Wednesday, October 19, 2011

is there a window?

It is widely known that children who begin speaking more than one language at a very early age develop fluency with greater ease than those who must struggle later on. It is like there are windows of development that are closed after a child reaches a more advanced age. I began studying Swedish a few years ago, and it is hard to get an older brain fluid enough to comprehend things that would be so easy for a kid to pick up with no effort at all. The same is true of other things. For instance if a young woman was interested in dance, the time to start would be in Kindergarten or before. For hockey? The same rule applies. The same is true of the hand. A hand left altogether untrained in the manipulation of objects and tools would have greater difficulties developing skills later. You can see this in how quickly and effortlessly children have adapted to text messaging. But are all those millions of small fingers tapping their trillion of taps on tiny hand held digital devices exercising the full range of manual intelligence?

We know that there are developmental windows for so many things. What about turning those windows into doors through which children might pass toward more meaningful lives? What about giving a grip on some real tools for a change? Mario sent the cartoon shown above which seems to fit the theme of this post.

Today the first, 2nd and third grade students at the Clear Spring School worked to finish their abacuses and decided to host a wisdom of the hands project at this year's harvest party.

Make, fix and create...

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