As Instructors, in order to be effective communicators with young children, teens, and adults, it’s important that we understand what’s going on in their minds and bodies as they grow up.
Fortunately, much research has been done in this area which provides us with a roadmap which details the typical behaviors/skills people have at various ages.
These are commonly referred to as the stages of development and are the basis of our curriculum, and instructional style at Gentle East.
From the time we are born we have different and evolving:
Physical needs and capabilities
Intellectual needs and capabilities
Emotional needs and capabilities
Social needs and capabilities
An easy acronym to remember these by is PIES.
Let’s look at 3-4-year olds:
Children in this age range are getting ready to start preschool and this is where the learning process begins:
Physically, they typically have low muscle tone in the arms, legs, and core.
Intellectually, they typically have a limited vocabulary and learn primarily through visual and kinesthetic activities.
Emotionally, they have strong preferences and fear the unknown and they will at out when their emotions get the best of them.
Socially, they can be self-centered and very physical when communicating.
By understanding these principles, we have a better understanding of what to expect or not expect from children in this age group. This, in turn, allows us to teach them more effectively.
Here is what our curriculum focuses on for this age group:
Physically: Standing on one foot and kicking, not falling down, and sitting still 🙂
Intellectually: How to focus and follow instructions.
Emotionally: How to overcome fear and sit still even when excited 🙂
Socially: show restraint when distracted by others acting silly as well as respecting the personal space of others.
Over the next few weeks, we will post additional information on the PIES for each age group, there will also be more detailed blog posts on the website as well as informational posters at GEMA.
Future posts will cover a variety of topics that we hope that parents might find useful.