The teachable moment
There are times when we are more open to learning than others.
There are times when we are going through the motions, getting the job done, but there are others when we are full of curiosity, eager to see what happens next.
And then something happens. Our current understanding is not enough to solve the problem. We get stuck. But we really want to overcome this hurdle. It's something we care about.
We have arrived at the teachable moment.
You might be struggling to help your child understand the concept of 'counting on'. Nothing you've tried works. But now you're playing a board game and it's fun! Your son is in the lead and he wants to move the pieces himself. He's ready to learn. In this magical moment he's receptive to ideas he wouldn't previously engage with. And so you step in and something clicks in his mind. He has made a connection and the lesson is complete.
One of the reasons I'm reluctant to give much guidance on play and development is because the best thing you can do to help your child is to simply sit back and observe. Resist the temptation to jump in and help.
Just watch - and most importantly - notice.
When you do this you start to understand your child's patterns of thinking, the gaps in her knowledge. You build up a picture of what she can do and where she's likely to get stuck.
So when that teachable moment comes along, you'll recognise it, and know what to do.
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