the brain.

7. Studies indicate that being actively involved in the environment and socializing in the environment will stimulate growing brains in an appropriate way. An activity which engages interest, imagination and sparks photo2 the desire to seek out an answer, ponder a question or create a response helps to enrich the brain's growing power.

8. Children who are hurried from one activity to another may get a lot of sensory input, but will be short changed on the time-consuming process of forming association networks to understand and organize experience meaningfully.

9. Genes may set the outline of mental ability, but the way children use their brains determines how their intelligence is expressed.

10. Language helps to shape the brain, and teaching children to speak, according to Dr. Jerome Bruner, helps them not only organize words in a sentence but also helps organize their minds. Children need many types of language experiences which include being read with and also includes conversation. Story telling, nursery rhymes, and play acting all enrich the language experience. Spending time with oral language activities is critical for a strong foundation in reading and spelling.


gross Gross Motor Skills

The development and awareness of large muscle activity.

Gross motor skills can be observed by having your child do activities which will demand the ability to use the large muscles of the body.


1. Hop on one foot
2. Walks 8' line
3. Catches and bounces ball

Fine Motor Skillsfine

The development of the small muscles of the body.

Fine motor skills can be observed by having your child participate in activities that take precision in using hand-eye coordination.


1. String beads
2. Traces and copies objects
3. Cuts with scissors

Visual Discrimination Skills

Visual discrimination is the ability to visually differentiate the forms and symbols in one's environment.

Visual discrimination can be observed by seeing if your child can visually determine the differences in objects.


1. Practice matching colors and forms.
2. Sort objects by size, color and content.
3. Match letters, numbers which are the same.

Visual Memory Skillsvis-mem

Visual memory is the ability to recall accurately prior visual experiences.

Visual memory can be observed by having your child remember and recall what they have seen.


1. Show your child a picture in a story book. Close the book and have your child tell you at least three things he saw in the picture.
2. Arrange some items in specific order. Have your child close his eyes while you mix them up. Have your child put them back in the order, or name them in order from memory.
3. Have your child close his eyes and describe something familiar such as his clothes or his room.

Auditory Discrimination Skills aud-dis

Auditory discrimination is the ability to receive and differentiate auditory stimuli.

Auditory Discrimination can be observed by determining if your child is hearing the differences that sounds make.


1. Always verbalize experiences with your child. (e.g., when traveling, talk about what you are seeing)
2. Purchase musical records and encourage your child to hum and then sing by imitating the record.
3. Tell your child a short nursery rhyme and ask your child to repeat it back to you.

Auditory Memory Skillsaud-mem

Auditory memory is the ability to retain and recall auditory information.

Auditory memory is observed by seeing if your child can recall or recite things that they hear.


1. Ask your child to repeat outstanding events of the previous day.
2. Ask your child to name as many animals, foods or articles of clothing that he/she can remember.
3. Give your child simple directions; color the tree, touch your head, etc.

Receptive Language Skillsrecp-lang

Receptive language development is the ability to understand words in accord with chronological age.

Receptive language can be observed by determining your child's ability to receive verbal information and process it.


1. Describe something in the room and have your child try to guess what you have described.
2. Give directions which ask your child to place something behind, in front of, between, under, and next to another object.
3. Have pictures of animals. Give a description word and have your child choose the animal that fits the description.

Expressive Language Skillsexpres-lang

Expressive language is the ability to express oneself verbally.

Expressive language can be observed by seeing how well your child can express thoughts verbally.


1. Have your child use a play or real telephone and play conversations.
2. Use a play microphone and have your child introduce himself, sing a song, recite a nursery rhyme, etc.
3. Show your child a picture with purposefully drawn mistakes and have them tell you what is wrong with the picture.

Comprehension Skillscomp

Reasoning comprehension is the ability to use judgment and reasoning as the child understands his/her environment.

Reasoning comprehension could be observed by seeing if your child can make comparisons, understands differences and recognize cause and effect.

Social-Emotional Behaviorssocial
Social-Emotional development is the ability to relate meaningfully to others and be accepted in both one-on-one and group situations.

Social-Emotional skills can be observed by witnessing how your child acts among other children. Observe how your child cooperates, shows their feelings and demonstrates responsibility.

16168 Beach Blvd., Suite #261
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Office: (714) 841-1257  Fax: (714) 841-7088
Northern California Field Office: (408) 348-1814