Sunday, 18 March 2012

Learn just a little bit!


If you take your child to an event always make it clear that should they wish to leave at any point then they are entitled to do so.

Now this isn't easy to do particularly if you've laid out good money to pay for a play or event which you think your child will enjoy or which you feel is educational  and I have to confess I haven't always succeeded. It's particularly important with Autistic children who may be effected by sensory issues such as noise , sensativity to lights  or too many people.Some of which we may not notice  but it applies just as much to neuro-typical kids.

Unfortunately many parents will somehow regard the request to leave early as a failure on their part to provide a sufficiently stimulating activity and in their need to control and be in charge of the situation they inwardly fume whilst their children squirm and moan beside them. The result is that neither child or parent ends up enjoying the event and both end up disappointed and grumpy. In fact it is just as likely that their child has taken in as much as it can process. This can often happen when you visit a museum and feel the need to 'see everything' because you have travelled a long way and paid a large entrance fee to get in.

Far better to spend a while in a specific area of the museum taking in the sights and sounds of one particular exhibit and to go away wanting 'more'.

Horrible History Exhibition

I remember feeling very disappointed to find that when we visited the Natural History museum the children wanted to leave after ten minutes because it was too busy and they couldn't see the exhibits. Similarly, having borrowed special 'back packs' to explore the British museum we found it hot and uncomfortable on a hot summers day to stay there longer than half an hour.

I have learned that our most enjoyable learning experiences are unplanned and often simple, such as a small local museum where the guides had time to tell us stories of the local history because we were the only ones there. They leave you with a feeling of wanting to know more and going away to do more research. The educational value is immense and lasting and provides the building blocks upon which to build your solid teaching.

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